With their sights unerringly on giving heavy rock and metal fans a rousing sound to erupt with, Canada’s Hitman release their third EP in the shape of The Offering: Side 1. With Side 2 scheduled for release next year, the first four track encounter is an attention grabbing slab of stoner metal ferocity blended with classic and fresh essences of rock and metal. It is a mixture which has a familiarity as potent as the individuality it breeds and most of all a concoction which incites thick enjoyment as neck muscles keeps busy and the body bounces.
Hailing out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Hitman emerged in 2011 and has earned a fine reputation for their sound, releases, and a voracious live presence. The band was the brainchild of drummer Sylvain Coderre who linked up with long-time friend and vocalist Jordan Rose initially before the duo were joined by bassist Andrew Coutts. Subsequently the line-up was completed by guitarist Corey Norman. 2013 saw the release of debut EP, Whiskey Downfall; its successor, The Preacher, dropping the following year and sparking even greater awareness and praise of the band with a re-release in 2015. All the while gigs and festival appearances escalated their reputation; headlining the Maritime Metal and Hard Rock Fest in Nova Scotia and playing the Warped Tour in New York in 2016 major highlights. Now the band is aiming for broader attention with The Offering; intent easy to see breeding success.
Their inspirations are said to include the likes of Black Sabbath, Corrosion of Conformity, Clutch, Pantera, and Down; influences you could maybe guess listening to the new EP. They are spices though which adds to its potency rather than defusing its individuality. You can debate whether it makes for a sound which is unique enough to make a truly major impact but as release opener Curtain Call proves it all makes for one seriously appetising proposal commanding attention. The first track initially unleashes a defined rally of beats which swiftly sparks grooved tendrils and rapacious riffs aligned to a great bass grumble. There is equally a grainy growl to the vocals of Rose which in turn ignites an even more potent snarl to the already captivating proposition. Short but a sweet snare of rock ‘’n’ roll with a sludge hued spicing to its stoner liquor, the track quickly and increasingly had ears and appetite gripped
There is no dismissing those Pantera/Down essences to the track though in some ways its heavy rock drawl reminds of now demised Northern Irish band Triggerman while the following Under The Weight openly wears its Sabbath influence especially when it makes its punchy entrance, rich riffs to the fore. Intoxicating grooves are swiftly woven as beats land with creative zeal, the track a magnetic web of enterprise where maybe surprises are understated but the freshness of sonic and melodic endeavour is all 80% proof fresh.
Next up, Nero is grooved entangled rock ‘n’ roll also proving very easy to be hooked upon, the track an inescapable lure of flaming guitar, bass predation, and vocal enticement. Its blues lining and sonic sighs add sonic firewater to magnetic rhythmic temptation, tempting escalated by the smouldering grizzled grouch of the bass and Coderre’s irrepressible exploits.
Enchanted Wizard/ Hail The Outro bring things to a close, its wiry tendrils leading to a hellacious outcry before once more grooves simply entwine and seduce ears. Classic metal instincts dance on the senses before the band springs a stoner bred canter, all the while embracing and evolving things with those initial essences and perpetually lighting up the imagination and the intensity of the pleasure found in the exhilarating tapestry.
It maybe only four tracks but side 1 of The Offering is a rich and thick morsel of rock ‘n’ roll. It may not be overtly unique but it is mightily damn good and we for one always have a hankering for that kind of sonic intoxicant.
The Offering: Side 1 is out now, available @ https://hitmanhalifax.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 24/09/2018
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