by Geoff Harman
Perseverance is a word that Hatebreed should know very well. Five years after the genre defining album "Satisfaction is the Death of Desire," the band that everyone knows and loves returns with this 16-track crusher. A warning is in order to all of those that have expected Hatebreed to "sell out," or become one of the nameless hardcore bands that return after a time of absence to disappoint every expectation the return had promised. This album is definitely number one on my list of most anticipated albums of all-time, and I think most people will agree with me that it has lived up to every expectation. In usual Hatebreed style, the first track, "Proven," comes in with no introduction, just vocalist Jamey Jasta blaring in together at once. Within the first 30 seconds of the song you know that Hatebreed has brought back the gut wrenching, kick you in the face hardcore that is the reason we all fell in love with this music in the first place. This track also sets the tone for the rest of the album, much more positive than the "Satisfaction..." album. However, there are still the trademark Hatebreed lyrics that Jamey is best at. This positivity stays apparent for the next few tracks ("Perseverance", "You're Never Alone", and "I Will Be Heard"). The next track, "A Call For Blood," is where the violent "destroy your enemies" lyrics come back into play. This is a very fast and controlling track, definitely one of my favorites on the album. As the album continues on, I could not stop listening... there was a difference between this Hatebreed and the Hatebreed that released "Satisfaction...", I but I couldn't put my finger on it. But then I heard what was a guitar solo on "Final Prayer." Now I'm almost positive that this is the "appearance" of guitar god Kerry King (Slayer) himself, but I'm not certain. Even if it was, this provoked the realization that this record was different. The new album has more substance than the two-minute chug-fest that "Satisfaction..." was. Often on this CD you will hear a bridge or guitar riff played more than once in a song. This is a welcome difference. As I looked on the back of the CD to see the track listing, I noticed a song name that stood out and sounded familiar. After "Final Prayer" came "Smash Your Enemies," a re-recording of the beloved killer from Hatebreed's first CD, "Under The Knife." Hearing the opening notes made me weak in the knees and so giddy I could hardly contain myself. This is my favorite song on the CD, just for the fact that this was the song that got me into Hatebreed, and incidentally, the first hardcore band I was ever a member of covered this song. Bottom Line: This release marks a milestone for the hardcore community and surpasses every possible expectation you could have for a band that is returning after such a long time without new material. I really have no problem with this CD whatsoever. I can't complain about its length because even though only about two songs on the CD pass the 3-minute mark, with sixteen tracks, the album is long enough to be enjoyable, but short enough so as to not bore the listener.
wow. first post five years later.