It almost feels like it was 1980's again, as Italian thrashers H.O.S. (short for Harvester Of Sorrow) fire their first full length load of bullets. Prior to the debut album 'The Beginning', the band have released a couple of demos and seem to have been quite active in the live circuit in their homeland. So are their bullets red hot or are they firing blanks?
'The Beginning' includes ten songs (one being a shortish intro) of old school thrash metal. Basically, H.O.S.'s one foot is firmly placed in the USA. Atrophy, Forbidden and Heathen are just a few names coming to my mind when listening to this one, but certainly not Metallica, as the band's name might suggest. H.O.S. have a more rocking side too them, like 'Road Madness' shows, even though the song is pure thrash metal anyways. However, crossover is something their thrash is devoid of. Kreator are a huge influence to these Italians. Some guitar soloing and riff writing is close to late 1980's / early 1990's Kreator. Generally, it comes as no surprise, that H.O.S. aren't quite as angry-sounding or jaw-dropping as those legendary bands. Reproductions rarely are. However, H.O.S. have still managed to pen some tasty riffage and songs, even though it's all surely more or less recycled, and some junk bits can be found, too. There's evil atmosphere in some of the songs (Italy's Necrodeath certainly come to mind at times), there are some fast blasters, and balls to the wall anger throughout the platter, so it won't get too boring.
If the music is an all right duplicate of the 80's thrash metal, also soundwise this is quite "back in the day". However, the sound is too dry, and it feels like it's missing some atmosphere, but then again, the guitars sound ripping and tom drums like empty fucking human skulls! The band sound pretty tight, and that's because they have played quite a lot of live shows. The vocalist Dado's (also rhythm guitar) evil voice reminds a lot of Kreator's Mille Petrozza, especially 'Coma of Souls' (1990) times. However, he utilizes snarling much further than Mille. The vocals are totally love or hate affair, and I personally found them perfect. He sounds like a man who has been drinking too much radioactive water. The lyrical side consists of social criticism and violence. What a surprise?! Anyway, grammar and some sentence structures are just badly done. This is too typical for many bands from Italy for some reason. There's some real effort in cover art, but it still ditches into immature levels.
This is a good attempt in old school thrash for sure. It does not reach the heights of legendary albums, but that's almost the unbreakable law nowadays. I find 'The Beginning' to be listenable enough, so if you want some Mille-ish vocals on good enough songs, why not give it a try.
Rating: 6½ (out of 10) ratings explained
Reviewed by Lane