I’ll be quite honest and upfront with you here: I cannot stand hardcore, and the majority of metalcore for that matter. I feel like hardcore is just seemingly bland and holds no appeal to me. As for metalcore, I’ve always felt it to be a rather tasteless genre of metal, in which each band seems to repeat what the others have accomplished before them. Now, there are a few bands of the genre that I genuinely enjoy, with those being Killswitch Engage
. But still, those two seem to reflect my thoughts on their musical scene, so the question I will answer for you is: Why do I like them"
It’s simple, really: I just do. I can’t really pinpoint an exact, detailed answer other than that. Killswitch
just comes off as having the most original work in their genre, complete with great musicianship to back it up. But Hatebreed
is a different story. They aren’t incredibly talented, nor do they appear to be most unique, but it’s just the upfront brutality about them that I love. It’s the fact that istening to one of their albums is like getting a straight-shot of adrenaline into my system.
But just as expected, I can only listen to three or four songs by them at a time before I begin to yawn, as they all sound like one, giant mosh-oriented song. But in-between these tracks, I find myself attracted more and more to the simplicity that they showcase, never seeming to miss a beat and always eager to get the ball rolling on the next song.
If the ferocity of this album could be compared to another, I would say it’s almost as close as Slayer’s
“Reign in Blood
”. The riffing is about as heavy and thick as they come, and there’s never really a break from it. The format is simple for the whole album: Destroy your mind in the first song, and continue it on till it’s over. The first song, “Defeatist” is exactly what you’re going to see the whole ride through. Blazing riffs, down tuned guitars, and blasting drum work. Nothing fancy at all. They aim to crack your skull wide-open, and at this, they are good at. But when they do decide to take a deeper stab at creativity, the results are marvelous. For instance, the popping bass mini-solo on “Divine Judgment” that flicks all over before the crunch-favored guitars come in with full force. The same is the case yet again with the bass on “Destroy Everything”, with Chris Beattie (bassist) thumping and plugging away in-between two two exploding guitars. Sean Martin and Frank Novinec, the two guitarists, never really expand themselves, however, except on the two tracks “Horrors of Self” and the intro to “Give Wings to My Triumph”. During the first one I mentioned, they actually have an interesting lead part, which seems to contradict the already detonating song underneath. “Give Wings…” actually takes off slow and sinister, with the two guitarists throwing out flowing riffs. This only lasts a few seconds, however, before they begin to thrash along in full force.
Which takes me to my largest complaint about “Supremacy
”: its way too repetitive. Every song literally sounds like the one before it and after it, with almost no differentiation between them except for the song titles. It’s a valid effort, but when an album sounds like one big song, it gets quite annoying. However, some songs that take slightly different paths gain much more notice from myself, such as “As Diehard as They Come” and “The Most Truth”. These two tracks have slightly more advanced riffing, giving them both a unique shade against a canvas that seems to have been painted with only one color.
And just like the riffs, Jamey Jasta sounds the same after awhile. The guy is certainly a suitable vocalist, but all of his screams and growls begin to sound like one after awhile. He fits the band near perfectly however, as his vocal talents seem basic and brutal, just like the band. He does however outdo what I thought he could at points, like on “Never Let it Die”, where he seems to be in more “wail-scream” form, which gives it a bit more flavor. And he seems to be fond of “gang” vocals, as he invokes the rest of the band to shout out chopped words to give it more of chant-along feel, like on “As Diehard as They Come” and “Mind Over All”. However, sometimes this can become annoying, like the underneath chants of “HEY!” from the rest of the band on “Immortal Enemies”.
His lyrics have always seemed to surprise me, as they’re usually always about determination or motivation or something almost positive instead of being sinister. Kind of weird, in my honest opinion, but no doubt effective. Take a listen to Jasta when he screams out on “Horrors of Self”: “Must be confronted, to be forgiven, Horrors of self!
”. Jasta even goes on to thank those who have believed in him on “Mind Over All” by crying out “ Some rejoiced in my failures, The few that believed, Gave me power and life, Gave me strength with their trust, Surrounding me with light!
”. It’s really a unique choice of action, seeing as how they include lines like “I’m going to beat the living f*ck outta you and kill your whole family!
” and it would’ve seemed natural. But the self-motivation theme gets me going as well, especially on “Destroy Everything” which includes lines like “Cleanse this world with flame, End this, cleanse this, Rebuild and start again, Obliterate what makes us weak.
” is an enjoyable, if not slightly dumb trip of hardcore. And by dumb I mean it’s so simple at points you might want to shoot yourself. But also in that is this albums beauty, as they seem to know what and what-not they can accomplish, and along the way might throw in a few surprises here or there. Pick this album up, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, just don’t come in expecting a full-on technical band.
Never Let it Die