Hatebreed, ‘The Concrete Confessional’ – Album Review
Hatebreed albums are a lot of things, but subtle is not one of them. From their bludgeoning music to frontman Jamey Jasta’s pointed lyrics, you know exactly where they stand and what you’re getting. That’s the case with The Concrete Confessional, their seventh studio album.
The band once again worked with Zeuss (Soulfly, Rob Zombie), as this is their fifth consecutive album collaborating with their longtime producer. It’s their third straight album with the same lineup of Jasta, guitarists Frank Novinec and Wayne Lozinak, bassist Chris Beattie and drummer Matt Byrne. That stability has helped make them a well-oiled machine.
The Concrete Confessional rockets out of the gate with “A.D.,” a blazing track that examines the American dream. Jasta says, “It’s a mirror of both sides of the story whether it’s what you believe in the media or what you actually see. Musically, it came together quickly. It’s about all of the frustrated feelings that come out when I turn on the news.”
He continues, “So much of our attention is focused on the wrong areas. People want to one-up each other with better clothes and cars, and it’s all bulls--t. Nobody goes to the grave with any of that stuff. It’s not all instant gratification. What exists on the phone and computer isn’t what exists in real life. What is the American Dream anymore?”
More than two decades after their formation, there is no sign that the band’s well of passion and anger is anywhere near empty. That’s evident in “Looking Down The Barrel of Today,” with a memorable shout-along chorus, ominous riffs and abrupt ending.
As with most Hatebreed albums, this is compact and focused. Every song but one is under three minutes long, with “Something’s Off” being the longest track at just under four minutes. And even though the songs follow a tried and true template, there’s no sense of deja vu as they inject fresh perspective. Things like some brief melodic singing during “From Grace We’ve Fallen” and "The Apex Within" help add variety.
“Remember When” has a title that you might think indicates nostalgia or looking back fondly, but in fact, it’s the opposite. Jasta barks, “Remember when is a saying I reject/What if today is all that we get/It was better then well than I don't recall.”
Hatebreed’s music is not just energetic, it’s energizing to the listener. Whether it’s bouncing around the pit at a live show, banging your head while listening in your car or shouting along while you’re on the treadmill, The Concrete Confessional is music that inspires action.
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