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8 tablatures for Hirax

Hirax - El Rostro De La Muerte (7/10) - USA - 2009

Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Season Of Mist
Playing time: 50:47
Band homepage: Hirax


  1. Baptized By Fire
  2. Flesh And Blood
  3. Eradicate Mankind
  4. Chaos And Brutality
  5. El Rostro De La Muerte (The Face Of Death)
  6. Blind Faith
  7. Horrified
  8. Battle Of The North
  9. The Laws Of Temptation
  10. Death Militia
  11. Broken Neck
  12. Violent Assault
  13. Cuando Cae La Oscuridad (When Darkness Falls)
  14. Satan’s Fall

If you are a Metalhead, then the name HIRAX may have crossed your reading once or twice in reference to the 80s Thrash Metal movement. If you are a Thrash fan than the name HIRAX may have crossed your path once or twice even, but the band in name is one of those more elusive Thrash Metal acts that you have heard of, but never had the chance to listen to. To their fans, they are the world’s most underrated band, but to the majority of even diehard Metalheads, they are only a name that one simply runs into every so often.


It’s a sad state of affairs for HIRAX, as the band at one point could have been one of the biggest acts of the Thrash Metal world, but simply blurred off into obscurity instead. They have always released solid albums, but nothing that was revolutionary enough to warrant them a spot among the elites of the genre. HIRAX has always been a good band that never really was able to break into greatness.


This is how the story continues with their latest effort, “El Rostro De La Muerte”. Although (once again) another solid effort from a band that won’t die, it’s also another effort that is going to be looked over as fans dig into newer Thrash bands and revived ones that are suddenly re-energized. This is due mostly to the fact that this album doesn’t stick out all that much from its peers. A raw flurry sounding production caps off a usual foray into Thrash Metal history with quick triplet riffs, short and sharp leads/solos, snare-cymbal dosed energetic drums, an oddly mixed but impressive bass part, and shouted Punk influenced vocals. It’s what 80s Thrash was at its foundation and HIRAX does it justice here. The bad part is that, overall, it’s rather unmemorable by the end of the album. It works when it’s playing, guaranteed headbanging when they get going, and energy that pours from every section, but it misses that edge that would make this a classic – modern or throwback. It’s the one thing that HIRAX has always been missing and continues to pine for even in 2010.


So if you are a fan of throwback 80s Thrash, than “El Rostro De La Muerte” will be right up your ally. But for your average Metalhead, Thrash fan or not, this one may not be the right thing you are looking for. I have to give HIRAX respect for never releasing a bad album and continuing on their crusade to bring solid Thrash to the world, but I’m still holding out until the day they simply blow me away.


Songs to check out: “Baptized By Fire”, “El Rostro De La Muerte (The Face Of Death)”, “Horrified.”

(Online May 15, 2010)

Matt Reifschneider

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