The Concrete Confessional

Hatebreed’s last album, The Divinity of Purpose, was a very hit or miss output for me (with more misses than hits), that made it the only one of their albums that I did not purchase.  Still wary from that last full length I came into their new one a bit apprehensive to say the least, and the first run through was not all that promising.  It seemed like they hadn’t improved much from Divinity, and I was prepared to write another disappointing review for one of my all-time favorite bands.  But then a funny thing happened… with more and more spins, this one got deeper and deeper under my skin, and I can say unequivocally that this is one of the absolute catchiest albums that they have ever put out.  (I would actually compare it to Slayer’s World Under Blood, as being another album that was quite polarizing from one of the biggest names in the history of metal, but one I absolutely loved and felt was criminally underrated).

The album starts out in familiar territory with “A.D.” and “Looking Down the Barrel of Today”, featuring the trademark shouts of Jamey Jasta and the crunchy guitars that any Hatebreed fan will instantly recognize.  The third track, “Seven Enemies”, was where I got worried on my initial listen as it crept very close to ‘Brocore’ territory with its F-bomb based chorus; it’s one of the weaker tracks on the album, but luckily it didn’t bleed over into the rest of the tracks in a negative way.  “In the Walls” is an awesome headbang worthy track, one culminated by Jasta’s shout of RATS! at the end.  Track 7, “Something’s Off”, is a slower track and the longest one, clocking in at just under 4 minutes.  It features some gang choruses, and even a touch of melodic singing from Jasta; really good track overall.  The next track, “Remember When”, has the best breakdown that closes out the final minute of the song; sweet stuff for all you breakdown junkies.

The best track on here for me was track 10, “The Apex Within”, which is just a killer song all around and one that has to make it into their live shows.  It’s got a thrash tinged, d-beat driven tone and another chorus that I hummed for hours after listening to this album.  Follow up track “Walking the Knife” is another standout.  The whole thing comes to a close with “Serve your Masters”, which showcases a nice condescending snarl in the chorus delivery from Jasta.

One criticism that could be made is that Jasta’s voice is sounding a bit tired, but I emphasize JUST A BIT.  You really have to listen for it with a very nitpicky ear, one that I quickly let fade away when I got lost in the album as a whole.  One interesting stylistic choice that was made on this album was to go for more tracks but a shorter duration for each, which I think was spot on.  It allows the songs to make a quick impact and get out of the way so the next one can take its place.  The album is 13 tracks as a whole, which each one averaging around the 2:30 mark.  The production is again rock solid, with every instrument clear and given its own space.  An overall phenomenal return to form for one of the best in the business, and I for one couldn’t be happier to see it.


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Written by Kevin E
June 29th, 2016


  1. Commented by: Jebus krist

    Terrible band. When will icepick put out another album because they topped anything this band has done.

  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    this band is a joke. I’ve hated them since I discovered Integrity. I tried to give that song you linked a listen and made it through about 40 seconds. Truly awful. you say the one song creeps dangerously close to bro-core. Hatebreed DEFINES bro-core.

  3. Commented by: Kevin E.

    I 1000% disagree with you. And love or hate them, it’s hard to argue with their influence on the hardcore scene. That’s one of the negatives of being around for a long time is that the haters do nothing but grow during such a lengthy span. Just look at Slayer for a prime example, or Iron Maiden.

    And I didn’t link the song that is put with the review. That is one of the weaker tracks on the album.

  4. Commented by: E. Thomas

    1) I put the song in the review.
    2) I dont hate or love this band, im casual listener of their stuff, but this album struck me as pretty awful. But whats the saying about opinions?

  5. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    If I came off as insulting, that was not my intention. It’s just that…you say that they had a big influence on hardcore. That influence, I regard as almost entirely negative. Bands like this, with their meathead posturing and tough guy attitude are a big part of why I have to work so hard to find hardcore I like these days.

  6. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    also, I take issue with being described as a “hater.” Do I really dislike Hatebreed and their ilk? yeah, absolutely. But “hater,” to me, has always suggested that there’s no reason for that. I think they’re bland, generic hacks who promote the sort of hypermasculine bullshit that I’ve never been able to stand. I recently heard a couple of EPs by a band called GLOSS, a bunch of transgender folks who play some fucking violent, spiteful hardcore. This is why I love the genre, and part of why I take such issue with bands like hatebreed.

  7. Commented by: Kevin E.

    I didn’t call you a hater, I was making a general statement about bands who have been around forever, and my original point still stands. You can regard their influence as negative all you want, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still there. And there’s a huge percentage that would disagree with you, myself included.

    And there are 1000s of more bands that take the hardcore posturing too far, and finding a good one is quite rare. Hatebreed has been a little more “cerebral” about it in my opinion. But hardcore is a genre more than others that lends itself to that type of criticism. My favorite hardcore band is Harm’s Way, followed closely by God’s Hate who put out an album earlier this year. They both run circles around this. But Hatebreed was one of the first bands that got me into metal, and they have stayed true to their sound and what they do, regardless of any criticism; for that they deserve a good bit of respect. And I listened to a bit of Gloss, but that to me sounds much more like punk. But now we’re getting into semantics/genre tags, which is a road to nowhere.

  8. Commented by: LongDeadGod

    I find it funny that “brocore” is used negatively against the band who invented it.

  9. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Why? hardcore’s tough guy mentality was always one of its worst aspect,and Hatebreed helped make that even worse.

  10. Commented by: guilliame

    Hardcore scene!? What is that!? This band is boring, really boring in a Fred Durst FratBoy way. Pro-Pain is better at this stuff.

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