I suppose it follows the law of diminishing
returns. A post-millennium proliferation of Thrash bands has inevitably regaled
us with a fair share of albums that sounded insipid or clinical. Once in a
while, however, I do discover bands that inspire me to get my air guitar out of
its dusty case and go back to nodding like a human jackhammer.
Into the latter context step Hidden Intent, a 3-piece from Australia that follow
in the footsteps of Anthrax, Nuclear Assault, early Megadeth, Sacred
Reich....hence you’ve got compositions based on staccato-type riffing, a
pummeling rhythm section, furious guitar solos and ‘clean’ but screaming vocals.
What’s not to like? Hidden Intent sound incredibly tight and their songwriting
is almost spot on. Bassist/lead vocalist Chris McEwen peppers his Joey
Belladonna style of singing with some impressive King Diamond screams. I wonder
if he can do that live.
“Walking Through Hell” even possesses the self-deprecating humour of many 1980s
Thrash bands (Anthrax, S.O.D., Tankard, Lawnmower Deth) – check out the final
seconds of ‘Black Hole’ or the cheerily preposterous ‘Bass Wankage’, a 52-second
instrumental track consisting solely of bass guitar.
At the end of the day, “Walking Through Hell” doesn’t provide any valid
contribution to this music genre. It’s more of a loving tribute to a bygone era.
But if any of the (admittedly many) names I’ve dropped in the review strike a
chord with you, then you might not want to miss this.