It’s not often that an up and coming band gets praise from one of their all time heroes. So when Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine championed Hazzerd alongside Power Trip as a promising thrash hopefuls on a Gimme Radio feature, people took note. He also included Hazzerd on his personal list of record collection picks around the same time as Toryin Schadlich (Guitars), Dylan Westendorp (Drums/Lead Vocals), David Sprague (Bass) and Brendan Malycky (Guitars) entered Calgary’s MCC Recording Studio to record their sophomore effort “Delirium”. The album features artwork by Bouzikov and was mixed and mastered by Johnny Gasparic (Into Eternity).
Opening with a classic example of Thrash Metal at its finest in “Sacrifice Them (In The Name Of God)“, a song with all the trademark elements of the genre, Hazzerd gallop at a pace with a couple of classically framed solos. Speaking of a false God being a master of puppets (pun intended) as it blazes its trail it sets things up nicely. Appearing as a pre-release single in November, “A Tormented Reality” reminds you that you can’t live in the past or dream of a life you never had without being lost in Mental Health struggles. There are a few Megadeth isms here and a few Pizza Thrash ideas but there isn’t that comedic element that perhaps you might expect. Instead it’s a straight up clenched fist fair. “Illuminated Truth” has a wonderful funky bass line from Sprague that has something of The Offspring about it as it cuts a line to the main vein with a bit of that Punk speed in the nitro. Another song front loaded with ripping solos and enough head banging moments to snap your head clean off its mount, it’s a fun adrenaline blast.
As you might have anticipated from its title “Victim Of A Desperate Mind” is about the dance with death of a paranoid mind, another classic Thrash lyrical theme. Westendorp is a lyrical vulture that is tearing at the flesh of his victim laying helpless on the ground while surrounded by a whirlwind of riffs, bright leads and face melting solos. If you’re a fan of “Sweating Bullets” era Megadeth then this is right up your street. “Call Of TheVoid” is perhaps the surprise of the album in that it has Progressive influences and combines both acoustic and electric guitar in an ethereal way, interweaving and building patiently before it’s mid song burst into some more energetic layers. The intriguing part of it is that there is actually space within the intrumental for vocals. So maybe there will be a Part II at a later date. “Dead In The Shed” is a tongue in cheek humour warning against the use of LSD with some hilarious lyrical moments that ends up being a stand out as a result. The call “Shred in the Shed!” just before a crazy solo is brilliant and with riff after quality riff, you couldn’t ask for more.
“Sanctuary For The Mad” could well be one of those songs that you see coming from Trivium guitarist Matt Heafy as a cover. An introduction riff with some IronMaiden influences that come back at various points throughout, this one wears its heart on its sleeve. Opening with a riff that sounds like it belongs in a Western “Waking Nightmare” builds into some Thrash versions of Metalcore riffs in a powerhouse display that has an off kilter whammy bar solo. Another fine addition, it maintains the high quality out put and ensures it’s all Killer no Filler. Taking things bigger picture “The Decline” talks of the age of the decline with Mankind being decimated by Technology and Government brainwashing the youth. It’s a cautionary tale that has more than a ring of truth about it while leaving us wondering if drumming lead vocalist Westendorp records the vocals at the drum stool or in a vocal booth. “The End (Outro)” develops on the ideas of “Call Of The Void” as the bands second instrumental on the album. Some breathtaking acoustic moments perhaps could see the band doing a full acoustic album at a later date [8/10]
Sacrifice Them (In The Name Of God)
A Tormented Reality
Sanctuary For The Mad
Victim Of A Desperate Mind
Call Of The Void (Instrumental)
Dead In The Shed
The End (Outro) (Instrumental)
“Delerium” by Hazzerd is out 24th January via M-Theory Audio and available for pre-order over at bandcamp