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Hatchet - Awaiting Evil (CD)

Hatchet
Awaiting Evil
by Grigoris Chronis at 27 June 2008, 11:37 AM

The name, the logo and the cover artwork are enough to rate the album with a minimum of 5/10, ha ha! Metal Blade, as the label in charge of this release, is - on the other hand - not easy to deal with anymore, since - anno 2008 - this legendary metallic shelter's current roaster is a risk in order to feed the old-school metalhead's hunger. Thankfully, with Awaiting Evil things banged on rather smoothly and HATCHET is a 'must' if you're looking for Bay Area Thrash played by a current band.
You form a band while living in the Bay Area, San Francisco. This and only raises the expectations in high levels. HATCHET took shape two years ago, bled by rehearsing countless ours in their garages and performed dozens of gigs in (and not only) the wider area and were lucky enough - but not only lucky - to gain a contract with Brian Slagel's Metal Blade Records. Some kickin' New Wave of Bay Area Thrash Metal lurks in Awaiting Evil, right?
Young thrashers, fresh evidence, conscious beliefs, enough of 'area legacy' and…here we go: if you're into the likes of old SLAYER, primitive METALLICA, early TESTAMENT, 80s EXODUS, premature DEATH ANGEL, but also HOLY TERROR, DEFIENCE and the rest of that time's or/and place's Thrash Metal hordes, this album's for you. Any European influences? Naaahhh…when you hail from the Bay Area I guess there's not much room for anyone else to follow up on your roots.
In terms of musicianship, things are not perfect and faultless. And that's a good thing to say, weird enough. Why? Because, for such a traditional Metal style, the playing and production in Awaiting Evil is as needed. Sharp, with the 'live jamming' feeling bringing much of adrenaline, with tons of striking and well-worked anyway riffs/leads/bridges, with American-vocals-meets-Schmier singing in full thrashin' blossom and enough of outrage, with enough changes in the 'shaking' tempos in between tracks and…
…some real killers inside, indeed nearly the whole album. Frozen Hell and The Dead Will March may bring on some more harmonic moments (in the MEGADETH/TESTAMENT vein), but at the same time Frailty Of The Flesh, Attack Imminent and Storm The Gates strike speedy hard on your neck. Darkening Skies is an instrumental 'intro' piece full of acoustic guitars; did remind me of several albums back then that featured such a prelude in the beginning, and it bears a nice start for the thrashin' onslaught that's about to happen afterwards.
OK, Awaiting Evil features some music you've listened to hundreds of times in the past. Still, tell me you don't like to listen to 'old' American Thrash anymore, you wimps! With a 'today' sound, this album would not export this certain bludgeon aura. That's - also - why HATCHET is a band that will make your face smile with warmth. In a last couple of years with many many fine Thrash Metal bands (re)defining all aspects of the 80s Thrash Metal vibe (EVILE, DEKAPITATOR, TOXIC HOLOCAUST, HYADES, MUNICIPAL WASTE, BONDED BY BLOOD, VIOLATOR, MERCILESS DEATH), this quintet is easily winning its own place in the list.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Darkening Skies
Frailty Of The Flesh
Sealed Fate
Frozen Hell
Attack Imminent
Morlocks Tomb
Storm The Gates
The Dead Will March
Awaiting Evil
Lineup:
Marcus Kirchen - Vocals
Julz Ramos - Lead Guitar
Sterling Bailey - Rhythm Guitar
Dan Voigt - Bass
Alex Perez - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade
     


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