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Hatebreed - The Concrete Confessional

The Concrete Confessional
by Tim at 03 June 2016, 9:01 AM

You always know where you are with a HATEBREED album. Like a fine steak dinner, they’re reliably satisfying and full of flavour, even if they are almost identical to the last one. “The Concrete Confessional” is no exception. This seventh full-length is remarkably similar to its predecessor “The Divinity Of Purpose”, which in turn was just like every record they’ve written right back to 1997’s “Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire”. But that’s only an issue if you don’t subscribe to their particular brand of muscular optimism and so long as you have no problem with a bit of familiarity, “The Concrete Confessional” slays.

As usual, these are short and aggressive songs about overcoming adversity with Jamey Jasta bellowing like an over-enthusiastic amalgamation of a drill instructor and a fitness coach. The lyrics this time tend to revolve more around social ills than personal demons, but each of these thirteen songs could slot into their set lists and sit comfortably alongside the established fan favourites. Play any of them in a packed venue and there’ll be a truly ferocious pit in seconds.

A.D.” wastes no time with melodic introductions and plunges head first into a maelstrom of pummelling, Jasta roaring about the failure of the American dream before hitting an early highlight with “Looking Down The Barrel Of Today”. This one is begging to be played live and is this record’s answer to the likes of “I Will Be Heard” or “To The Threshold”. Boasting a massive chorus, plenty of call and response interactions and bursting with enthusiasm, it’s an early indication that HATEBREED have lost none of their fury.

Us Against Us” is similarly vicious, charging through two minutes of testosterone-addled rage, while “From Grace We’ve Fallen” is arguably the most Metal effort here. This one sees Jasta showing off some deeper growls and seems like it was written after an all-night Death Metal binge, whereas “Something’s Off” is a textbook example of how to be both heavy and catchy at the same time.

That being said, “The Concrete Confessional” isn’t the best album HATEBREED have ever given us and this certainly isn’t as impressive as the jaw-dropper WALLS OF JERICHO delivered a few months ago. It’s still well worth investing in though; the only real issues to be had are that it’s too short (thirty three minutes) and the fact “In The Walls” sounds a bit like a grown man overreacting when he can’t get the wallpaper up properly. It’s predictable as fuck, but there’s enough fire in their bellies yet to convince you to take up cage fighting and get Jamey Jasta’s face tattooed on your face.

Production: 8/10
Songwriting: 8/10
Originality: 5/10
Memorability: 8/10

4 Star Rating

1. A.D.
2. Looking Down The Barrel Of Today
3. Seven Enemies
4. In The Walls
5. From Grace We’ve Fallen
6. Us Against Us
7. Something’s Off
8. Remember When
9. Slaughtered In Their Dreams
10. The Apex Within
11. Walking The Knife
12. Dissonance
13. Serve Your Masters
Jamey Jasta - Vocals
Chris Beattie - Bass
Wayne Lozinak - Guitar
Matt Byrne - Drums
Frank Novinec - Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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