Review Summary: It's Hatebreed doing what they do best. Take it or leave it.Supremacy
was the culmination of Hatebreed’s effort to create the perfect blend of metal and hardcore. The album was unrelenting yet catchy and powered through its short runtime with nary a bit of filler in sight. With that success under their belt, the band moved towards a more metal-dominated sound on their self-titled release; and who could blame them? It wasn’t like there was much chance of them surpassing Supremacy
, and it was probably time for a change anyway. Apparently, their self-titled release was enough to get rid of the metal itch, because The Divinity of Purpose
finds the band right back in the thick of their metalized hardcore sound with just a bit more punk influence than previous releases.
Right off the bat, it should be noted that this release isn’t going to knock Supremacy
from its pedestal, but it’s still pretty damn good. It’s the Hatebreed-patented blend of metal and hardcore that they’ve been doing from the beginning without much deviation, and fans should love it. It has the high-energy tempos, pounding drums, metalized hardcore riffs and Jamey Jasta’s throaty shout – oh yeah, it has breakdowns too… did I mention breakdowns? It also has the unrelenting intensity that was slightly lacking from their self-titled album. What else should a Hatebreed album really have – this isn’t supposed to be music for rocket scientists, it’s supposed to get you pumped and ready to lift heavy things and put them back down again.
For those that loved the increased metal influence of their previous album, there is still some of that left, too. There’s the melodic lead during the chorus of ‘Honor Never Dies’, the ripping solo in ‘The Language’ and a pretty cool bass part on ‘Before the Fight Ends You’. ‘Dead Man Breathing’ even brings back a little of that South of Heaven
influence that was infused throughout the self-titled album. Of course, the excessively positive/self-empowering lyrics do lead to a few cringe-worthy moments (as they always have) such as during the call and response of, “Who’s got more heart than you – No One”. Anyone that is into the band has either learned to love those lyrics or ignore them, so it’s not really a deal breaker. Overall, The Divinity of Purpose
is Hatebreed by the numbers, and most fans probably wouldn’t have it any other way.
Who really expects Hatebreed to stray too far away from the formula they’ve used since their debut when it continues to work so well? The Divinity of Purpose
isn’t going to surprise fans or detractors with its metal/hardcore blend, and it’s not going to impress those that irrationally expect every release to be a mind-blowing exercise in progression and experimentation. On the other hand, it should impress long-time fans and satiate their desire for no-frills, in your face music. In fact, with less emphasis on metal, Hatebreed have even managed to up the intensity levels again; and what is Hatebreed without intensity?