Hatebreed Album Review – ‘The Concrete Confessional’

 

Isn’t it amazing how time flies? Hatebreed’s debut album ‘Satisfaction is the Death of Desire’ has been released almost 20 years ago. It’s been a long journey for the Conneticut-based outfit from early, humble beginnings to influencing a whole new subgenre and the subsequent inclusion of other elements in their music. This journey hasn’t been without controversy and some of the old-school fans haven’t necessarily agreed with the later releases. Now Hatebreed are going to release their seventh full-length album ‘The Concrete Confessional’ on May 13.

‘The Concrete Confessional’ is the third album in a row that Hatebreed recorded with the same line-up. That is a continuity the band hasn’t seen before. The result of that stability is the most mature and the heaviest album Hatebreed have ever recorded. The last two albums with the current line-up – the self-titled ‘Hatebreed’ and ‘The Divinity of Purpose’ – opened up a new audience for Hatebreed and gave the band opportunities to tour around the world in front ever-growing crowds. The inclusion of more melodic parts and more approachable song structures seems to have paid off. ‘The Concrete Confessional’ can now be seen as the logical continuation of that trend.

‘The Concrete Confessional’ is intense, aggressive and angry. The song structures go a little bit more back to the roots. The thirteen tracks on the album are short and to the point. The only song that is longer than three minutes is ‘Something’s Off’ with its slow intro, the groove-laden riffing and many breaks. The breaks are a dominant and recurring theme throughout the album anyway. Despite the short lengths of all tracks Hatebreed manage to get one or the other break into each and every song. That differentiates ‘The Concrete Confessional’ from the monotony of too many of the modern metalcore bands.

Another dominant feature on ‘The Concrete Confessional’ is the fast thrash riffs. Hatebreed always took some elements from thrash metal and incorporated them into their music. This time around it seems they have focussed on that a bit more. The album opener ‘A.D’ for example has everything from the fast, galloping main riff to a slower sick riff and the short Slayer memorial lick towards the end.

Lyrically things haven’t really changed for Hatebreed. They still have a lot to say and criticize. Jamey Jasta convinces with his angry and powerful vocals. His vocal style perfectly complements the critical lyrics. The occasional shouted gang vocals add a hardcore feeling to the songs.

Overall ‘The Concrete Confessional’ is another strong release by Hatebreed. Each and every track is a punch in the face, intense and brutal all the way through. Hatebreed manage to walk the fine line between innovating and offering enough of the old-school style to satisfy die-hard fans. The only critic may be that Hatebreed seem to play it a bit safe on ‘The Concrete Confessional’.

8.5 of 10