F U L L . R E V I E W S
Steve "Zetro" Souza is back with HATRIOT's sophomore effort 'Dawn of The New Centurion'. Famous for his days with EXODUS, Steve is drawing on that early influence and mixing it with modern production values to make a real impact in the thrash genre once again. The group features both of Steve's sons, one on bass and the other on drums. Justin Cole has been added to fold in place of Miguel Esparza on guitar and rounding out the line-up is the young and massively talented Kosta "V".
Steve, who seems as angry ever, puts on display his ravaging trademark vocals. A bit brackish at first with some noticeable age in his nasal screams, but the tenacity is still present. 'Dawn of The New Centurion' exhibits the talents of his young core of musicians too with pulsing rhythms, pummeling beats, and driving guitars. I'm not sure where Kosta "V" came from but teamed with Steve they are the driving force of this band.
Lead off track 'My Cold Dead Hands' has a nice lead in that kicks into pure adrenaline laden thrash as does follow up track 'Your Worst Enemy'. The latter of which presents some fluid and precise guitar work from Kosta "V". Some cuts do border on generic thrash you've heard before but Kosta "V" adds depth to every one whether it's a piercing riff or a dynamic spiraling solo as showcased in 'Honor in the Rise and Fall' and the dirge 'World Funeral'.
Personal favorites are the melodic and enticing 'The Fear Within' demonstrating some of the most versatile work vocally by Steve and by Kosta "V" on the album. All in all that song shows the strength of all the members as it's the most developed song to appear on either of the two albums produced. Now we come to 'Silence in the House of the Lord' which again displays the dynamic duo of Steve and Kosta "V" at their best. Consisting of some nice tempo changes and an engaging clean vocal chorus, I always find myself playing this one over again.
The other tracks round out a nice offering as a whole even though 'Superkillafragsadisticactsareatrocious' as interesting as it sounds is a song better left as a B-side. Hopefully the third release will focus on more intricate and developed songs as previously mentioned and then HATRIOT will really illuminate the thrash genre.
It may sound like the Kosta "V" show though without him you could just dismiss this band as EXODUS part 2 but this group is able to pull off much more than that. One prime example is the depth and flow the backing vocals provide to balance out Steve's snarls. Steve also demonstrates some nice vocal versatility and it's a shame we don't get to hear more. Few bands can be as heavy and melodic at the same time but HATRIOT pulls it off and can't just be lumped into the mass of retro thrash bands that have been popping up. Plus, it's hard to be retro when one of the thrash pioneers is heading it up, they are just the real deal. Listen through this one a couple times if for nothing else than the masterful work from Kosta "V".
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