The Concrete Confessional



by Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (213 Reviews)
May 28th, 2016 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Uncompromising yet unsurprising.

Hatebreed are one of the exceptions in heavy metal where clichéd lyrical content is actually acceptable. Certain ideologies that revolve around self-empowerment, such as ‘Standing for something’, ‘together we’re stronger’ and ‘screw those in higher power’ are often used over-excessively by metal bands to a point where these messages sound like the inane wining of an infant’s tantrum rather than an affronting attitude directed at corrupted authorities. (Looking at you, Five Finger Death Punch)

So why are Hatebreed the exception? You could argue that their music has always been fairly one-dimensional throughout their 20 year career as they’ve always opted for a fast paced, zero bull*** attitude with lyrics depicting the aforementioned subjects on every one of their albums. Ironically, that is the core reason why they are excused and embraced by many. It is the reliability that you know what to expect from this band and you are assured that the messages Hatebreed convey are true and actually invigorating to listen to.

The music that comprises Hatebreed’s seventh album sounds essentially like “Slayer: As sung by Jamey Jasta” and every song, except ‘Something’s Off’ is under 3 minutes long for Hatebreed’s direct and unapologetic charisma toe solidify on “The Conrete Confessional”. Their straightforward delivery of beefy riffs rapidly attack on tracks such as ‘In The Walls’ and ¬‘Serve Your Masters’ waste no time in getting you off your ass while Matt Byrne’s frenzied drumming is reminiscent of Dave Lombardo and his blastbeats provide a short sharp shock during the numerous breakdowns over the album. Hatebreed’s origins are from a hardcore background and on ‘Us Against Us’’ the crossover from hardcore to metal materialises when the vigorous riffs give way to brooding breakdowns.

Jamey Jasta’s performance on “The Concrete Confessional” steals the spotlight and reveals him as one of the most forthright lyricists in modern metal. On opener ‘A.D’ he flexes between condemning higher authorities’ greed for degrading the American Dream in a way that is as blunt as a hammer. Whereas in ‘Walking the Knife’ his lyrics are more of a metaphorical sense depicting the inevitability of chaos as “lighting the candle at both ends”.

Believe it or not, there is an iota of experimentalism in “The Concrete Confessional”. Jamey Jasta seems to be telling us this album is not a duplicate of “The Divinity of Purpose” nor any other album. He adopts an unexpectedly melodic voice half way through ‘Something’s Off’ which is a welcome element amongst the unimaginative gang vocals of “OFF, OFF, OFF”. In contrast, he deepens his voice in ‘From Grace We’ve Fallen’ to emphasise the frustration behind the theme of moral decay.

There’s not enough progression for this album to sound unlike Hatebreed and their standard approach is far from groundbreaking for them. But, it’s enough for us to maintain interest in the band’s future and provides us with an adrenaline-fuelled experience rather than dismiss them as a band that refuses to progress. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 28th 2016


this band's still trucking eh? i'll admit some of their songs make for good gym music if nothing else. i assume the slayer comparisons are christ illusion and later right?

anyway, good review. minor typo in the 4th paragraph i assume you meant to say "steals the spotlight".

May 28th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review, pos. AD is one of the best songs they've ever recorded. Really solid record.

May 28th 2016


gay band

May 29th 2016


If I had a car (or a license for that matter) this is the band I would blast in it almost exclusively.

May 30th 2016


Looking Down the Barrel of Today was made for lifting heavy shit over and over again. Song was an instant add to my gym playlist.

"If I had a car (or a license for that matter) this is the band I would blast in it almost exclusively."

Absolutely, this and Divinity are mixed so well for decent car audio system.

January 24th 2018


Jamey Jasta writes his lyrics in ALL CAPS.

This was a solid album, btw.

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