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Album Review: Hitten – Twist of Fate

Hitten shifts in a new direction for their third full-length album, the appropriately titled Twist of Fate. The Spanish group still exerts a slew of blazing drums, acrobatic guitar shredding, and wailing vocals, but they come from a hard rock slant than the high-octane speed metal of their first two outings. Iron Maiden and Metal Church are among the namedropped influences, but reflections from groups like Queen, Van Halen, and Scorpions are the most in your face.

This change could be easily traced to the lead singer switch and he does sound at home on this material. However, it’s clear that he’s not solely responsible for it. The production also takes on a decidedly 80s rock tone as the guitars have a noticeable gloss while retaining massive energy, the drums are speedy and tight without getting too technical, and reverb heavy gang vocals may be just as responsible for delivering hooks as the leads. It’s an amusing chicken or the egg situation that fits together either way.

That homogeny does seep into the songwriting as there isn’t a lot of mood variation beyond rock and rolling all night (and presumable partying every day). Titles like “On the Run” and “In the Heat of the Night” have been used a million times, but the variations here manage to be uplifting and catchy. “Evil Within” promises a more ominous tone with a softer middle break but I find myself wishing that it had committed more to the idea. We should probably be glad they didn’t include a power ballad.

Twist of Fate may be tailored more to your mom’s tastes than those of a speed metal aficionado but it’s admirable to see Hitten go all out in the execution. The album would probably benefit from a more front-loaded track order and perhaps more multidimensional songwriting, but the musicianship is on point and there’s plenty of fun to be had here. I’m not sure how dyed in the wool fans will take this album but it should be a solid introduction for newer listeners.

“On the Run”
“In the Heat of the Night”
“Rocking Out the City”

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