Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza. The man who started as lead singer for the band Legacy (which we all know later became Testament after his departure), took over for the late great Paul Baloff in Exodus and had a huge run with them, contributing to the golden age of thrash. The man has also fronted thrash super groups Dublin Death Patrol and Tenet. Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about his new band, Hatriot. They put out their first full-length album, “Heroes of Origin”, February 12, 2013, on Massacre Records.
“Heroes of Origin” is a total throwback to old school Bay Area thrash without sounding dated. ‘Suicide Run’ starts of the album with everything you want in great thrash; lightning fast riffs, tight drums with bass pushing the tempo, and Zetro belting out the lyrics. This is only the beginning, as Hatriot continues to crush it through the rest of the 10 tracks on the album.
I’m not sure where Souza found the guitarists he has playing with him in Hatriot, but they must have been raised listening to his resume. There is something oddly comforting, if I can use that term to describe it, about the riffing of Kosta Varvatakis and Miguel Esparza. It makes it very easy to get into the songs like ‘Weapons of Class Destruction’, ‘Blood Stained Wings’, or ‘The Violent Times of My Dark Passenger’ and get your head bang on. The solos traded back and forth on tracks like ‘The Mechanics of Annihilation’, ‘Shadows of the Buried’, and the title track are very reminiscent of the great Hanneman and King. Speaking of being reared on the legacy of Souza, Steve’s sons Cody (bass) and Nick (drums) make a mean rhythm section and provide some serious backbone to all the tracks on the album.
Bottom line, Steve Souza has a kick ass band in Hatriot and “Heroes of Origin” is a great way for them to start things off. Hatriot has established a solid foundation in the path taken on this record and I can only hope that they will continue to build on it in the future.