Hatebreed - The Concrete Confessional

(CD, Nuclear Blast, 2016)

I cannot claim that I am a diehard follower of HATEBREED and for sure you can blame my age for this, or just my European ancestry. You see, Metalcore is not the easiest pill for an old metalhead to swallow, especially if he is located on the other side of the Atlantic. However, things have gravely changed and nowadays the taste differences between continents have been smoothed out and Metalcore bands come from all around the world. Anyway, “The Concrete Confessional” managed to break my mind’s boundaries and got stuck although I can claim the album’s Thrash(-ier) as an exonerating piece of evidence...

Sure, Jasta’s screaming and the Metalcore-type vocals of the album opener “A.D.” still carry the modern US profile I occasionally find flat, but the hard-hitting rhythm guitars cannot go unnoticed. In fact, this type of music stands closer to Hardcore and things get really interesting during the awesome headbanging and Thrash-y break. Really, you can see some SLAYER references of their post “Season In The Abyss” days, of course. The lyrics deserve some credit for making the HATEBREED so explosive and this is showcased in the vein popping “Looking Down The Barrel Of Today” that goes like this; Once had a shotgun to my head they said I wasn't worth the bullets” and then boom, it’s headbanging time. It’s impossible not to resonate with such lyrics and then resist moshing around even if you are all alone.  I guess, this goes back to the Hardcore days and how intense and opinionated was that awesome scene. Again, the main guitar riff and fast snare-drum action bows to the modern side of Thrash and that definitely works for me here. It won’t take long to raise your clenched fist in the air and join the singing/screaming along especially during songs like “From Grace We’ve Fallen” or the drum-driven “Us Against Us” with the killer Crossover rhythm section. Pay close attention to another neck-snapping and groovy break and enjoy to the fullest the powerful sound production. Speaking of the album’s sound, you should check the bass intro in “Something's Off” or the finger smashing riff in “Remember When”.

The album flows like cold beer on a hot summer night and has not a single weak moment. In fact, the energy coming from every song is infectious and will get you pumped up at no time. Sure, there are no super long guitar solos and all the focus is on the vocals and how to build a solid groove but, like I said, you can get your Thrash fix through the riff action. “Dissonance” runs towards that direction having a heavy foot on the gas (again, those Crossover guitars), while “Serve Your Masters” puts the drums on the spotlight to shine through the natural sounding production although it would such a shame not to credit (again) the killer riffs.

I can definitely see why “The Concrete Confessional” has entered the charts and it is not because HATEBREED have made a name of themselves or just because it is just a trend. This album is powerful, well-written and really can satisfy the Thrash fan who has a thing for Crossover or Hardcore song-structures. I wonder how the live shows go with such energy coming from the songs...





01. A.D.
02. Looking Down The Barrel Of Today
03. Seven Enemies
04. In The Walls
05. From Grace We've Fallen
06. Us Against Us
07. Something's Off
08. Remember When
09. 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