"Heroes of Origin"

By Dr. Abner Mality

With a slashing mark of "Z", Zetro has returned! No, not the masked guy who fights the Spanish, but rather one of thrash metal's true iconic singers. And what a comeback this is! There was tons of bad publicity out about Steve Sousa following his split with Exodus. Well, I don't know the guy personally, but I know what I like musically and I sure as hell like this! Pure Exodus style thrash that absolutely matches...and sometimes surpasses...what his old band has been doing since his departure!

Let's be honest, this sounds so much like Exodus it would take a DNA test to spot the difference. But any reservations give way as your neck muscles get blasted by a relentless onslaught of ripping Bay Area riffs, divebombing solos and jackhammer drums. We start off with "Suicide Run" and right away it sounds like an out-take from the "Tempo of the Damned" sessions. You keep waiting for the band to slip up as we race through charming thrash monsters like "Weapons of Class Destruction" and "Murder American Style". About the time "Blood Stained Wings" hits, you say fuck it, let's slam. Zetro has never sounded more crazed or aggressive...he sounds ready to bite a rabid pit bull in half! This is textbook thrash metal rage.

It's no secret that Zetro's rhythm section is his own blood, sons Cody and Nick on bass and drums respectively. They sound damn good to me. I suspect there was some cleaning up in the studio courtesy of producer Juan Urteaga, but damn, this sounds hot. The real revelation is lead guitarist Kosta V, who makes his guitar scream for mercy like a bitch. He's everywhere here and the pace only lets up briefly for the somewhat more mid-tempo ""The Violent Times of My Dark Passenger" and the opening to the epic "Shadows of the Unburied". Those tracks carry seeds of the more majestic Exodus, but manage to be more concise than what Zetro's old band has been up to lately. Finally, with the final title track, you can just let yourself go and run around the room smashing the walls with your head as this motherfucker is non-stop speed riffiing from the jump, complete with an axe-destroying solo from Kosta V. If there is any metalhead who can stay still during this song, I'd like to meet him, before I kick his ass into the middle of next week.

So Hatriot scores 0 points of originality, but 1000 points for execution. Best pure thrash record of 2013, this will be real hard to beat this year.