Canada certainly has no shortage of fantastic quality music, and the sludgy, messy stoner metal sounds of Hitman only serve to cement Canada’s well-respected place in the world of heavy music.
Having formed back in 2011, Hitman have certainly had an interesting, alcohol-fuelled 7 years. From sharing the stage with bands like Sum 41 and New Found Glory, to having Rob Halford from the almighty Judas Priest wearing their band shirt onstage, this band have truly succeeded in making sure their music does not fall on deaf ears. The band’s love of music combined with their love of drinking has birthed a perfect cocktail of sounds, and when Hitman take to the stage their beefy sound is amplified into a true stoner metal fan’s dream.
Comprising of Jordan Rose on vocals, Corey Norman on guitar, Andrew Coutts on bass and Sylvain Couderre on drums, this four-piece pack a surprisingly hard punch both live and in studio.
Having already released two EP’s over the past years, Hitman blessed us with a new self-released ‘offering’; aptly named ‘The Offering – Side 1’ just last month. The new EP takes leaps and bounds in terms of musical cohesion and refinement, while not taking away the sludgy side of their sound that gives their songs power. Spanning a mere 4 songs, the band have surprisingly managed to cram some damn good riffs into the already impressive tracks. The best part is – this is just the beginning. Hitman have every intention of smashing out a second EP in 2019 called – you guessed it – ‘The Offering – Side 2’.
But, for now, let’s take a look at what ‘Side 1’ contains.
The opening track called Curtain Call wastes no time with pleasantries, jumping straight into a wild and memorable guitar riff. The fast but simplistic drumming of Coderre lends just enough strength to the solid sounds being laid down by Norman and Coutts on guitar and bass. Rose’s vocals are better than ever, busting out his trademark gravelly vocals with even more virtuosity than heard before. Unfortunately, the song finished all too soon, leaving me desperate to delve into the remaining tracks.
Under the Weight has the same rough mannerisms of the previous song, with Rose counting the band into another killer riff. This song has a slightly slower feel to it, but this does nothing to stop the infectious urge to get drunk and throw down in a moshpit. The hook in this song throws another brilliant riff in our faces before drifting into a chilled-out guitar harmony courtesy of Norman’s ingenuity, leading the song to its end.
Taking the place of track 3, Nero boasts the chunkiest sounding riff of the EP so far, melding sludge, stoner and old school metal vibes into something unmistakably Hitman. This song takes a more laid-back approach again, resulting in a song that quite literally rocks and rolls through each verse and chorus. The intermittent guitar backed by a fat bass tone in the hook serves as a turning point, with the band upping the pace and catching the ears of anyone who might have stopped paying attention.
Enchanted Wizard begins with a tapping technique on guitar, followed by Rose screaming a few lines to really get the song pumping. Once more, the band does not disappoint in the “awesome riffs” department. The chorus takes a contrasting sludgy turn in comparison to the verses, before Norman’s shredding solos bring it back to the main riff with expertise. Enchanted Wizard is the perfect song to show to someone who has never heard the band before; it shows in perfect scope the range of genres and uniqueness of sound that Hitman undoubtedly possess.
All in all, ‘The Offering: Side 1’ has left me thirsty for more. While initially I was disappointed in the short duration of the EP, I now realise that it serves it’s purpose in piquing interest and generating excitement for the release of ‘The Offering: Side 2’ next year. In comparison to their previous work, ‘Side 1’ shows exactly how far the band have come since their last release 4 years ago, and gives us an exciting view of where they’re headed next.
Do yourself a favour: take 15 minutes to give ‘The Offering: Side 1’ by Hitman a listen and get keen for their next release!
Pick up your copy of ‘The Offering: Side 1’ HERE!