Hatebreed, ‘The Divinity of Purpose’ – Album Review
Hatebreed are back in a big way in the form of ‘The Divinity of Purpose,’ the Connecticut mosh ‘n’ stomp hardcore band’s first disc for new label Razor & Tie. It’s anthemic, full of sing-along choruses and lyrical declarations, chunky riffing, battering ram drumming and more breakdowns than an insane asylum. It’s a totally moshable affair, comprised of tight, efficient and make-their-point-and-move on songs.
The album opens with the blazing ‘Put It to the Torch,’ with frontman Jamey Jasta inviting you to burn off everything that threatens to take you down. It’s followed by ‘Honor Never Dies,’ which sounds like it could have fit nicely on the band’s 1997 full-length debut ‘Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire’ or even the 2002-issued follow up ‘Perseverance.’ It’s a true first-pumper, reminding you that “Sometimes, standing for what you believe / Means standing alone.” The unity that hardcore bands often pay lip service to takes actualized sonic form on ‘The Divinity of Purpose.’
On ‘Own Your World,’ Jasta asks, in robust, communal sing-along fashion, “Who’s got more heart than you?” and we can just imagine ‘Breed pits erupting with fists in the air, karate kicks being thrown and every person, regardless of their age or gender, singing along, declaring, “Fists up / Head high / We own the f—ing world tonight” – further proof that Hatebreed know how to construct a deep groove and a catchy chorus.
‘The Language’ begins with Slayer-inspired riffing, and is somewhat similar to ‘Doomsayer’ from ‘The Rise of Brutality,’ with its somewhat more complicated guitar work. But it’s still moshtastic just the same. ‘Dead Man Breathing’ has a similar construction, as well.
At 12 tracks, ‘The Divinity of Purpose’ is subcompact and makes its points and moves on. It’s quick pacing, and short, shotgun-blast songs, make it the type of record you blast in the car on a road trip. But you might want to be careful, since the fury in the songs will find you stepping on the gas pedal a little heavier and you might end up with a ticket for your troubles.
Other stand out tracks are the razor sharp ‘Before the Fight,’ where Jasta barks, “End the fight / Before the fight ends you,” or the old school punk rager ‘Indivisible,’ which borrows a little, homage-style, from Agnostic Front. The title track boasts some vocal effects, which help Jasta’s message rise to the top.
Hatebreed have been delivering choppy, boot-to-the-throat moshcore for nearly two decades and they have returned to their signature, simple but slaughtering hardcore style, with an uplifting message on the album, as it is what made them one of the crucial bands of the ’00s. You can kick up dust in the pit and then just chill out with a frosty beverage afterwards, since a ‘Breed record always fully cleanses you of any anger or aggression you may have.
If that ain’t sonic therapy, we don’t know what is.