REVIEW: HATEBREED – “The Concrete Confessional”
Dawn 'Mama Love' Brown
Searing the inner ear of many a thrash/punk fanatic for over 20 years, Hatebreed is a powerhouse of punk/thrash mastery originating in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Fronted by musical heavyweight Jamey Jasta since its inception in 1994, Hatebreed has enjoyed commercial and critical success, including a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance in 2004, losing it however to speed-metal pioneers, Motorhead.
The loss of that Grammy definitely did not reflect badly on the work or talent of the members of Hatebreed. With Jasta on vocals and Chris Beattie on bass being the only two original founding members left in the band, they’ve been able to continue instilling the hardcore punk/thrash quality that is so embedded into their music. Now with the not-so-recent addition of Wayne Lozinak and Frank Novinec on guitars and Matt Burne on drums, Hatebreed has once again come into their own, cranking out impressively robust albums that continue to influence a new generation of thrash metal and punk artists.
This new album, ‘The Concrete Confessional’, certainly lives up to any expectations from a new Hatebreed release. It’s loud, fast and hard, and displays the various influences of the band in grand fashion straight from the first track, “A.D.”, an expertly arranged depiction of social injustice and corruption that leans a little towards the punk side. “Looking Down the Barrel of Today” is another piece of social commentary that showcases the brutal nature of Jasta’s vocals. Matt Burne’s drums accentuate the tempo perfectly on this and every song on this record.
“Seven Enemies” is an outstanding effort in my opinion, opening with the line, “Today is not the fucking day…”, and it just gets better from there. The riffs are heavy and the lyrics are amusing in their own right. “In the Walls” reminded me of the classic punk band GBH, because of course, the only thing that could be in the walls is rats. “From Grace We’ve Fallen” has a distinct power metal feel with a melodic chorus; It sounds almost Viking-like.
“Us Against Us” starts out displaying the distinct punk roots inherent in Hatebreed, but ends with a riff that sounds almost sludgy. “Something’s Off” is the shining star on this album; with the repeating chorus of any great punk song as well as a thunderous thrash beat, it’s sure to become a staple of their setlist. “Slaughtered in their Dreams” is basically Freddie Krueger on acid. I don’t mean that in a bad way. “Dissonance” is another track that leans toward the classic punk sound, yet with Hatebreed’s signature stamp emblazoned all across itself.
Rounding out the album is “Remember When”, “The Apex Within”, “Walking the Knife” and “Serve Your Masters”: all amazing compositions that will make you want to throw your hands in the air and bang your head until you just can’t anymore. Other notable tracks on this record would definitely be “Seven Enemies” and “Something’s Off”.
Bottom Line: Hatebreed has once again released a riff-heavy, full-out onslaught of a scorching fusion of subgenres. This album walks a very fine (and extremely blurred) line between thrash metal and traditional punk, but fans of either or both subgenres will LOVE it.