Hitten formed in 2011 in the city of Murcia in the South-East of Spain (near Alicante). The same year the band issued their first demo entitled »Darkness Queen«. Two EPs and one full album, »First Strike With The Devil« (2014), followed before Hitten signed to High Roller Records for their brand vinyl album »State Of Shock«.
With captivating heavy metal songs such as “Don’t Be Late”, “Endless Race” and “Eternal Force” »State Of Shock« is a clear improvement on the band’s rather naïve debut effort. Founding member and guitarist Dani shares this view: “With »State Of Shock we spent more time in the recording studio, that’s for sure. And it was the first time we did the mastering outside of Spain. »First Strike With The Devil« was our first album, and that’s what it conveys. We recorded it in just one week. We are really proud of the result and we love the songs and the whole album of course, but in my opinion you can notice an evolution if you compare it to the second one.”
All in all, »State Of Shock« is indeed a more rounded effort than »First Strike With The Devil«. Dani cites Accept, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon as Hitten’s musical inspiration, as well as US Metal bands such as Fifth Angel, Crimson Glory, Shok Paris and Metal Church.
Quite a few newer Spanish bands namedrop old acts like Baron Rojo, Panzer, Obus, Angeles Del Infierno and Muro as influences. However, if you listen closely to Hitten, not too many Iberian influences are to be found... “No, Hitten doesn’t carry too many influences from those bands,” says Dani. “Maybe a little bit from Muro. We love them and we are proud of them because back in the day they ruled over here in Spain. Also, Baron Rojo was the first heavy metal band which played outside of Spain. But yes, you’re right, as I said before, our influences come from other countries.”
It’s safe to say that on »State Of Shock« all ten songs are more or less of the same high quality. Dani agrees: “That’s true, I’m really happy with the whole album. It sounds perfect for me. But if I had to choose the Top 5 songs on the album, those would be: ‘Can’t Bring Me Down’, ‘Rites Of The Priest’, ‘Endless Race’, ‘Eternal Force’ and ‘Don’t Be Late’.”
One aspect which makes »State Of Shock« stand out is the blistering guitar work by Dani and Johnny. Both are great individual players but they also work together well as a team, taking you back to the glory days of Tipton/Downing and Murray/Smith. “I think it’s more like Murray/Smith,” laughs Dani, “but Johnny is into Yngwie Malmsteen as well, we both also like George Lynch, Paul Gilbert, Wolf Hoffmann and Jake E. Lee.”
Listening to a song like the brilliant “Wrong Side Of Heaven” Hitten’s very fast but also very melodic guitar work is quite astonishing. This song somehow bears slight traces of melodic early Anthrax (with vocalist Aitor Navarro matching Joey Belladonna), circa »Armed And Dangerous« period...
“Thanks so much for your kind words,“ says Dani. “Yeah, why not? We love traditional Anthrax and Joe Belladonna is a great singer. We really like people approaching us and commenting on our songs. We don’t usually compose music reflecting about what the material sounds like, be it Anthrax, Maiden, Priest or whatever. We just play and express what we feel inside.”
For regular festival-goers here In Europe it’s quite obvious that there are always a lot of traveling Spanish fans attending events such as Brofest or Headbanger’s Open Air. Are those fans supporters of Hitten as well? How large is the band’s actual fan base? “Yeah, of course!” beams Dani. “They have supported us from the very beginning. In Spain, all metalheads know each other. Our fan base is getting bigger and bigger. Actually, we have more fans in the rest of Europe than in Spain. This is because we have been focussing on touring around Europe, in Spain we just did a few shows. With the second album we will make a special tour around our country to spread the word and gain more fans at home.”