Release Date: May 13, 2016
Record label: Nuclear Blast
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
The stalwart, Connecticut-based punk-metal unit's first collection of new music in three years, Concrete Confessional picks right up where 2013's Divinity of Purpose left off. Muscular to the point of T-shirt ripping, and punishing enough to incite an arrest warrant, the 13-track set rarely innovates, but longtime fans shouldn't feel any buyer's remorse, as Hatebreed deliver the goods, as per usual. Frontman Jamey Jasta, ever the fevered, generalist authoritarian, delivers a full-on assault against all of the agreed-upon post-hardcore evils: the man, celebrity worship, drug addiction, death, insanity, police brutality, dystopia, and most importantly, not understanding his pain.
Having walked a straight and narrow musical path for 22 years, Hatebreed might reasonably expect to find that their brutish metallic hardcore formula has succumbed to the law of diminishing returns. There must be, one assumes, only so many ways to bellow motivational slogans and snarling threats over crunching, low-slung riffs before the whole scowling shebang starts to wear thin. But as they have consistently proved over the past two decades, Jamey Jasta and crew are an irresistible, unifying force in heavy music, and they sound more vital and ferocious than ever here.
Life comes with few guarantees, but among them are death, taxes and killer breakdowns whenever Hatebreed put out an album — and The Concrete Confessional certainly delivers on that.Unfortunately, that's about the only consistent thing about the band's post-2006 output. Simply put, things just haven't been the same since guitarist Sean Martin left, with 2009's self-titled serving as the band's nadir. Its follow-up, 2013's The Divinity of Purpose, was a step in the right direction, but not without its missteps.