Luckily for us, the heavyweight champs of hardcore are back to let us vent off those emotions. Hatebreed have returned with their 8th studio release ‘Weight of the False Self’, and it hits harder than a brass knuckle to the jaw.
Let’s start off by pointing out that there isn’t any reinventing the wheel on this record. Where most bands try to shake things up and change throughout their career, Hatebreed have always instead relied on reliability.
Usually, this would be a red flag, but Jamey Jasta and Co. deliver every time with such conviction that it’s hard not to get into it. Through sheer determination, they’ve beat a dead horse back to life album after album.
Never ones to waste time messing around, the band come out the gate swinging. Opening tracks ‘Instinctive (Slaughterlust)’ and ‘Let them all Rot’ bring out a lot of those signature traits we all know the band for.
They’ve turned ‘stank face’ worthy riffs into a science. Undisputed masters at building a riff up then breaking it down with sledgehammer weight. Gang vocals are used to great effect too, adding power to Jasta’s already commanding performance.
‘Cling to Life’ is memorable, adding some powerful guitar melodies, and even a rare guitar solo, that helps separate it from the other tracks on the album. It gives the song more staying power and potential to perhaps make the cut in the bands already jam-packed setlists.
Vocalist Jamey Jasta makes a great impression early on, giving a performance that’s brimming full of piss and vinegar. It’s hard to believe the man has been doing this over 25 years. You can feel in your blood and guts that he means every word he says, and it adds a huge amount of energy to the whole recording.
Jasta has often been one to add positive messages and his own world wisdom to his lyrics, songs like ‘Set it Right (Start with Yourself)’ and the title track are prime examples. In clumsier hands, this could come across as cheesy, but he delivers this with such sincerity it genuinely gives a very positive lift to the album. It’s like getting an empowering lesson on the virtues of self-improvement and determination, while at the same time getting your head kicked in.
‘Weight of the False Self’ isn’t going to surprise any frequent listeners to the band. However with a short run time of just 34 minutes, and enough killer riffs to knock some teeth out, Hatebreed still grabs you by the collar and demand your attention for every second of it. 3.7/5
Check out our feature interview with Frank Novinec here.
‘WEIGHT OF THE FALL SELF’ is out now via Nuclear Blast and all good record stores.