Thrash metal veterans HIRAX's latest studio album, "The New Age of Terror", will be released May 18 on Black Devil Records and Deep Six Records on CD and limited-edition picture-disc formats.
Upon hearing the raw tracks, which were recorded at another studio, producer Michael Rozon (MELVINS, ADRENALINE OD) and the band decided the quality wasn't up to HIRAX's standards. Rozon offered to re-record all of the tracks at his studio, Speed Semen Clove Factory, in North Hollywood, Calif. HIRAX decided to accept Rozon's offer and entered his studio to record the 11 songs over again, even though it meant pushing back their original release date of late February.
"We only had four days to record and mixing and mastering was another five days," vocalist Katon W. De Pena said. "We just didn’t have the luxury of spending a month or two in the studio. We were recording 12 hours a day. The record needs to be available to the fans in time for our upcoming tour."
"The band was very admirable in having the guts to listen to me when I heard the basic tracks and suggested that we re-cut the entire album," producer Rozon said. "A lot of people don’t have the will to go back and redo the whole thing again, but HIRAX did."
Although the recording session was extremely fast, HIRAX did not stray from the strict standards and ultra-tight musicianship they are known for. "We practiced for two weeks and then went straight into the studio," said De Pena. "HIRAX also did a lot of pre-production to make things run smoother. Michael (Rozon) knew how to get the best out of us. He made us work 100 percent on every song."
"I made sure they nailed everything so that the production would be tight and powerful," said Rozon. "Definitely one of the fastest records I’ve ever done, but we were all on the same page from the get go. There weren't any conflicts about what we were going to do."
"The New Age of Terror" was recorded the old school way on two-inch tape using 24-track studio analog. "We would never do anything on record that we couldn’t reproduce live," De Pena said. "What you hear is what you get. We believe in playing heavy metal/thrash metal with roots."
"The New Age of Terror" is said to be "an exciting amalgamation of the thrash style on HIRAX's mid-'80s Metal Blade releases 'Raging Violence' and 'Hate, Fear and Power' combined with a powerful, technical edge."
The title track, "The New Age of Terror", was written with two themes in mind. "There was a music journalist who described our sound as being 'The New Age of Terror,' " De Pena said. "All of the wars that are going on in this world over oil and religion inspired the lyrics as well. As soon as I heard the main riff that Glenn came up with, I had the idea for the song."
HIRAX will begin a tour for "The New Age of Terror" in late April with festival appearances in California, Illinois, Sweden, and two festivals in Germany. The band will also play Italy, Belgium, and Holland this summer. U.S. and Japanese tours are in the works.
"The New Age of Terror" track listing:
01. Kill Switch
02. Hostile Territory
03. The New Age of Terror
04. Swords of Steel
05. Into the Ruins
06. Massacre of the Innocent
07. Hell on Earth
09. El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)
10. El Diablo Negro
11. Unleash the Dogs of War (Open the Gates)
Tour dates are as follow:
Apr. 30 - The Coffee Machine - Reseda, CA (Thrash 'Em All Festival)
May 01 - The Coffee Machine - Reseda, CA (Thrash 'Em All Festival)
May 15 - JJ Kelley's - Lansing, IL (Classic Metal Festival)
Jun. 12 - Sweden Rock Festival - Solvesborg, SWE
Jun. 19 - John McLaren Park Amphitheatre - San Francisco, CA (Tidal Wave 666 Festival)
Jul. 10 - Headbangers Open Air Festival - GER
Jul. 24 - Metal Bash Open Air Festival - GER