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Hitten – State Of Shock

Hitten
State Of Shock
by Anton Sanatov at 21 June 2016, 1:13 PM

In the metal world we often bare witness to attempts at resurrection. Every genre is filled with ambitious white-gowned crusaders armed with epinephrine needles and defibrillator paddles running to the rescue of styles with waning vital signs. It is a noble effort on their part, for some of those stylistic heroes bare secrets and wisdom that a vast part the modern metal scene simply is not open to - and the few old sages who are still doing their best to carry flag are beginning to feel the toll of age. That being said…there are some carcasses that just want to be left the fuck alone.

Sometimes you can do with bringing back a couple of bodies before it simply becomes a hoard of zombies instead of a visit from an exemplary fallen veteran of past Metal glory. Nevertheless, it is always nice to see a familiar face, and on "State Of Shock" the Spanish outfit HITTEN are cueing the lighting to bring back a blast from the past. Igor! Turn it up to 11!

HITTEN do not hesitate to give us a taste of the electric current. As soon as "Wrong Side Of Heaven" pulls the lever you can feel the familiar tingle that comes with blitzing three note-per-string runs, 16th note riffing, huge chords and whammy bar obsession; this is a guitar player's wet-dream (keep in mind that fluids are potent conductors). "Can't Bring Me Down" only solidifies the aforementioned claim with a lengthy, impassioned solo that will have the roadies running out of dry ice by the time it's finished.

"State Of Shock" then hardens the already stiffened bodies with blasts of borderline Thrash; taking a few licks from MEGADETH's "Poison Was The Cure" along the way. And to introduce the newly awakened creature to the good life, HITTEN throw in "Liar" and "Endless" race, as a couple of complimentary classic 80's Metal hot rods.

Now, for all the impressive shred galore that populates this time capsule, it often takes far too many liberties with its source material – the majority of which I think a lot of the listeners will agree, is IRON MAIDEN's greatest hits. The influence is abundant, and at times a bit too prominent; take the "2 Minutes to Midnight" sequel "Victim of the Night" as an example.

It is always admirable when a band tips their hats to the greats - especially if their abilities allow them to do so justly - yet for a vast majority of the record I at times wondered whether I was listening to a new band or one of the forgotten/overlooked heroes of the 80's. On the one hand this can be viewed as a compliment, yet it can also be a sign of uninspired imitation; that's for the listener to decide.

The same can be said regarding the production. Although "State Of Shock" has that grainy sound of a classic record (an attic gem), and is perhaps something the band were aiming for, it also suffers from a lacklustre mix that often gulps down some of the guitars, suffocates the drums and over-emphasises the vocals. The band performances however, are superb; particularly the guitar work of power duo Dani and Johnny, who truly must be a couple of shredder's from the 80's 'virtuoso boom' who've been cryogenically frozen only to be unleashed on the drop-tuned generation.

Even though - having said my piece regarding the band's overindulgence in their influences - "State Of Shock" is a body of work that has been brought back to life numerous times before, it is far from being just another cold cut with bolts in its neck. What HITTEN have actually managed to do on this record, is capture the spirit of one of Heavy Metal's finest eras and bring it into the new millennium with flair, passion and proficiency; and that is something that never gets old.
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 6
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Wrong Side Of Heaven
  2. Don't Be Late
  3. Can't Bring Me Down
  4. Victim Of The Night
  5. Rites Of The Priest
  6. State Of Shock
  7. Liar
  8. Endless Race
  9. Chained To Insanity
  10. Eternal Force (Feat. Todd Michael Hall)
Lineup:
Aitor Navarro - Vocals
Satan - Bass
John Sinx - Drums
Dani - Guitar
Johnny - Guitar
Record Label: No Remorse Records
     


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