Another fine new wave old school thrash act
Old school thrash metal is making quite a comeback, especially in the Bay Area (California), where acts such as Death Angel, Testament and Exodus have risen up from the ashes to reclaim their place within the metal scene. The latest act to enter the Bay Area thrash scene is Hatchet, who was quickly snapped up by Metal Blade Records prior to the release of their debut full-length effort Awaiting Evil following the response to their self-titled independently released two-track E.P. from 2007.
From the straight forward sounding production, the rather self explanatory cover artwork right through to the delivery and sound of the songs, Awaiting Evil screams old school thrash.
Opening up with a two minute acoustic/electric solo enhanced instrumental Darkening Skies, it doesn't take long for the five piece act (Who comprise of vocalist Marcus Kirchen, lead/rhythm guitarist Julian Ramos, rhythm guitarist Sterling Bailey, bassist Dan Voigt and drummer Alex Perez) to make their intentions known with the onslaught of Frailty Of The Flesh. If you didn't know otherwise, this could have well been a track that was recorded back in thrash's heyday, and had only now been unearthed. Kirchen's half spoken/higher register screamed vocals sound like a mix of Tom Araya (Slayer) and Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), while the band faithfully reproduce the manic speed and energy of the Bay Area's legendary thrash greats.
There's nothing on Awaiting Evil that falls below the standard laid down by the opening track, but songs such as Frozen Hell (Which reveals a slight Iron Maiden influence in the riffing), Attack Imminent, Storm The Gates and the classic sounding title track Awaiting Evil definitely stand out as the album's stronger moments.
In the growing N.W.O.B.A.T. (New Wave Of Bay Area Thrash) movement that's currently taking place in the underground, Hatchet can certainly sit alongside the likes of Municipal Waste and Warbringer as the scene's undisputed leaders.
(Metal Blade Records/Stomp Records Distribution)