Hot Zone - COVIgnorant

In these turbulent times, we’ve seen a lot of reactionary music for 2020. Many metal groups have created albums to reflect the darker side of the political and social aspect of living in a global pandemic world in the last few years, sometimes on the literal, biting side and others on the somewhat hilarious, tongue in cheek yet still driving a point home. USA based group Hot Zone hailing from Philly (and not to be confused wit the blues/ rock group Hot Zone Band), take their first EP cleverly titled “COVIgnorant” and use a healthy mix of samples, thrash, and even touches of ska and nu-metal (Limp Bizkit flavored) to get their point across with humor and enjoyable music.

The thrash elements are raw and very basic- pretty much punk laden riffs with buried drums and shouted vocals to make their point. The opening track ‘I Tell Ya’ pretty much sums up the sound of Hot Zone- think Municipal Waste meets the ‘fuck everything’ attitude of Limp Bizkit’s first few albums. Although the track is pretty silly, there is some truth to what is said being the track is based off of a lot of people who put their lives in danger for working, or just trying to get by, with a pandemic going on, and a small percentage of people who don’t reap all the benefits. So there is a lot to relate to. Other tracks like ‘I Get No Respect…’ features samples of funny, but all too familiar stand off with officers, so again, a very real track for the current times. Musically though, Hot Zone doesn’t really deviate between styles for their tracks, somewhat in the way Suicidal Tendencies or Slayer can tend to sound the same after about halfway through their albums.

‘I Bought A Cemetery…’ is the only track that really stands out compared to the rest of the faster thash/ punk pieces, simply from its very dark opening and foreboding, slower pace. At the same time, it feels like a direct cut from Pantera’s ‘Cemetery Gates’; maybe that was intentional, but the Black Sabbath direction is a welcome addition, even though the lyrics are hilarious. After this the EP folds back into the typical thrash elements that the first 2 tracks showcased, so one really has to like punk infused thrash with amusing lyrics to really want to continue. Still, Hot Zone present an album overall that is one part comedy, one part truth. Almost like a satire on the state of the world in the last six months. For those that take the thrash genre or life too seriously, maybe “COVIgnorant” will help them lighten up a little.

2.5 / 5 STARS 


1. I Tell Ya
2. I Get No Respect From Anyone
3. I Bought A Cemetery Plot
4. The Guy Said
5. There Goes The Neighborhood (Boomer Count 2020)

Self released
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Aug 29, 2020

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