A little more than twenty years ago Hatebreed first made its presence known in the New England metal community. It is one of the richest and most revered in the metal community. That is because it has produced a number of the nation’s biggest names in metal for more than thirty years. Ever since its formation so long ago, Hatebreed has gone on to become just one of those leaders. That is thanks to its pummeling musical arrangements and inspirational lyrics. That has been the case with every album that the band has released. The same can be said of the band’s latest album The Concrete Confessional. That is clear throughout the thirteen songs that make up the body of the album starting with the album’s socio-politically charged opener ‘A.D.’ ‘Remember When,’ is just as socially charged in its indictment of those who choose to live in the past. The band hasn’t’ ignored the theme of self-empowerment that has maintained its popularity for so many years. That is clear early on in the form of ‘Looking Down The Barrel of Today.’ Each noted song is important in its own right to the album’s overall presentation. When they are set alongside the album’s remaining ten tracks, the whole of that thirty-three minute run time proves to be an experience that will impress audiences just as much as the band’s previous records and in turn a record that is a viable candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new metal and hard rock records.
Hatebreed’s latest full-length studio recording The Concrete Confessional is a viable candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal records. That is thanks to thirteen musical arrangements that are just as pummeling as those featured on the band’s previous albums. The lyrical topics tackled alongside those musical arrangements support that argument just as much. The combination of those two elements from beginning to end make this record, the band’s eighth studio recording, an album that maintains Hatebreed’s place as one of the leading names in the metal community today. The album’s simply titled opener ‘A.D.’ is one of the songs that supports this argument. The song’s musical arrangement offers audiences the same pummeling riffs and drumming for which the band has come to be known ever since the release of its 1997 debut LP Satisfaction is the Death of Desire. Jasta’s own vocal delivery is just as powerful as he screams about the current state of America. He notes in the song’s lyrical content, “It’s time to rethink this dream called American/Corrupt beliefs that some will call their heritage/The dream can’t be/What it used to be/Ever again.” He goes on to note, “Turn on the TV for the murder spree/Get distracted while they take your civil liberty/Thoughts and prayers again/Is that what it’ll take/Which industries profit while lives are at stake.” He even goes on to indict the very media that broadcasts those stories, screaming, “Now hear the media fools discuss the killer’s mind/Staring at the screen to tell us what they find/Manifesto/Dollar worship/Get on your knees/So they can sell us a cure for the American disease.” It is a rather damning indictment of the country and those that have led it to its current point. And it is hardly the only song to ever take such a course. Any number of other bands has gone this route past and present. Regardless it still proves to be a statement that is just as impacting in this case as it is from any other band. Considering this the song, both in regards to its musical arrangement and lyrics, is a clearly solid example of why Hatebreed still stands at the fore of the metal (and especially hardcore) community. It is just one supporting piece of evidence in the argument, too. ‘Remember When’ comes later in the album’s run. It supports that argument just as much.
‘A.D.’ is a solid opener for Hatebreed’s new album. It proves just as much why Hatebreed is still one of the metal (and more specifically hardcore) community’s leaders. It is just one of the album’s key compositions, too. ‘Remember When’ is another of the album’s key songs. Yet again the musical brutality for which the band has come to be known drives the song. In regards to its lyrical content, it is just as powerful. Jasta takes on the issue of people who live in the past in this song, screaming, “The past is like a virus to some it infects/A vestige of thoughts I once had/Now they want to tell m that it’s not the same/Some of us follow a path they can’t see. He goes on to scream, “Remember when is a saying I reject/What if today is all that we get/It was better than “well I don’t recall”/Will they ever stand or just crawl/I don’t regret/Not one single shred/I let the weak lament/Now I’m eager to forget.” He is not saying that people should forget the past. Rather he is saying that people shouldn’t live in the past. Remember the past and learn from it and move forward but don’t live in the past good or bad. It’s a powerful statement and once again maintains that theme of self-empowerment that has dominated each of the band’s previous records. When it is set alongside the song’s equally hard hitting musical arrangement the two join together to show why the song is another of this record’s key moments. Just as in the case of ‘A.D.’ the lyrical and musical content of ‘Remember When’ also proves once more why Hatebreed atop the metal (and hardcore) community. It still is not the last remaining song from this album that supports these arguments. ‘Looking Down The Barrel of Today’ is one more composition supporting both statements.
‘A.D.’ and ‘Remember When’ are both key inclusions in Hatebreed’s new album. They prove through the combination of their lyrical and musical content why this album is another rock solid release from a band that is one of the metal (and hardcore) community’s leading names. They are not the only songs that prove both statements. ‘Looking Down The Barrel of Today’ supports both statements just as much as ‘A.D.’ and ‘Remember When.’ The song’s musical arrangement is just one of the reasons for this. As with ‘A.D.’ and ‘Remember When,’ this song’s musical arrangement harkens back to the sound established in the band’s previous records just as much as in the case of ‘A.D.’ and ‘Remember When.’ Its lyrical content sits on the foundation established by that pounding musical arrangement, and in turn completes the song. This is once again the case because of the song’s lyrical message of self-empowerment. Jasta presents that message as he screams, “Once had a shotgun to my head/They said I wasn’t worth the bullets/Now the world is my trigger/And I’m here to f***ing pull it/Still here, still here/I can’t hesitate/Eyes wide open/Pupils dilate/Still here, right here/Set to detonate/I see the swarm/The scavengers await/No sleep, no rest/If that’s what it takes to be the best/No sleep, no rest/Must stay driven/I can’t relent.” The message is crystal clear here. Jasta isn’t advocating literally losing sleep. Rather he is just saying that he is determined and refuses to let people kick him when he’s down. He has taken the negative vibes of others and used it as his driving, burning fuel to keep going. It is a powerful statement, and one that anyone familiar with Hatebreed’s body of work will appreciate. It shows that the band hasn’t strayed very far from what made it so respected over so many years. That powerful message, when coupled with the band’s equally familiar pummeling musical sound makes this song just one more example of what makes The Concrete Confessional a rock solid return for the band. What’s more it shows even more why Hatebreed is still one of the leading names in the metal (and hardcore) community. It is hardly the last song from this album that could be cited in supporting these statements. Any of the album’s remaining ten songs could just as easily be used to support them. That being the case, the album in whole proves in the end to be proof that on one level The Concrete Confessional is one of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal offerings. It also proves in whole why Hatebreed remains today one of the metal (and hardcore) community’s leading acts.
The Concrete Confessional is one of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal records. Any critic with a clear mind will agree with that sentiment. It proves this from the beginning to the end of its thirteen songs and thirty-three minutes. Over the course of those songs and that time the band used a familiar formula; familiar especially to those that are familiar with the band’s body of work. That formula includes short, pummeling musical arrangements and lyrics that will both inspire and leave listeners thinking. The combination of those two elements together makes the whole of this album an experience that audiences new and old alike will enjoy and appreciate. Again, this will lead those audiences to “confess” themselves that this record deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal records. The band is currently touring in support of The Concrete Confessional. The band will be in Montreal, Quebec, Canada Sunday, June 5th and Toronto, Ontario, Canada Monday, June 6th before heading back to the United States on Tuesday, June 7th. More information on The Concrete Confessional is available online now along with updates on the band’s tour in support of its new album, and more online now at:
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