Back in 2002, I vividly remember seeing the music video for "This Is Now" and thinking it was the heaviest thing I had ever heard. I had my parents take me to my local mall and I scoured both FYE and Sam Goody before finding Perseverance. I was pretty hooked on all things Hatebreed from that point on, even going as far as attributing "becoming a man" after making it through my first Hatebreed pit at Ozzfest 2004. I stuck around for 2004's The Rise Of Brutality and 2006's Supremacy, but delved deeper into more underground heavy music shortly after. In my adult life, I've come to love their debut album Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire more than any other, and still gets my blood boiling.

While I haven't truly digested anything that Hatebreed has released from 2006 on, I'm aware that they began to incorporate more metallic elements and even some bouts of melody in the vocals, which I'd imagine can be attributed to frontman Jamey Jasta's solo project and work with Kingdom Of Sorrow. I decided to give the newest album, The Concrete Confessional, a spin because I've listened to Jasta's podcast weekly for about a year. While the aforementioned metallic elements are still present in the band's sound, I was happy to find much of what I loved about Hatebreed growing up still intact.

The first track that comes to mind is "Seven Enemies", mainly because of the chug heavy breakdown that dominates the end of the track. The slow, chugging nature of the track is right at home with Hatebreed's beatdown hardcore aesthetic. It's okay to admit you've done some bedroom moshing in your day, I'm definitely guilty. The tagline "TODAY IS NOT THE FUCKING DAY" is sure to make it's way onto a t-shirt, and is a cool throwback mosh call.

While that track is what I've come to know about Hatebreed, "Something's Off" is a new sound for me.
It's the longest track on the album, clocking in just under 4 minutes. Metallic guitar leads and gang vocals are aplenty during the chorus, and Jasta has a clean vocal part during the bridge that lacks any grit whatsoever. 16 year old me would have found something to talk shit about, but I'd like to think i've matured musically. Audibly, this record holds up against the others and using shuffle mode on Apple Music (or your streaming application of choice) will provide you with a challenge to identify which album is what.

"Us Against Us" is a fast tempo rager that is sure to incite circle pits, while "The Apex Within" has full on "woooah woooah" gang vocal parts that you'd typically hear on a Misfits or Pennywise record. Album closer "Serve Your Masters" is a defining statement and one of the more overall brutal sounding tracks, adorned with both a verse AND ending breakdown. The album is a very quick listen at 33 minutes, much like other entries in Hatebreed's discography.

Quite simply, if you're a longtime fan of Hatebreed, then you won't be disappointed. Fans of older material like myself have plenty of tracks that bring us right back to 2002, while fans of the more metallic side can embrace some new twists and turns. The Concrete Confessional is out now via Nuclear Blast, and you can watch the lyric video for "Seven Enemies" below: