Hatchet - Awaiting Evil
Metal Blade
Thrash Metal
9 songs (41:58)
Release year: 2008
Metal Blade
Reviewed by Goat

For all the venom that gets directed at the New Wave of Retro Thrash Metal (© 2008) even the biggest Thrashophobe has to admit that sometimes a band comes along that does it pretty well. Fine, you won’t find anything here that hasn’t been done to death elsewhere, but in terms of simple beer-drinking, head-banging fun, these Thrashers fill a hole that you’re often not aware is even there.

Bay Arena, Californian five-piece Hatchet play Thrash Metal, obviously, a mixture of early Anthrax, early Metallica and early Exodus, with a touch of mid-period Slayer, and for a band that’s only been in existence for two years with what seems like little prior experience this is a great debut. After a mandatory acoustic intro in the shape of Darkening Skies that’s much better than most manage, Frailty Of The Flesh kicks off, riffs piling on riffs as Markus’ old-school vocals come charging in. The production is damn near perfect, sounding dated without damaging the instruments’ sound, and everything from the guitar tone to the audible bass is great. Personally, I’d have preferred having the drums slightly lower in the mix, but it’s a minor quibble.

There’s not a great deal of variety in the songs – fair enough, it’s not exactly aimed at the Prog Metal crowd but it would have been nice to have a few differences to hold on to. As it is, unless you’re very involved in the listen and probably slightly intoxicated you’ll probably find yourself getting bored somewhere around the midway point; it works better as a collection of songs than as an album. However, for as long as it holds your interest Awaiting Evil is pretty good, some nice guitar licks on the likes of Sealed Fate, the foreboding The Dead Will March and the slightly more straightforward assault of Attack Imminent enjoyable without taxing the brain cells overly.

For all that the best releases in Metal today are those that work the mind as well as the neck, back when it all began Thrash was the forefront of today’s ‘intellimetal’ releases, and few can seriously say that they wouldn’t enjoy moments here like the solo in Morlocks Tomb. Ultimately, Hatchet stand out from the scene like a snowflake in a storm, but are good enough at what they do to make this a solid if inessential release.

Killing Songs :
Frailty Of The Flesh, Sealed Fate, Attack Imminent, Storm The Gates, The Dead Will March
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Hatchet that we have reviewed:
Hatchet - Dawn of the End reviewed by Goat and quoted 73 / 100
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