Hirax Immortal Legacy on LP
Hirax began in Los Angeles, CA in 1984, but because of the weak metal scene in their area, they spent most of their time playing in San Francisco along with Slayer, Metallica, and Exodus, who were all part of the exciting new metal emerging from the Bay area. The original lineup consisted of Katon W. De Pena (vocals), Bob Savage (guitar), Gary Monardo (bass), and Brian Keith (drums).
They released their debut four-song demo in 1984. Their songs at the time were more similar to metal bands like Saxon, Tygers of Pan Tang, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and the new wave of British heavy metal. This demo was widely circulated and the band became known and respected worldwide through the metal tape trading underground.
Hirax issued their first full-length recording in 1985 on Metal Blade entitled Raging Violence. The band’s combination of the heaviness of metal and the speed of hardcore became known as “crossover.” Bands such as Corrosion of Conformity, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, and Cryptic Slaughter were all part of this new scene, but Katon W. De Pena’s upper-range clean vocals stood out from the pack and Hirax soon gained a rabid following.
Hirax released a second album for Metal Blade in 1986 titled Hate, Fear, And Power. The band had been through a lot by this time, constantly touring and underwent some changes in the line-up, but they continued on releasing the 3-song demo Blasted In Bangkok in 1987. Disillusioned by the music industry, De Pena left Hirax at the end of 1988 and he was briefly replaced by Exodus frontman Paul Baloff. This lineup didn't last long and by 1989, Hirax was no more.
For the next 8 years, De Pena continued to support the underground, working at record labels and stores. He was never far from the music that he grew up with and played. The reunion of Hirax was put into motion in 1997 when their friends in the band Spazz asked them to be on a split 7". Hirax decided to use the third song ("Dying World (Shock)") from the Blasted In Bangkok demo and the single was released on Pessimer-Theologian Records. The record found its way to a whole new generation of underground music fans and generated a buzz about the band once again.
The original line-up (Katon W. De Pena, Johnny Tabares, and Gary Monardo) reunited in 2000 and released EP El Diablo Negro. This was the first release on Black Devil Records, De Pena's label, and Deep Six Records. Hirax had come full circle at this point, redefining their sound with a combination of speed and aggression similar to their early style.
In 2001, the band followed up El Diablo Negro with Barrage Of Noise, which received critical acclaim all over the world, putting Hirax back on the map and introducing them to a whole new audience of thrash metal fans. 2004's The New Age of Terror and 2009's El Rostro de la Muerte followed with a new line-up featuring De Pena and lead guitarist Lance Harrison, bassist Steve Harrison, and drummer Jorge Iacobellis.
Produced by Bill Metoyer (Armored Saint, Slayer, Wasp), Hirax's newest full-length offering, Immortal Legacy, features guest appearances by Jim Durkin (Dark Angel), Juan Garcia (Agent Steel, Evildead) and Rocky George (Suicidal Tendencies, Fishbone) and contains what Katon calls "14 new raging thrash metal songs that will make you bang your head...This is our most epic-sounding record to date, sonically powerful and over the top."
Hirax Immortal Legacy Track Listing:
1. Hellion Rising
2. The Conquests
I. Thunder Roar
II. La Boca De La Bestia - Mouth Of The Beast
3. Mass Hysteria
4. Tied To The Gallows Pole
5. Atlantis - Journey To Atlantis (instrumental)
6. Victims Of The Dead
7. Black Smoke
8. Sign Of The Wolf
9. Immortal Legacy
10. Violence Of Action
13. Earthshaker (Instrumental)
14. The World Will Burn (Suffer The World)