Jamey Jasta – Vocals
Chris Beattie – Bass
Matt Byrne – Drums
Frank Novinec – Guitar
Hatebreed hails from Bridgeport, Connecticut circa 1994. They emphasize a blend of American Northeastern Harcore and Metal wrapped into one brutal bastard child. Hatebreed is a band of perseverence; having survived criticism, major setbacks and even the untimely suicide of former member Lou ‘Boulder’ Richards, to become one of the foremost authorities in modern Hard Rock/Hardcore music to date.
Become The Fuse – An uplifting song about taking control of yourself; taking control of your destiny and the things that are valuable. Jamey shouts and implores the question, “you know what it takes to be ignited?” and it’s a question at some point, everyone has to ask themselves what will it take or how long will it be before you wake up to realize your own potential. Crushing introduction.
Not My Master – In Not my Master the band thrashes through a barrage of shredding and chest pounding affirmations of not bowing down to those who hold you down from ascending to the highest of highs. Indeed, the day is worth living and the fight is worth fighting, provided the circumstances and the cause are just. The band is tight, and the production isn’t too muddy, typical of a lot of grinding heavy bands.
Between Hell And A Heartbeat – Hatebreed at this point begins to showcase their most obvious influences; Pantera and Slayer. The track is pure thrash reincarnated for the new decade. The lyrics are poignant and scathing, painting a raw picture of utter disgust. I love it. Each stanza is well thought and conveys the point to an exactiness only a portion of bands can grasp. The music is fairly melodious considering the vocals are more on the yelling/screaming side, and I truly enjoy the fact that its not in the vein of typical Death Metal style yells/growls and the like. Jamey takes cues from Tom Araya of Slayer fame..he can belt with the loudest of the loud, but there’s a voice under there too.
In Ashes They Will Reap – Minus the vocals, this track actually reminds me a little of Alice In Chains, namely the verse. Jamey’s inner Tom A.. shows up and he actually goes into a more classic sense of melody at points, it’s a welcome departure from the more common top of the lungs growl to spice things up some. That’s what it takes to keep the ears engaged and stimulated, any song/album should be created with the mindset of keeping you fully on your toes and switch things up a little.
Hands Of A Dying Man – Its 1988 all over again in Hands Of A Dying Man, another full on thrasher ala Slayer, Pantera, and DRI. Whatever happened DRI by the way? I used to love those guys in the early parts of high school. Ah, the thrash days though, miss the shit out of that stuff and I think its absolutely cool that Hatebreed does such a bang-up job and recreating the vibe to a T.
Everyone Bleeds Now – Everyone Bleeds now brings it down some, but not like a little bitch, its just more groove oriented. I would say that the song could benefit from not having some much pedaling on the lower string of the guitars, but at least there’s a purpose. The riffs are 100% hardcore , the bass is fairly present and thumping and the drums are tight. The mix is articulate, you can hear fingers gliding across the fretboard and you can hear the elastic whack of the strings. This is one, that gets better and better the more you listen to it and is certainly one of the best tracks of the album.
No Halos For The Heartless – No Halos is a tune dedicated to the corrupt idealists running rampant in our country. The band produces a more sludgy incarnation of itself, its like listening to Pantera’s Reinventing The Steel again; which by the way was a TERIBBLY underrated album. The track is spot on saying, ‘ no pity for the insincere, we live in a country of extreme entitlement and what that created is an idea that some of us can get away with whatever we want and consequences aren’t applicable to those. This is a really short song, but the message is well received.
Through The Thorns – Almost acting as a continuation of the last track, the chants are reminiscent of skate punk and 80’s hard rock. The riffs are a bit ‘stock’ as I like to say, but everything sounds fantastic for what it is. I enjoy the fact that no song drags on too long and gets in and gets out, leaving you satisfied and wanting to hear more. Through the Thorns is a balls out fist pumping rave up.
Every Lasting Scar – This is my favorite track musically, its most resembles a lot of the late 80’s hard rock and metal I’ve always been into, mixed with all the thrash from the era. The chorus is a bit goofy, since the accent being used by the singer is a kind of garbled. But out of all that, this track has me fully interested, especially if you love the 80’s shit lie I do. It would have been even more badass to hear some balls to the wall soloing in there though.
As damaged As Me – For once, the guitar sound isn’t quite as scooped and hollow as usual, which I grab onto. The opening drums do sound pretty synthetic almost like a bad version of those drum programs producers use. Throughout the rest of the track, things open up a bit more and become less stiff. As of now, I couldn’t agree more with the lyrical ideas of the songs; punishing yourself for the shortcomings and wrong-doing of others, you take it personal as a stab to your being, when its not even your problem..its clearly their deficiencies. I digress. The tempo of ‘..Damaged’ is sheer perfection.
Words Become Untruth – The subject of the song deals with being trapped into your own mind’s desperation; not being to climb out of the deepest pits of your mind. Embellishing on the lyrics, the music paints a wonderfully heavy picture. Vintage/modern tones run rampant throughout the aural layout. The song is, like many others of the album, very short…and this is the way I tend to like them for an album with more than 10 tracks. They give you no time to rest too long on any one thought or idea, and allow you to pass through to the next, and make for a less tiring adventure to listen to.
Undiminished – Undiminished is classic heavy metal all the way, completely instrumental and making great use of what Metallica and their peers did so well 25 years ago. Instead of being overly dramatic like your average Goth Metal or Death Metal band, these fellows take a more ‘demure’ and sullen version of the dark intermission.
Merciless Tide – As a change of pace, Merciless Tide is like an added amount of steam injected into the album, you can clearly hear the band gained a new wind and energy by the time they got into this song. They perform it tirelessly, and mercilessly. The guitar solos are a little bland to a degree, but you can tell that’s not really supposed to be a focal point for such a band; its all about the heavy riffing and the mosh-pit vibe.
Pollution Of The Soul – The final track on Hatebreed’s fifth album exposes a different type of mix unheard on the rest of the album; its slightly more compressed and more radio oriented, albeit still keeping up with the slash and burn attack making up the rest of the list. Also, I think it should be pointed out, vocally this song sticks out in my mind as the better part of the lead’s inflections, he strips down the faux James Hetfield imitation and his own voice is more showcased to the forefront, which I happen to like much more.