Any self respecting thrash fan out there is undoubtedly familiar with the name Steve “Zetro” Souza. From his early work in Legacy, which became Testament and his time with thrash legends Exodus, to his more recent efforts in Dublin Death Patrol and now Hatriot, there is no denying his proper place in the pantheon of the metal gods.
Hatriot’s newest abomination for Massacre records, Dawn Of The New Centurion, is pretty much a carbon copy of the stellar debut, Heroes Of Origin.
It is quite obvious that Souza is still angry as ever and his “Fuck you if you don’t like it,” attitude comes shinning through in every way possible.
Dawn Of The New Centurion hits like a avalanche, laying waste to everything in its path and has more destructive force than a shotgun blast to the chest at close range. Souza has once again surrounded himself with impressive musicians, including his sons Cody on bass and Nick on drums and the chemistry between them is positively electric.
The album begins with Charlton Heston’s infamous “From My Cold Dead Hands” NRA speech, which gives way to the song bearing the same name. Its old school riffs transporting you back in time to Souza’s days with Exodus and the vintage anthemic sounds of Testament. All the while, Souza’s abrasive sandpaper grit vocals leading the charge.
Whoever inspired “Your Worst Enemy” better watch their back. It and tracks like “Honor The Rise And Fall” and “World Funeral,” are deftly constructed sonic manifestations similar to old school Overkill or David Wayne-era Metal Church that are brimming with moshable moments and scorching white hot solos that burn hotter than the sun.
Lead single “The Fear Within” is a seven-minute monolith driven by Souza’s harsh gargles with a draino rasp with progressive undertones reminiscent of Fates Warning while “Superkillafragsadisticactsaresoatrocious” is a tongue & cheek rocker that modulates between the first two Anthrax albums.
Not only does it have the longest title in recent memory, but guitarists Kosta “V” and Justin Cole play more notes in 60 seconds than some artists play on an entire album.
“Silence in the House of the Lord,” deals with the disturbing subject of pedophile priests and is the second 7 minute epic on the album. This one takes its cues from Nuclear Assault, Annihilator and Testament.
Even at seven minutes it and the third seven minute opus, title track “Dawn Of The New Centurion” never overstay their welcome. The latter channels Souza’s days in Testament, complete with vocal effects and a delivery that rivals Chuck Billy himself and solos as lethal as anything Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson have ever done.
Here’s the bottom line- If you’re a fan of anything Steve Souza has done in the past, Dawn Of The New Centurion is a absolute must, as it far surpasses everything he has done before.
Rating: 9 out of 10