Hatebreed can be hardly called an underground band but at the same time it is far from mainstream. Bridgeport tattooed lads strived for what they got now with gallons of sweat and blood, always staying angry Hardcore band no matter what. Although many things have changed in the world for 26 years of the band’s existence, these guys are staying true to themselves and their values, and the newest album Weight Of The False Self proves it at the eighth time.
The band’s music hasn’t change a lot in 2020: it is the same concentrate brutality with fury, packaged in three minutes songs with potent drums, tough riffs and mandatory breakdowns. Of course it can sound predictable but that is what you expect from Hatebreed and not some complicated harmonies or 20 minutes over-virtuoso guitar solos (however, there are a couple of them in the album).
What had changed is the topic of the songs. Jamey Jasta still shouts out the lyrics, which more like slogans and calls to action but now, by and large, it aimed not on destruction but more on creation or self-analysis at least – just take a look on the names of some songs: “Set It Right (Start With yourself)”, “Cling To Life”, “Dig Your Way Out”, “This I Earned” and it will be clear. And that’s what Jamey tells about the song “A Stroke Of Red”: “It’s an eye for an eye, but that leaves everyone blind. Once you go down that dark, violent path, there is no turning back.” Maybe it seems like a collection of motivate slogans and quotes from “philosophical” groups on Facebook but the form it delivered leaves no doubt about its sincerity and I have to say that it also sounds quite convincing.
The album opens with “Instinctive (Slaughterlust)”, which starts from typical for Hatebreed call to arms “Here kindness ends, weakness dies…”, where every word literally hammered to the listener’s head with riffs and drums and further this track transforms into shouting Hardcore completely. The same thing happens in “Let Them All Rot”: anger, heaviness and chanting are perfect for the live shows. “A Stroke Of Red” starts slow and a bit ominous, with a potent bass but the pace is too slow, as for me, so the song sounds a little bit boring, compared to the other tracks on this album; nevertheless in the end the pace is increased and this remedies the situation. “This I Earned” sounds powerful and brutal as well, pounding the words with riffs, just as it should be.
Some Groove appears in the main “Weight Of The False Self” but the song still stays brutal. Some Groove can be also heard in the next “Cling To Life” with quite surprising fast and melodic solo.
“Dig Your Way Out” goes Punk, taking the fast pace from the start but reduces it in the middle of the song, leaving some breakdowns. “From Gold To Gray” in its turn also starts from vicious Punk with great bass line and turns into Hardcore in the choruses. Some expectable breakdowns can be heard here as well during the last minute, slowing the tempo.
Some Thrash elements appear in “The Herd Will Scatter” and “Wings Of The Vulture”, played with sudden energy for such veterans. And the album ends with outstanding “Invoking Dominance”, which starts in melodic way surprisingly and continues with raging and mightiest riff. Nevertheless, there is no outro at all, the song just stops and that’s how Weight Of The False Self ends.
Hatebreed didn’t disappoint this time: they didn’t deal with some unnecessary experiments but did exactly what they know and what they do best. And if at least a couple of fans from enormous Hardcore cohort will listen to the words in this album and will not just crush their apartments or spill the sweat in gym with this music, it will be great.
Weight Of The False Self was released on November, 27 via Nuclear Blast.
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