Ever present and ever synonymous, hardcore veterans Hatebreed have kept it up for a quarter of a century, with their eighth studio album ‘Weight Of The False Self’ arriving in a time that may arguably deem them more necessary than ever. Familiarity can sometimes breed contempt, but absolutely not in this case.
‘Instinctive (Slaughterlust)’ is as perfect of an opener that you could ask for. We have positive lyrics, meaty riffs, and perfectly timed gang vocals that just give you the urge to chant along.
‘Let Them All Rot’ is chock-full of riffs and delivers with aplomb on that front, with Jamey Jasta‘s signature shout sitting perfectly over everything. ‘Set It Right (Start With Yourself)’ is Hatebreed to a tee, with Jasta‘s messages of self-empowerment that actually feel genuinely uplifting rather than corny, and the music being unrelentingly crushing and brutal. All the accents on the riffs, and all the gang vocals are timed to perfection.
Of course, a Hatebreed record doesn’t do anything new, but that’s not what you come to Hatebreed for. You can also argue that writing simple and effective songs that everyone can yell back at you is a harder skill to master than trying to write the most complex, technical song ever written (and probably giving yourself a RSI injury in the process).
Also, it’s clear that this is an album 100% written with a live show in mind, with stage dives, carnage galore, mic grabs, and everyone chanting back the gang vocals. At the time of writing, you can only hope that concerts can return soon.
‘Cling To Life’ is a slight switch up musically, relying less on the fast pacing of before, but ‘Dig Your Way Out’ is a brilliant double-time rager. ‘The Herd Will Scatter’ still manages to feature some impressive drumming from Matt Byrne, as well as some other more technical guitar lines, and never lets up from its unrelenting power.
And yet, Hatebreed are very much capable of switching things up a bit when they want to. ‘Invoking Dominance’ starts off more slowly compared to what’s come before, but as it’s the closing track, a final crushing assault wouldn’t go amiss. Hooks and riffs take centre stage again, and with the song (and thus the album) suddenly ending, you’re immediately left wanting more.
Wasting no time at all, ‘Weight Of The False Self’ both delivers a slab of fun, no nonsense hardcore, and will go down an absolute storm with their fans.