Hittman – Destroy All Humans Review

Written By: Nameless N00b_23

No Remorse records 2020

There’s a secret art to writing a good song. It’s an art that cannot easily be taught and ultimately everyone must seek this riddle of steel alone. ‘Tis foretold that those who find it will come to wield great power. To ride as mighty warriors across the meadows of metal upon majestic steeds. Enter New York’s Hittman who have been honing their particular brand of US Power Metal since the early ’80s and it’s after years of testing their mettle on this fabled quest that they deliver unto us their latest offering: the strangely titled Destroy All Humans. Many may have thought them lost to the annals of time since their last outing 27 years ago but they arise again to bring chromium-plated heavy metal to the hungry masses. But can their brand of hot ‘n heavy USPM deliver unto us that aforementioned elusive art? Do they have what it takes to move us, wake us, and shake us?

The short answer is: yes. After a synth-driven and moody intro the title track launches into a razor-sharp and riff-plated cut that takes no prisoners and lets us know that Hittman are back and they’re here to stay. From the beginning, the outstanding quality of the group’s third full-length offering is apparent: that of its consistent and dynamic songwriting. It’s the realization of an artform that no amount of chops can make up for and it brings us songs that are executed with intentionality by musicians with ears that are attuned to hooks that sink deep and keep me chained to this monolith ‘o metal. Here you have it all, from the hot riffing of the title track and the earworm “Total Amnesia” to the dramatic orchestration and almost arena-rock qualities of cuts like “The Ledge” and “Love, The Assassin.”

The musicianship of the band elevates the well-rounded songs to new heights. The interplay between the chord-progressions and the vocal melodies are impressive and do a lot to keep the momentum of the songs while the old drum and bass lay down a strong foundation and groove for the rest to stand on. However, as the record progresses it’s apparent that Destroy All Humans is not without its flaws. Hittman know how to do one thing and do it very well, but that’s all that they do. For some 40 minutes. No matter how well crafted, there’s only so many times my ears can absorb the same style and format of songs before they start to clock out. It eventually becomes apparent that what Hittman have in songwriting skills they lack in editorial ability.

This lack of editing hurts the album more than it deserves as there are many good things to find on Destroy All Humans. Songs like “The Ledge,” “Love, The Assassin” and “Total Amnesia” are on par with any of the greats in the genre and they will return in my daily rotation for weeks to come. Singer Dirk Kennedy elevates each song for every melody he weaves with his sweet, sweet voice and the solid bass performance by Greg Bier brings new shades to the riffs slung by his ax-wielding brothers. All is beefed up by the sleek yet punchy production which brings the drum performance forward to provide a sense of heft and fat that adds a much-needed edge to the otherwise melodic songs.

There can be no argument that Hittman does what they set out to do on Destroy All Humans. They display a mastery of the songwriting craft and musicianship that only veterans of their caliber can. There’s nothing truly wrong with this slab and although it deserves a much better album cover, Destroy All Humans is a solid effort crafted with precision and intention. However, the group’s lack of ambition to venture beyond the paths they already mastered leaves us with a set of songs that don’t distinguish themselves from one another enough to make the full journey engaging. There’s just as much filler padding out Destroy All Humans as there is killer to elevate it, and although that filler is much more competent than entire albums from other bands, the fact remains that it’s just two or three songs too long.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: No Remorse Records
Website: facebook.com/hittmanmetal
Releases Worldwide: September 25th, 2020

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