Album review

Hatebreed : The Rise Of Brutality
Roadrunner Records

Hatebreed : The Rise Of Brutality"I live for this shit!" shouted all-American and shiny headed hero Vin Diesel in last year's ridiculously over the top XXX. Muppet. But XXX wasn't a complete waste of time. The Hollywood blockbuster got Connecticut hardcore bruisers Hatebreed some much-needed limelight with I Will Be Heard, a track featured on the soundtrack. While the video was one of those band-plays-to-crowd-with-interspersed-action-scenes-from-movie affairs, the song was absolutely banging. Listening to Rise Of Brutality it's very clear Hatebreed live for their shit too - dedication and perseverance to the hardcore way of life shines through on this new release.

It would be lovely to think Hatebreed formed solely because of bands like Agnostic Front and Madball, and they wanted to make a notable contribution to the punk genre, but listening to this my doubts about that are brought up with every line.
    The real reason they got together in 1993 is because Jamey Jasta desperately needs to vent his fury through the music, and if he didn't he might be stood on top of the local Wal-Mart with an Uzi and an unrelenting vendetta. His personal rage at the matters presented on Rise Of Brutality have sincerely come from his soul, copied and pasted onto a silver disc slightly smaller than the average hand, threatening to shatter with every throat destroying shout.
    The sludgy breakdowns are so fearless and filthy that not even the cheapest, industrial-strength washing up powder has the might to swab them away. They act as the definitive part of the songs, temporarily pulling the listener away from the burly shouting, to a slower and, in a very strange way, grooveable piece of music. The only criticism I can think of is that this is very basic metalcore and sticks to a rigorous and inflexible formula, but who cares when the music itself sounds like a fifteen-car pile up?

This CD will fight you, and not sportingly either. Starting with a fierce left hook on Tear It Down, followed up with a right jab Straight To Your Face. You're dizzy and stumbling around, the floor and ceiling undistinguishable from each other. Blow follows blow, Beholder Of Justice and This Is Now rain down on your face and from the sides. Click. Flash. A camera lens captures the snapshot of your beaten body in mid-air and you plummet back to the mat. Unconscious. KO.
    Fast, dirty and merciless. Belt it out of your car CD player and unleash some punishment on your local community.

:: Graham Drummond

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