Not to stereotype Hatebreed fans or fans of hardcore (tough guy) in general but I don’t wear camo shorts or h2o basketball jerseys. I’ve never really been that into the straight hardcore scene. I don’t wear combat boots and I will not be kicking ass in the pit. Bands like Madball and Hatbreed always seemed to escape me. I like sing-a-longs and all but the whole tough guy hardcore scene was not my cup of tea (my room on the other hand could’ve been the poster boy for a Hatebreed fan).
Their latest album, self-titled, caught my attention with it’s first single, In Ashes They Shall Reap. I can’t say it’s the best song I’ve heard all year but it might be the catchiest and it’s probably one of the top 3 songs I’ve heard in 09. It got stuck in my head and I love the song. It’s great. The song alone got me to pick up the album. Kudos to whomever decided that should be the lead single.
I guess this record is has more thrash metal influence then previous efforts. Being as I’m not a huge fan I don’t have a real basis to compare this album to previous efforts. I don’t care for older Hatebreed, I dig this record. Hatebreed has always struck me as an odd band anyway in that they managed to find their way into mainstream metal without changing their sound or style but maybe that was helped by frontman Jamey Jasta’s gig on Headbangers Ball.
Two minor missteps in my opinion. On Every Last Scar Jasta takes his hand in singing on the track. It sounds a might awkward and I’m not a big fan. It’s probably the weakest track on the album. I’m also not really a fan of the Undiminished, an instrumental ballad towards the end of the record. It’s not a terrible track but it seems to just be on the record with no real purpose. Maybe it would’ve made for a nice hidden track but as an actual track it takes away from the ferocious assault that the rest of the album has created.
If you’re looking for some positive hardcore, look elsewhere. This is tough guy, survival of the fittest, don’t get in my way, and don’t hold me back. Jamey Jasta and the boys in Hatebreed aren’t going anywhere.
Hatebreed has made an album I enjoy and that’s really all I ask for.