(Running time: 33:35 minutes; 13 songs)
("Nuclear Blast"; CD; 2016):
Hey folks, next round up here, because after I currently right now have some free time to spend I can also spend it on doing something up here. And this will be a record review on the last and still current, newest HATEBREED album titled "THE CONCRETE CONFESSIONAL", released last year back in 2016 via "NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". And after 2015 and 2016 totally passed by up here without any sort of post you can be sure that I will slowly but steady work the two years record-wise up and so more reviews on albums from 2015 and 2016 will see the light of the day in the (soon) future up here. So, okay, with that said right into the action: HATEBREED released "THE CONCRETE CONFESSIONAL" at the 13. of May in 2016 via "NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS", as above already mentioned, and it was/is their all in all 9th album since (and including) their 1997 full length debut "SATISFACTION IS THE DEATH OF DESIRE", released back then via "VICTORY RECORDS". Over the last two decades (damn it, I grow old) HATEBREED turned from a more or less average 1990's Metalcore band to one of the genre-defining and sort of mega-selling Hardcore and Metalcore bands of the "new" century with more brickton loads of Thrash Metal in their sound and style, and they remained relevant up to the present day, very relevant and still sort of genre-defining and big-budget-selling, and if you ask me this is all good and fine and also well-deserved and hard earned over the last twenty (and all-in-all even more) years. I really loved the last three proper HATEBREED albums ("THE DIVINITY OF PURPOSE"/2013, "HATEBREED"/2009, and "SUPREMACY"/2006 - the cover album "FOR THE LIONS"/2009 I don't count here because it's a cover album, just that, and also... I am not that much a fan of this album...;-)...), and so I had high expectations when "THE CONCRETE CONFESSIONAL" came out last year... just to see this high expectations crumble to dust when I first listened to the album. Somehow it felt stale and was pretty boring and totally not fresh and grapping to me. This album had a hard time with me and I had a hard time with this album. But it used to grow, yes, it really grew, and today I can really appreciate it and think that it can be calmly recommended, it still doesn't beat the above mentioned three masterpieces, at least so in my book, but it's anyhow a good and really strong album in his own right and that can easily stand its ground alone without any support. HATEBREED again worked more harsh and bonebreaking (Thrash) Metal into their music, especially SLAYER, SEPULTURA/SOULFLY, as well as here and there the Bay Area left their marks, but still the Hardcore is even more present and definitely the backbone of the music, and some parts of "SLAUGHTERED IN THEIR DREAMS" even show some CARNIVORE influences; rhythm- and pace-wise HATEBREED take us on a pretty varying journey from Beat-Downs and grooy parts over sing-a-long compatible Mosh Parts up to raging Blast Speed attacks and so they keep it much fresher than my first impressions where back then. So we get a very-high-energy and full-throttle Metalcore cocktail pounded forward by a precise and tight, stoic and mercyless rhythm section, thundering drumming and beefy bass work build up a massive foundament of the songs. Then the very well-done and high-skilled-delivered and also pretty versatile, but always anyhow really hard beating and bulky pounding guitar work really mark the songs, widescreen gang shouts enrich it all, and above all shine Jamey Jasta's very charismatic lead vocals that are today more vayring and "changable" than on their last output. My problems with this albums simply were that I missed (and in parts still miss) some of the über-anthems they delivered in mass on their last albums, and that it was and still is for my taste here and there often a bit too thrashy-metallic, but that's (as so much else) just a matter of your and in this case especially mine personal taste. It really strongest moments the album delivers (at least so in my book) in the last half, and so especially "SLAUGHTERED IN THEIR DREAMS", "THE APEX WITHIN", "WALKING THE KNIFE", "DISSONANCE", and "SERVE YOUR MASTERS" are my picks for naming you my favorite tracks - with the add(ing) of "LOOKING DOWN THE BARREL OF TODAY". HATEBREED deliver decent, very decent songwriting, and that this guys know how to play their instruments and also know what they have to do should be clear anyway. Nicely diverse lyrics (but light and shadows are very close), a cool artwork, and a broad and definitely bombastic widescreen production sound round it all up - in a good way. So, to finally sum it all up: A strong Hardcore respectively Metalcore album that grows with time and that I can calmly recommend; and all bigger fans of today's Metalcore with surely love this album right from the start. Anyhow, if you maybe still don't have it, then finally get your ass off and go and get it. Strong album, period.