Old-school thrash. Let’s just get that out there now. You may hear that a lot in this review. Why? Because that’s exactly what Hatriot, Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza’s latest project is. Based on his pedigree, would you expect anything less? Fast, loud, and in your face, Heroes of Origin sounds like it could have been released alongside some of the heaviest albums to come out of the Bay Area in the 80’s.
“Suicide Run” is a jackhammer of an opener, and Steve’s son Nick lets fly with a full-on drum attack that gut punches you less than a minute in. “Weapons of Class Destruction” is another one that moves at a fever pitch, and is all kinds of aggressive. The speed metal really shows up on “Murder American Style” which also happens to be one of the best songs on this record. Guitarist Kosta Varvatakis has really written himself something to be proud of. It’s hard to believe he’s only 23 when you listen to it.
The first song I heard on my review copy was “Blood Stained Wings” and I was immediately struck by the heavy Overkill influence on this one, which pretty much guaranteed I was gonna love it. Come on, they’re one of my favorite bands in the world, and Zetro rips it up like Blitz’s evil twin!!
The thumping double-bass drums from Nick coupled with the locked-in-the-pocket bass lines of Zetro’s other son Cody anchor “The Violent Times of My Dark Passenger”, and drive the song straight into contention for Best Thrash Song of the Year, a trend that continues on “Globicidal”. These guys know what they’re doing. Zetro’s gotta be one proud Papa because his sons just kill it on every song.
Take the best elements of early Slayer and Testament, mix ‘em up, and that’s what you get on “And Your Children to Be Damned”. Old-school thrash on steroids. Kosta and his six-string partner in crime Miguel Esparza leave a trail of destruction all over this one as well as “The Mechanics of Annihilation”. These just so happened to be the second and third tracks I heard, and to say I was impressed is putting it mildly. Two more songs that were on repeat for days, no question.
We slow down for a second at the beginning of “Shadows of the Buried” before being yanked out of our collective chairs for another Overkill-type ride, which also has some of the best solos on this record, and a dark, scary outro before coming to title track, and face-puncher “Heroes of Origin”. I’m gonna say it one more time: Old-school thrash. All five members gear up for one final assault on your senses, and a three-minute nonstop pummeling ensues. Kosta, Miguel, Cody, Nick, and Zetro have crafted an album that speaks to the fans that grew up with this stuff, while welcoming a younger generation into fold. This, like Havok’s Unnatural Selection, is one of the best thrash metal albums I have heard in almost a decade.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Murder American Style”, “The Mechanics of Annihilation”, “Blood Stained Wings”, “Shadows of the Buried”