Mastered by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in October 2021.
Hitten formed in 2011 in the city of Murcia in the South-East of Spain (near Alicante). The same year the band unleashed their first demo entitled »Darkness Queen« onto the world. Two EPs followed, before the band’s debut full-length album »First Strike With The Devil« was released in 2014. Soon after, Hitten signed to High Roller Records and issued three more albums: »State Of Shock« (2016), »Twist Of Fate« (2018) and last year’s highly acclaimed »Triumph And Tragedy«.
After the new album it’s now time to go back to the very beginnings of Hitten. As the title suggests, the Spaniards have-revisited their first album, founding member and guitarist Dani Meseguer explains: “Since the day we finished the recording of that record, we were not real happy with the result. The album sold really well and people seemed to like it, but we really felt that we had to do something. The idea of recording it again has been in our minds since some years ago. Recently we had a bit of time on our hands, so we decided to start working on it and make it happen. »First Strike With The Devil – Revisited« is basically the album we wanted back in the day. We recorded drums, guitars, bass lines and backing vocals anew. The only thing we have kept is the main vocal line. There are also some new parts in the songs. It sounds really fresh. The album has been mixed by Javi Felez at Moontower Studios and mastered by Patrick W. Engel. This team was also responsible for the great sound of our last two records. So you can imagine how this now sounds. Musically speaking the record now sounds as the band is sounding today. And of course having High Roller Records doing the promo and distribution is another great thing. I am sure the album is going to be selling well.”
“Since Hitten were born back in 2011,” continues the guitarist, “we have been working on having a really powerful guitar section. Something that you can recognize straight away. Probably it was not too much noticeable back in 2014 when we recorded this album. We were just a bunch of kids having our first studio experience. So yeah, let’s say it was there but not that much. When Johnny joined the band, we both started working together really hard to have like a real guitar identity, you know, something you really recognize when listening to the band. So you put a Hitten record on and you think like ‘damn, those terror twins are shredding like hell’! So that’s it. This album NOW really has that atmosphere.”
When the original recording of »First Strike With The Devil« was issued back in 2014, it was very well-received, even at this early stage: “Yes, exactly. People really love that record! It’s funny because I think the only ones who don’t feel totally satisfied with it is the band itself. The album sold out really soon. It’s true that it was quite a small release but anyway, it was really cool. Now with High Roller Records pushing it, we will hit the market again with this diamond, and I am pretty sure a lot of people will get into the band because of this record, too.
Sometimes we still play ‘Running Over Fire’ and ‘Ladykiller’ live these days. But because of this release maybe we add more songs from the album to the current setlist. Probably my favourite song on the record is ‘Running Over Fire’ because it was the first single back in the day. The main riff still gives me goosebumps. I would cite ‘Ladykiller’ as another favourite. I think this record is a heavy metal/speed metal bomb! It was a blast back in the day and now we have even improved it. I am super happy with all the songs, to be honest.”
When Hitten started out, the sound of the band was different to what it is now, confirms Dani Meseguer: “The band started to become more influenced by American bands only after this release. Even on our latest record you can still hear some British influences but they are not that evident like on this first record. »First Strike With The Devil« is truly made for Maiden maniacs and die-hard NWOBHM fans.“
“I always feel nostalgic when I look at the cover artwork of the record,” laughs Dani. “That alley really exists, and it is in our home town, Murcia. It’s the place where we met for drinking and partying back in the day. So we have seen the devil in the back for real some of those days! The album cover basically represents our youth: favourite bands on the posters, the guy with the guitar, the dirty alley where we met … and that wild spirit is also on the record.”