Hirax: Immortal Legacy

Californian thrash originals still determined to leave their mark

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While Hirax remain an obscure thrash name, they were pioneers of the Californian scene as contemporaries of Metallica and Slayer. Time and events may have left them behind, but if you crave uncomplicated, primal thrash, Immortal Legacy is a breath of musty, potent air.

Led by vocalist Katon W De Pena, the last original member, they hit high-speed momentum on Black Smoke and scarcely let up.

What makes this work is the communication between Katon, whose vocals are more in the power metal vein, and guitarist Lance Harrison, who matches brutal riffage with sophisticated solos. He even gets to show his softer leanings on the instrumental Atlantis (Journey To Atlantis).

The album moves along at a head-clanking rate but nothing ever sounds rushed or pushed too far. Quality songs like Victims Of The Dead, Earthshaker and Deceiver really bring back thoughts of thrash’s 80s heyday; Hirax represent that spirit better than most of their peers.