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Review: Hirax - Raging Violence
Raging Violence

Label: Armageddon Label
Year released: 2023
Originally released in: 1985
Duration: 30:52
Tracks: 14
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: March 31, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Raging Violence

Rated 3.4/5 (68%) (5 Votes)

Raging Violence is the 1985 debut album from thrash/speed metal merchants Hirax and along with the band’s second album, 1986’s Hate, Fear and Power, it is getting a vinyl re-release courtesy of Armageddon Label. This is another album I was aware of back in the day but never bothered with, probably due to the cover art which gave me the impression the music contained within the sleeve was probably not my cup of tea. Turns out, that was the right call as Hirax played very fast, very chaotic thrash metal, so fast and so chaotic that I find parts of it nearly unlistenable even today. I hear a lot of very early Megadeth and Exodus in Hirax’s sound, notably the sheer number of notes the lead guitarist crams into each bar of songs like "Warlord’s Command" or "Call of the Gods". That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if the notes go with the song, but it doesn’t always sound that way on Raging Violence, where it is often lead licks from all over the place. The drummer abuses his snare, overshadowing the toms and cymbals and singer Katon de Pena’s clear shout should work for this kind of thrash, but he apparently had a couple of go-to vocal lines he liked, and he hits them over and over and over to the point where I struggle to tell one song from the next. Between de Pena’s monotonous singing and the band jamming so fast and furious, there’s little room left for much melody and precious few hooks. Once again, I feel like I’m down on an album I’m sure some regard as a classic, but the songwriting and performances have little of the depth or vibrancy of Hirax’s peers. If you love Raging Violence already, I’m sure my review isn’t going to change your mind but in the same breath, you can have it as I don’t think it is anything special.

Other related information on the site
Review: El Rostro de la Muerte (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Hate, Fear and Power (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Noise Chaos War (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Raging Violence (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with vocalist Katon W. De Pena on March 15, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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