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Hidden Intent - Fear, Prey, Demise

Hidden Intent
Fear, Prey, Demise
by Chris Hawkins at 15 July 2018, 10:59 AM

HIDDEN INTENT are an Australian band formed back in 2011.  This album, "Fear, Prey, Demise," is their second full-length and is out now on Scarlet Records.  The band does not try to hide who they are and thus openly embrace Thrash Metal, but this isn't a band trying to cash in on a resurgence of the genre.  Rather, this is one dedicated to the genre to the extent of being ready to take Thrash to the next level.

"Prey For Your Death," as evidenced in the video link to this article, launches the album with a Thrash explosion.  This is next-level Extreme Thrash, fueled by speed and aggression.  The second track, "Addicted to Thrash," is an ample mission statement from the band.  This really is a song where the band pulls out all the stops showcasing their myriad skills.  It was a welcome diversion to hear the fretboard-bending solo in the latter half by the bass.

My initial reaction was that this is the Australian version of MUNICIPAL WASTE, which is a tremendous compliment in my book, but throughout the ten songs, the band continues to shock with its wide range of elements embedded throughout the album.  One initial shock was the fifth track, "Waiting Here in Hell".  Evidently this is the ballad, and this came as a shock due to the heaviness of the preceding songs.  It is helped by a breakdown at the chorus which retains the heaviness against what thirty years ago would have been called the "radio song".  Equally shocking is the following track, "Apocalypse Now".  It would not be a thorough review to not mention this song.  After the ballad that was the last song, the band continues the immersion with an epic that is over eight minutes long.  As a bonus, there is another bass solo in this tune where through a fairly simple melodic idea, the bass carries the last part of the song.  Launched by another feat of bass playing, an extended intro of melodic bass chord voicing belongs to the ninth track, "Step into the Light".  This is the first time the band shows a glimmer of IRON MAIDEN, but soon they're back in Thrash mode.  What this ultimately shows is that the band are just as determined to create timely Metal as True Thrash.

As a power trio, the band uses all of its assets to create a huge sound.  The bass has a very defined and center stage role in the mix where it inhabits its own sonic real estate, powerful, with tons of presence and a bit of dirt.  It is as articulate as Frank Bello and as aggressive as D. D. Verni.  Thrash has thankfully become a welcome home to forward-thinking bassists.  The guitar work is tight with a bit of an adventurous element.  It seems the guitar and bass continue to play off each other throughout the album.  The bottom line is that at the end of the day, the band plays certifiably top-shelf Thrash Metal, but also to their advantage is an equal stake in each song by all three members giving the album a mature, glossed-over finish.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Prey For Your Death
2. Addicted to Thrash
3. Seedds of Hate
4. Drop Bears are Real
5. Waiting Here in Hell
6. Apocalypse Now
7. Eternal Rest
8. Petrified
9. Step Into the Light
10. Imminent Psychosis
Lineup:
Phil Bennet – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Paul Lewis – Drums, Backing Vocals
Chris McEwen – Bass, Lead Vocals
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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Edited 17 October 2021
 

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