Hirax - The New Age of Terror
Mausoleum Records
Garage Thrash

Release year: 2004
Hirax, Mausoleum Records
Reviewed by Jason
Crap of the month

In this new age of terror, it won’t be bullets or careening shrapnel that will have you running for your life in a frenzy of utter madness. Neither will it be foreign terrorist threats or American policy that will cause the pending madness which will ensue in thousands fleeing from their homes and towards their local music stores with torch in hand. What will incite utter chaos will be Hirax’s newest release titled New age of Terror, where those with torch in hand will pile mounds of this album and dance around the burning plastic as the noxious fumes raise to the sky …and I’ll be the guy who throws the first torch.

Although I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Hirax’s brand of garage-styled heavy metal isn’t listenable, I can definitely say that this album is an embarrassment for a group of musicians that has apparently been making music since 1984. You would expect that after 20 years of musical experience, releasing one full-length album and a whole slew of 7” and LP’s that any band would eventually distance themselves from a plethora of thrashy, dumbed-down, recycled Metallica riffs and come up with something that doesn’t sound like it was written by a group of 19 year olds who jam in their garage. In fact, all except for the better production, it sounds like the band has slowly regressed. Their older 80’s material with shoddy production sounds better as Katon De Pena’s Vocals aren’t as tremulous, whinny and unstructured. I believe that their older thrashy sound deserves more credit as it was original for the time it was being made.

While the music and vocals may be well under-par on this album, the lyrics are an utter disaster. Though it’s often difficult to understand what the heck De Pena is yelling, it’s fairly obvious that Hirax’s lyrics are focused on political issues. I’m not one who believes that Metal should be a-political, but when De Pena spews up lame and simplistic messages in his tremulous voice such as “they’re sending our soldiers to an early graaaaaaaaveeeee”, you can’t help but be turned off. Correct me if I’m wrong, but bands whose lyrics center on politics tend to portray a certain kind of image; not the image of a bunch of south Californian thrashers who display themselves in photographs with skulls and candles clad in the stereotypical studded apparel.

The New Age of Terror begins with one of the stronger tracks on the album titled Killswitch, which is a speedy headbanger that features some decent musicianship. Things sound alright right until De Pena’s voice kicks in and everything goes downhill from there. I’m no Simon from American idol and can tolerate some bad vocals, but it’s almost as if De Pena is yelling mindlessly into his microphone. Even when De Pena doesn’t yell, his vocals sound horrendous as you can barely understand anything that is being said aside for when the tiresome and highly repetitive choruses are sung in tunes such as Swords of Steel and Unleash the Dogs of War.

When track seven rolled around on my first spin I felt myself raising my eyebrow and asking myself “Didn’t I hear this song before?”. Well I was half right, because the intro’s to Hell on Earth and Killswitch are virtually the same except for the order of the notes. Once again, the raised eyebrow turned to discontent right as soon as De Pena’s vocals kicked in and the urge to kick my stereo almost took over me.

If your into unoriginal, headache-causing, ear bleeding, garage style thrash metal, then by all means purchase this album. If you are like me, join the fight against The New Age of Terror because no reasonable music lover should fall victim to it.

Killing Songs :
All of them do a great job at killing your ears
Jason quoted 30 / 100
Other albums by Hirax that we have reviewed:
Hirax - Immortal Legacy reviewed by Andy and quoted 75 / 100
Hirax - El Rostro De La Muerte reviewed by Tony and quoted 85 / 100
Hirax - Noise Chaos War reviewed by Tony and quoted no quote
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