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UNITED STATES, California, Cypress

Date Formed 1/Jan/1984

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Categories: Crossover, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal


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An undisputed underground Thrash legend. Buena Park, California's HIRAX was created in 1984 by vocalist Katon W. DePena, bassist Gary Monardo, guitarist Bob Savage and drummer Brian Keith from the defunct L.A. KAOS and KGB. The obligatory first demo was a much sought after item on the tape trading scene. Co-produced by the band and Y&T guitarist Joey Alves, the tape contained four tracks of Power Metal muscle and HIRAX made further inroads with a track on the compilation album 'Metal Massacre VI'.

The debut HIRAX album, October 1985's 'Raging Violence', with drummer John Tabares, was a solid display of intense metal marred by a weak production. Soon after recording Tabares was asked to leave and the band drafted in ex-D.R.I. man Eric Brecht for the 'Hate, Fear And Power' mini album. HIRAX garnered much laudable press but DePena quit to form PHANTASM, an act comprising of former METALLICA bassist Ron McGoveney, HIRAX refugee John Tabares on drums and guitarists Rodney Nicholson and Carlos Guaico. Drummer Gene Hoglan, later of DARK ANGEL and TESTAMENT fame, also had a term with PHANTASM. Brecht subsequently returned with TWO BIT THIEF.

Following vocalist Paul Ballof's departure from EXODUS the band rehearsed with Ballof for a short while until his departure to form PIRANHA.

The band persevered with erstwhile CORRUPTION singer Billy Wedgeworth. Before too long Monardo walked out and HIRAX folded. Brecht joined DEATH and ATTITUDE.

An attempt to revive the name with De Pena and Tabare was attempted in late 1987 and resulted in the original line-up of the band reforming and recording a three track demo in 1988. Tracks from this tape emerged on the 'Blasted In Bankok' single.

DePena, Tabare, Owen and Monardo finally reformed HIRAX in 2000. HIRAX returned to the recording studio to cut their comeback 'Barrage Of Noise' opus. Joining DePena for these sessions would be PRODIGAL SON guitarist James Joseph Hubler, guitarist Justin Lent from Colorado Punk act CLUSTERFUX and drummer Nick Sieblinger. Guitarist Jimmy Durkin of DARK ANGEL and DREAMS OF DAMNATION joined the new line up in September 2001.

The band restructured itself yet again to consist of consisted of DePena, Hubler and Durkin with the TCHILDRES rhythm section of bassist Mike Brickman and drummer Dan Bellinger. However, Bellinger quit to forge BACKMASK in union with ex-DEVILDRIVER guitarist Evan Pitts and ead vocalist/guitarist Shane McFee (son of DOOBIE BROTHERS guitarist John McFee). In June 2003 HIRAX was joined by bassist Angelo Espino, a scene veteran citing credits with PREDATOR, L.S.N., DISSENTER, UNCLE SLAM and REVEREND. This version of the band cut the 'New Age Of Terror' for Mausoleum Records.

HIRAX announced touring plans for European dates in early 2005 in partnership with INFERNAL MAJESTY. That March, former HIRAX members guitarist Bob Savage, bassist Gary Monardo and drummer Johnny Tabares joined forces with ex-WARGOD singer Robbie Perkins in a reformed version of their pre-HIRAX band COLD BLOOD, albeit going under the moniker WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

German Heavy Metal band POWERGOD cut a cover version of 'Bombs Of Death' for inclusion on their 'Long Live The Loud - That's Metal Lesson II' released through Massacre Records in July 2005. On 9th July 2005 HIRAX lined up at The Pound outdoor amphitheatre in San Francisco alongside TESTAMENT, VICIOUS RUMORS, LÄÄZ ROCKIT, DREAMS OF DAMNATION, AGENT STEEL, DEKAPITATOR, MUDFACE, NEIL TURBIN, BROCAS HELM and IMAGIKA for the 'Thrash Against Cancer' benefit.

Gigs in Japan would be scheduled for November but on the eve of these shows the band imploded, with Glenn Rogers, Dave Watson, Angelo Espino and Dave Chedrick all walking out en masse. In early 2006 HIRAX announced the return of original drummer John Tabares and the addition of ELECTRIC FUNERAL guitarist Lance Harrison to the group's ranks. In March Glenn Rogers rejoined the fold as the band re-formulated itself once again, a new rhythm section comprising bassist bassist Steve Harrison and drummer Fabricio Raveli.

HIRAX acted as support to the January / February 2007 DESTRUCTION, INTO ETERNITY and MUNICIPAL WASTE North American tour. Drummer Fabricio Ravelli exited in April.

SelfmadeGod Records issued the DVD 'Thrash And Destroy' on 30th June 2008, filmed live at Kit IX in Lauda and the 'Metal Forces Nights' in Lörrach. Working with producer John Haddad, the year closed with writing sessions for the album 'El Rostro De La Muerte.

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