HATEBREED. I know what you’re thinking. Angry, hate music. You would be completely wrong. This band isn’t a hate group and the majority of their lyrics are uplifting and encouraging. Surprised right? I know I was. When I first heard of them that is what I assumed. I am so glad I looked further. This band has given me some of the most encouraging lyrics I have ever heard. This album continues that trend, but is even more focused, furious and experimental than their previous self titled album.
Hatebreed has the tendency to start off their albums with a blistering tune, this release is no different. The album kicks off with the brutalizing, “Put It To The Torch”. The song is short and fast, but also heavy and aggresive. You know its about to go down when you hear lead singer Jamey Jasta bellow, “TORCH IT”. It’s about fighting apathy and not just accepting life. It’s about fighting for what you want and burning every else down. This is a prime example of this band’s passionate aggression that they express throughout.
“Sometimes standing for what you believe, means standing alone.” This lyric and song instantly caught my attention. I loved the overall message of the tune about how honor and integrity are things that last forever and make us into the people that we are. I also love the way it ends with the band yelling that lyric over and over until it fades out.
I love the call and response from Jasta of “ Who’s got more heart than you?” and the reply of “NO ONE” from the gang vocal chorus on “Own Your World”. Belting out the song’s title paired with its rhythm really gets you pumped! It tells you exactly what it is about in this lyric, “Burn the bridge to the place where your fear lives.” This is one of those uplifting songs that tells you to stand up and take control of your life and the direction it’s heading.
The song, “The Language” is a rifftastic aural middle finger to haters. Jasta screams, “Tearing me down, will never raise you any higher.” This song is a message to all those that seek to denigrate their fellow man that, “The language you speak is dead”. The next song, “Before the Fight Ends You” is another jam that is packed to the rim with riffs. I love the way it starts with Jasta’s patented extended “OHHHHHHHHHHHHH”. “End the fight! Before the fight ends you!”
The song, “Indivisible” sounds epic. It reminds me of one of frontman Jamey Jasta’s side projects, Kingdom of Sorrow. This song talks about how we need to “Scream an anthem for every nation. Indivisible” and then follow that up with unity and action to make change.
“I don’t want to be another dead man breathing.” Jasta expresses the desire to make his life mean something. The nu-metal influence is definitely heard in this song especially in the Disturbed-like bridge but it is still plenty hardcore.
I love the structure of the title track . He points to the divinity of purpose as to what got him through life. Every time he says “When ‘X’… ” he follows up with “I needed someone by my side”. He tells how, “Even on my weakest days, you helped me find the strength.” Everyone needs something or someone to keep them going and inspire them on.
There are more call and response vocals on “Nothing Scars Me” between Jasta yelling, “NOTHING” and the rest of the band responding with “Scars Me”. I love the melody that is created by the back and forth. It is a song about how after all that life has thrown at them, nothing can hurt them anymore.
“Bitter truth cuts both ways,” Jasta screams. One of the truths he refers to is that “…the choices we make, all along the way, can destroy us.” Such an important but difficult thing to accept about life. One of life’s most bitter truths.
“Boundless (Time to Murder It)” is a heavy tune with a really cool breakdown. This song is about being boundless and not letting stuff drag you down. They say, “I’ve got a bullet for the shame, a toe tag for the spite, a body bag for the envy, a coffin for their guilt.” The imagery is striking and impactful.
The album’s finale, “Idolized and Vilified” tackles the subject and effect of substance abuse. They tell how the drugs and alcohol people use basically say, “I’ll take your dream and crush it” and people just take them anyway. They become, “A master of a worthless kind, controls your body, soul, and mind.”
I really liked this album. It had all of the elements I expected from a Hatebreed album. Great breakdowns, supreme metal technicality, encouraging lyrics, and pure intensity. They were able to improve on their previous work and add another gem to their already impressive discography.