Hatebreed are a band you can rely on, much like Cannibal Corpse or AC/DC they have a style and they stick to it, so if you own one Hatebreed album already you have a very good idea what this album is going to sound like.
That being said, this self titled record holds a few surprises like the odd section of clean vocals, a radio friendly single and a brooding twin guitar driven instrumental.
This album defiantly deserves to be self titled; the set of songs perfectly encapsulates the Hatebreed style both lyrically and musically, the whole energy and attitude of the album is off the hook, the performance and songwriting is really top notch. It would not be unreasonable to claim that this was one of the best albums Hatebreed have released to date.
The album opens up with the punchy and catchy `Become The Fuse,’ which is pretty much the standard Hatebreed song; with gang vocals, staccato riffs and double kick patterns, interesting lyrics and Jamie Jasta’s trademark shouts and growls. The whole album continues in that direction up until `Undiminished,’ the very enjoyable instrumental, which features some impressive lead guitar and even a touch of piano, atypical of Hatebreed but it just proves that while the band do have a distinct style they are far from a slave to formula one trick pony.
The real success of this album lies in the excellent vocal patterns and memorable choruses, songs like `In Ashes They Shall Reap,’ and `Merciless Tide,’ are just ready for live performance with parts you can tell are perfect for audience participation.
Hatebreed haven’t lost the ability to write the perfect breakdown either, even though they have accumulated quite a number by this stage in their career the band still manage to unleash enjoyable and memorable breakdowns that completely `make,’ a song; `Everyone Bleeds Now,’ ends with such a gigantic stop start section, and is consequently one of the best songs on the album.
Other highlights include the drum showcase `No Halos For The Heartless,’ and the incredibly catchy `Through the Thorns.’
The only song that feels out of place is the melodic potential single `Every Lasting Scar,’ which takes some ques from bands like Killswitch Engage or Trivium in the radio single department although repeat listens make you realize what a catchy and enjoyable tune it is. The album is far from toned down or comercialised however; the riffs are heavy as hell, the vocals are for the most part brutal with the odd growl or tremolo stepping into death metal territory, A few guitar solos or slower sections even cross into the same territory covered on the three most recent Slayer albums (Listen to ‘As Damaged As Me,’ and you’ll understand what I mean)
This edition comes in a big purple digipak with a DVD containing a short making of feature; nine songs live at Download 2009 and 4 songs live from Wacken 2008, an excellent bonus DVD by anyone’s standards, the production values of the concerts are really high for freebies, really high quality audio, pro shot and edited. When you consider how good Hatebreed are live you know your money has been well spent.
I can’t really recommend this album highly enough, this is a fantastic album of really well constructed and heavy music, if you like Hatebreed it doesn’t get much better than this.