HITTEN– “Triumph & Tragedy”
By Colonel Angus
HITTEN is a band from Murcia Spain that has flown under my radar until now. I’m constantly reminded that heavy metal is global and that there is some great music coming from places that are not normally associated with metal. I’m glad these bands are peppering my inbox so that I can get acquainted with these international bands. Some bands make an impact on metal weary ears and others come and go with only a few listens. Luckily, HITTEN’s latest release “Triumph & Tragedy” is the former and not the latter. There has been a resurgence of traditional metal being the focus of some of these newer bands and quite frankly, I couldn’t be happier. Although metal needed to progress and move in other interesting directions, some of these sub-genres have started to bore me because they have stagnated in sound and delivery. Although HITTEN’s type of metal is nothing new, it does have a refreshing sound that brings back the good ol’ days of early NWOBHM but with more updated elements and production.
My research into their earlier works uncovered a band that had a lot more power metal in them than their newest album would contain. Not to say that they were full on power metal but they did focus more on speedier material. On “Triumph & Tragedy”, HITTEN may have moved more to a traditional metal sound but have stayed true to having that melodic groove and contagious choruses. They certainly don’t shy away from showing their influences. Opener “Built to Rock” has an early VAN HALEN vibe about it while “Meant To Be Mean” has a hint of early DEF LEPPARD (pre-”Pyromania”). Semi-ballads “Core of the Flame” and “Something to Hide” have a bit of a DOKKEN sound which is a good thing as these tracks are lifted away from the power ballad territory by having the same heaviness that DOKKEN would incorporate into their slower material. I find all the track to be really catchy, well-crafted metal tunes that will have you repeated listening to the whole record. Credit also has to be given to the band for crafting an 11 minute title track that at no time gets boring or stale. There are some IRON MAIDEN elements throughout that track but while it twists and turns a bit, there is a core framework for the song that works well. Traditional metal is not known for longer tunes so kudos to HITTEN for ending the album on a strong and unique note.
“Triumph & Tragedy” is truly an international release as it was recorded in Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. Dani Meseguer and Johnny Lorca are still providing the great guitar work that is prevalent on all of HITTEN’s releases since “State of Shock”. Alexx Panza is back after replacing Aitor Navarro who sang on “State of Shock”. Panza puts in a great performance and quite honestly, I find that he fits this newer material better than Navarro. Both are quality vocalists but I find Panza a bit more melodic. Satan (real name Horacio Rodríguez) does bass duty and new drummer Marco Prij fill out the rest of the band. I’ll have school myself a little more on HITTEN because what I hear, I like a lot. “Triumph & Tragedy” is a more than solid release and it gets better with each spin. As I mentioned previously, there are many bands that are hitting on the traditional metal sound right now but HITTEN’s “Triumph & Tragedy” rises above most and should be part of any metal collection.