Hatebreed The Divinity of Purpose
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01. Put It To The Torch
02. Honor Never Dies
03. Own Your World
04. The Language
05. Before The Fight Ends You
07. Dead Man Breathing
08. The Divinity Of Purpose
09. Nothing Scars Me
10. Bitter Truth
11. Boundless (Time To Murder It)
12. Idolized and Vilified
As someone who was entering their teenage years when Satisfaction is the Death of Desire was released, Hatebreed will always hold a sentimental place in my heart. Like many people my age, Hatebreed became the quintessential late-90s hardcore band. They were heavier and sounded tougher than most of their predecessors, and expressed a frustration and hatred that resonated with, and united, hardcore and metal kids alike. Whether you classified them as metalcore, heavy hardcore, metallic hardcore, or any other adjective mash-up, there was little dispute about whether these New Haven, Connecticut musicians were the reigning kings of hardcore at the time.
Fortunately for many fans, Hatebreed never seemed to take their new-found success for granted, and continued to release well-written hardcore albums while touring relentlessly. Albums like Perseverance and the Rise of Brutality demonstrated the band's ability to hone their song writing skills, but later albums like Supremacy seemed to weigh heavy with monotone riffs and one-note vocals that saw many long-time fans wishing for the punk and earlier hardcore influences that the band was once known for. In short, recent records saw the band teetering on the verge of boredom-through-over-exposure.
What the band seems to have needed was the injection of new blood. Well, to be more precise, the injection of old blood, in the form of the return of Wayne Lozinak, one of Hatebreed's original guitarists. Rejoining the band for 2009's cover album, For the Lions, and its self-titled follow-up, Lozinak seems to have helped vocalist Jamey Jasta and company regain that step that they seemed to have lost in recent years.
The Divinity of Purpose start with "Put It To The Torch" and "Honor Never Dies," which kicks off the album with the straightforward speed and aggression that Hatebreed has become synonymous with. While certain riffs in these opening tracks fail to inspire, the overall pace and tone set from the beginning of this record lets listeners know that this is the no-holds-barred assault of a reinvigorated band. Where the album really starts to become memorable is on "The Language" and "Before The Fight," which demonstrate what this veteran group is still capable of. Blending Slayer-inspired riffs with punk tempos and crushing breakdowns, these tracks are hardcore hostility incarnate.
Not wanting to leave the listener without a bit of variety, songs like "Indivisible" and "Nothing Scars Me" mix small amounts of melodic backing vocals that provide a welcome change of pace on this otherwise unrelenting album. Following these brief moments of reprieve are the likes of "Dead Man Breathing" and "Bitter Truth," both of which will no doubt become the soundtrack of mosh pit violence in the very near future.
Overall, this is a true Hatebreed record. Expertly executed hardcore with heavy doses of metal riffs and a plethora of anthemic choruses and sing-alongs that will leave both old and new fans supremely satisfied. By remembering their roots and continuing to deliver punishing hardcore, Hatebreed's The Divinity of Purpose will make even the most skeptic hardcore fan take notice.
Bottom Line: The Divinity of Purpose may not rival the group's seminal works, but it is very much a welcome return to form. Blending the best elements the band's influences and experience, Hatebreed is working hard to retain their crowns as the kings of metallic hardcore.
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