began in Los Angeles in 1984, but because of the weak metal scene in their area, they spent most of their time playing in San Francisco along with Slayer, Metallica, and Exodus, who were all part of the exciting new metal emerging from the Bay area. They released a four-song demo in 1984. Their songs at the time were more similar to the metal bands such as Saxon, Tygers of Pan Tang, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal period. This demo was widely circulated and the band became known and respected worldwide through the metal tape trading underground. Influenced by such great acts as Motorhead, Anvil, and Venom, the band went in a heavier and faster direction musically; and Hirax's thrash metal style was born.