Hitten – Triumph & Tragedy (High Roller Records)Friday, 10th December 2021
Building a steady interest throughout the past decade, Spain’s Hitten straddle the lines of classic metal, melodic hard rock, and a bit of thrash for their previous EP’s and albums. Now arriving at their fourth record, Triumph & Tragedy featured remote recording across Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands due to pandemic lockdown factors. Professionalism yields ideal results – as most listeners will not notice any loss of quality or attention to detail in this set of material, as there are plenty of catchy headbangers and memorable tracks to treasure for this outing.
The opening tom rolls and dazzling guitar/bass interplay for “Built to Rock” get the record off to an energetic start – the gang-minded chorus displaying 80’s arena memories at the height of that popularity. When choosing to be bluesy in a down and dirty manner, you get “Meant to Be Mean” where singer Alexx Panza stretches out some of his register into older Robert Plant/David Coverdale-like charm that oozes class and sensuality. These musicians study the art of proper power, melodic and driving riffs and matching them up to riveting vocals – spicing it up with the right call to action hooks or melodies. “Hard Intentions (Secret Dancer)” for instance contains a lot of the spirit of classic Dokken in terms of the vocal/guitar/groove match up, the solo building to a frenzy with the right twin accents – while “Under Your Spell” has that stairstep acoustic additions, keyboard/wind effects, and understated verse to powerhouse, big chorus that fans of Striker, old Elegy, or Queensrÿche applaud heartily. Expect plenty of virtuoso guitar action from Dani Meseguer and Johnny Lorca – “Light Beyond the Darkness” and “Eyes Never Lie” two excellent samples of their skills from rhythms to dual lightning activities. Although most of the songs are of a shorter, radio-friendly three to four-minute variety, the closing title track at over eleven-minutes illustrates a love of Iron Maiden, Helloween, Savatage and the like – adventurous instrumental sections with guitar/bass intricacies, an about face atmospheric tempo change, and all the normal pomp and circumstance tricks to keep listeners engaged from start to finish.
Hitten continues to be one of the current acts aligning well for those who miss traditional heavy metal with power, sophistication, and focus. Triumph & Tragedy is a crank it up effort that alleviates anything weighing you down, allowing you to just enjoy the music, feel good, and live for the movement of the genre.