Before HIRAX were one serious motherfucker of a Thrash Metal band that more and and more stretched out into Hardcore-crossover territories, they released one of the best non-british NWOBHM recordings: This four track demo tape from 1984!
I had ordered this after I read about it in one of the underground magazines. The name HIRAX sounded so damn great. There were other bands with neologism, like AMEBIX or EXXOR (whose name was directly inspired by HIRAX) and they all had to have at least one “X” in the name.
The four songs on this demo â€“ how could I possibly put into words what they mean to me. “Born in the Streets” opens up the reign and you can’t get the riff out of your head again, once you heard it. And let’s face it: Katon’s vocals add all the extra sugar on top of it. I can’t understand why some people were so put off by his singing, because, seriously: It fucking rules. And so the other three songs too totally live off his unique voice. “Battle Cry” is just perfect, “Stand and be counted” will have you sing along soon and “Believe in the King” starts off with a cheesy intro only to blast off into one monster of a song.
I first thought about adding some rehearsal tracks to illustrate how HIRAX quickly added a lot of muscle and became a Thrash Metal outfit almost over night. But let’s save these tapes for some other time round, when I have more time to go into the NWOBHM / Thrash transition-theme again.
In the meantime, download these four songs in the best quality you will ever hear them. This goes out to Marco Suremann, wherever you are. And thanks to Dave from Rocket Sciene for selling me his copy of the demo, after I had lost my own copy along the way.