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May 23, 2024

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Barrage of Noise (Deep Six Records)

By: Jeb Branin

This is the first full length from the reformed HIRAX - it follows a 7" picture disc released earlier this year called "El Diablo Negro". I was a bit disappointed to see that other than Katon the rest of the original members of the band have left again. Not that it really matters since Katon is to HIRAX what Lemmy is to MOTORHEAD. I have to hand it to HIRAX - this is a great album. Since their popularity over the years has been maintained in large part due to the power violence scene's obsession with them, I fully expected HIRAX to try and make a power violence record. They didn't. They made a HIRAX record. Their unique flavor of rapid-fire thrash metal is 100% intact. The appeal of HIRAX has always been rooted in the incongruous mixture of Katon's melodic voice and bloody raw thrash, which is exactly what "Barrage of Noise" has to offer. Best of all HIRAX has also managed to make an album that is more than just a tribute to themselves. Sure there are some classic HIRAX moments here (the title track for instance) but this is definitely a new piece of the HIRAX legacy. There are some slower and more melodic moments on the CD that took me a bit by surprise (especially after the mind numbing speed displayed on the picture disc) but after repeated listens I have grown to appreciate them as well. I think fans both old and new will be pleased.15
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