I think it's going to be impossible to listen to this and NOT think of the Toxic Waltz, so let's get that reference out of the way right off the bat. Hatriot is Steve Souza's latest project that features his sons Cody (bass) and Nick (drums), joined by Miguel Esparza and Kosta V on guitars, respectively. and oh, what a project it is.

43 minutes of blistering, pissed-off, hyper-American old-school thrash metal is... just the way thrash should be. And not for nothing, how fucking cool is it when your dad was the singer for Exodus and is now in a band with you? So jealous of those two. But I digress. Heroes of Origin simply kills it from beginning to end.

The album is, if anything, underproduced. It's reminiscent of those older Exodus and Slayer albums. You'll hear mistakes from time to time, I did on first listen. The mistakes give the album character, sort of a feel that this was recorded live. In a studio, definitely, but live nonetheless. Like you're sitting in on a band practice. Therein lies the charm of this album.

The songs themselves are typical thrash fare- songs about war, murder, death, destruction, and the collapse of everything we know and love. Zetro's snarling delivery feels like the cradling home of 1988 for me, but it's underscored by an updated and intense package of songwriting that, while at times borrows from Slayer and the Bay-area thrash bands, has an identity of its own. Some of the riffing reminds me of The Haunted in parts, but without the melodic death metal harmonies. This doesn't get stale, it doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. It's fast and angry, there are no slow songs or attempts to deviate from the template. It's designed to make your ears bleed- red, white, and blue, of course.

I had to put that in there, it just fit too well. But still, as much as I rolled my eyes at the name and themes and was prepared to be like, 'Murica, whatever, I was actually headbanging all over the place to this.