Still as disillusioned with the world as ever, Hatebreed take to ‘The Concrete Confessional’ to bare their sins.
22 years down the line, the Connecticut cult’s brand of livid protest is artfully polished and clear in its message. Each track of this seventh opus holds at least one poignant stand-out lyric that lingers in its visceral delivery. Hell hath no fury like a Jamey Jasta scorned.
Speedometer-smashing opener ‘A.D.’ (abbreviated “American disease”) and its noodly brief solo speak truths of a “corrupt moral compass” that they have always sworn to expose. Seguing into the meandering rhythm of ‘Looking Down The Barrel Of Today,’ however, this record stands to prove this is no one trick pony armed to the teeth. Take also ‘Something’s Off,’ an initially unremarkable track where Jamey suddenly springs into surprisingly great melodic cleans.
The ever-present danger of ‘In The Walls’ and ‘Slaughtered In Their Dreams’ present livid rage that suggests nowhere is safe, plugging energised electric doom from axe-wielders Lozinak and Novinec. ‘Something’s Off’ holds remarkably commanding stringsmanship also, as if biding its time to strike as it boils beneath the surface.
Armed with the serrated aggression of ‘Walking The Knife,’ the unrepenting leadership of the barbed ‘Remember When’ is striking. Decisive, divisive and destructive, closer ‘Serve Your Masters’ doesn’t mince its words – the longer these corrupt aspects remain, moral pacifists only fuel the fire.
Revelling in the weakness of the opposition, however, ‘From Grace We’ve Fallen’ showcases impeccable guttural tones expressive of rock bottom despair that charges the pits created through the trudging rhythms of ‘Us Against Us’ and stomping chaos of ‘Seven Enemies’.
For its short-lived taster of Jamey’s clean vocals alone, ‘The Concrete Confessional’ is a fantastic output. Jasta and co. hold their realistic sentiment to the last – “you live in the hell you create.”
’The Concrete Confessional’ by Hatebreed is released on May 13th on Nuclear Blast Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)