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Hirax - El Rostro De La Muerte
When I think of eighties thrash and death metal, the typical artwork of those days come to mind. Edward J. Repka is one of those record cover artists that has such a recognisable style. As soon as I saw the cover of HiraxEl Rostro De La Muerte, I immediately identified it as a Repka cover. Three mean looking giants on the cover, each holding a certain item. It suits the band, that has been around since the early eighties. The only original member left Katon W. de Pena, is also known as the black devil. He certainly is one of the most distinguishable guys in metal. During the nineties Hirax was disbanded. Katon however stayed in the music scene, being involved in the underground and working at record stores. He continued to receive fan mail and acclaim by fans of thrash metal which ultimately caused him to reunite the band in 2000.
 
The sound alone of the album really transports you back to the glory days of thrash metal. It means an underground low budget production with an exceptionally bad sound. The drums sound as if they were recorded with an old fashioned cassette recorder and boosted up a bit in the studio. As a deliberate move I would say, it certainly adds to the authenticity of this music. In continuation the guitars sound a bit muffled, not uncommon on records of the eighties. The riffs and solo’s are pretty flashy, it certainly aren’t a bunch of amateurs who got a lucky shot. The last song on the disk ‘Satan’s Fall’ even has a kind of Slayer’s Reign in Blood quality to it. The screams of Katon de Pena reminds me of Teutonic metalbands such as Kreator. Not the kind of thrash I’m really fond of.
 
If you are a total thrash fanatic I can understand that you can get totally off with this. Me personally it is something I listen to, appreciate the commitment, and then discard it. Sure some music was simply meant to stay underground, and it sounds Katon de Pena did everything to keep it that way Thematically the album deals with themes like war and death, hence its title El Rostro De La Muerte. For non Spanish speakers, it means The Face of Death. This is for eighties thrash fanatics only. I sincerely doubt a new generation of fans will be gained by this.
Hirax - El Rostro De La Muerte
70/1001Details Selfmadegod Records
Released on Tuesday Jan 26th, 2010
Thrash Metal

Writer @Angel on Tuesday Jan 26th, 2010

Tags: #Hirax
Tracklisting 01. Baptized By Fire
02. Flesh And Blood
03. Eradicate Mankind
04. Chaos And Brutality
05. El Rostro De La Muerte (The Face Of Death)
06. Blind Faith
07. Horrified
08. Battle Of The North
09. The Laws Of Temptation
10. Death Militia
11. Broken Neck
12. Violent Assault
13. Cuando Cae La Oscuridad
14. Satan’s Fall

Line up Katon W. De Pena - vocals
Glenn Rogers - lead guitar
Lance Harrison - lead guitar
Steve Harrison - bass
Jorge Iacobellis - drums