‘Here kindness ends/weakness dies/trust myself, no one else…’ So begins the new Hatebreed a band that has always been about the personal power of positivity through a healthy display of heavy music.
Weight of the False Self wastes no time with Instinctive (Slaughterlust) getting straight to the point, a message of personal and uplifting power in their standard riff heavy fare. Showing off just how heavy the band can get Let Them Rot follows with a less personal and more violent pit anthem that is heavy enough to crack concrete or heads.
Rounding out the triumvirate of slightly different-styled hardcore/metalcore is the Set It Straight (Start With Yourself), a throwback to a more classic hardcore sound with lyrics that could have come straight from the Mike Muir 1988 ST play book, reminding us to ensure our own house is order before casting judgment on others. The title track stomps straight in with more PMA and a similar message, almost like a one-two punch of the strongest messages Hatebreed can possibly give any listener.
So, all still present and correct in the Hatebreed world then. Although the band are known to give their fans exactly what they want to hear (with the exception of the under rated 2009 self-titled album), there are small differences here and there to make sure any new fans stay interested Cling To Life has the first guitar solo that I can recall on a Hatebreed album and the crossover thrash of Dig Your Way Out and This I Earned with more short solos show that these old dogs still have a trick or two tucked up their sleeves.
The biggest change is saved for album closer Invoking Dominance, opening like a late 80s thrash instrumental before Jamey Jasta starts bellowing, sucking the air right out of your lungs as you start the one man circle pit in your front yard one more time.
It’s really got to be difficult to write lyrics with such a positive message all the time while sounding like the angriest bloke going, even despite the slightly more paint by numbers songs that are woven throughout this album. This is one uplifting musical ride, something that has been Hatebreed’s stock in trade for more than 20 years, so why stop now?
After the journey that 2020 has been for the world at large, this is the soundtrack that is needed now. So get uplifted, drink in that lyrical sunshine and be empowered as we slowly emerge from under our collective rock and need a reminder that everyday is worth it, and you hold the power of the direction you take your life in.
1. Instinctive (Slaughterlust)
2. Let Them All Rot
3. Set It Right (Start with Yourself)
4. Weight of the False Self
5. Cling To Life
6. A Stroke Of Red
7. Dig Your Way Out
8. This I Earned
9. Wings of the Vulture
10. The Herd Will Scatter
11. From Gold to Gray
12. Invoking Dominance