HATEBREED is one of the first groups that got me into heavy metal and after three years of minimum action, they have come back strong with their seventh album The Concrete Confessional (May 13, Nuclear Blast Records). Before telling you what a piece of anger-relief material this album is, let me say that Jamey Jasta (vocals), Chris Beattie (bass), Wayne Lozinak (guitar), Matt Byrne (drums) and Frank Novinec (guitar) once again composed an album that is very good to listen to whenever there are tough times or there’s the need to overcome difficulties without actually throwing bricks at anybody’s face…at least figuratively speaking.
The Concrete Confessional offers just over thirty minutes of hard riffs, with very few melodies, but powerful lyrics and messages. The first punch in the face is definitely given by “A.D.” which is my favorite song and the first single from this project. “Looking Down the Barrel of Today” has an excellent intro, which prepares you to go nuts as the hard beats are brought by Mr. Byrne and “Seven Enemies” can be classified as an all-destroying song. These are barely the first three tracks and they have some blood-pumping material. “In the Walls” offers some simple, but faster riffs that make for a classic circle pit song by. “From Grace We’ve Fallen” goes back to the slower, heavier rhythm and riffs, very few melodies and a short duration (but very sweet).
Alternating again with the speed of beats, “Us Against Us” brings the drums up front to the circle-pit style songs. “Something’s Off” starts with a few bass notes that sound a bit boring, but after you give it about ten seconds, you’ll have a blasting follow-up to such introduction. Repetitive riffs in short songs don’t seem to bother me too much after all when there’s a connection between one track and another, giving it an essence. “Remember When” goes back again to the fast rhythm, but this one offers more hardcore material, lower notes in the riffs alternating with the palm-muting technique that eventually makes the song darker and angrier. “Slaughtered in their Dreams” has a sound that’s related to the heavy KINGDOM OF SORROW songs, but with Jasta’s energetic voice all along.
“The Apex Within” breaks the structure of HATEBREED’S songs to accommodate to some singing among screaming lines, which is not my favorite part, but has a cool sound for the band’s style. “Walking the Knife” is the kind of song that’ll make you go mad as soon as you hear the first seconds, it’s definitely one of the heaviest songs of the album with a longer duration. “Dissonance” almost takes things to an end with even more fast-paced drums than we’re used to hearing. “Serve Your Masters” closes the record with slow headbanging material. Not exactly my type of choice, but they work pretty well once I’ve re-gained the vibe with the hardcore style.
As I stated before, HATEBREED was one of the first bands that I was introduced to ten years ago and I’ve always identified with them for the positive support that I’ve found in their lyrics. Amazing job from Jamey and his boys, hopefully they’re able to keep it up for another fifteen years and even more.The Concrete Confessional can easily substitute the yoga classes that you don’t need with the same positive output that you DO need. This kind of art has a clear message and once I have the opportunity to witness it live May 27 in Dallas, my perspective will be for the good.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “A.D.”, “Looking Down the Barrel of Today”, “Seven Enemies”, “Dissonance”, “Walking the Knife”