If you were born before 1980 and hear the word “hardcore,” which band first comes to mind? Black Flag? Minor Threat? Bad Brains? These are a few of the most legendary hardcore bands- the ones that started it all, the ones you grew up listening to. An unfortunate reality, however, is that for many younger listeners, (those born in the age of grunge, nu-metal, or screamo), “hardcore” is just another genre. We didn’t get to see its birth. We didn’t get to live in the days of all its underground angst. Enter: Hatebreed.
The Connecticut quintet (Jamey Jasta- vocals, Wayne Lozinak- lead guitar/backing vocals, Frank Novinec- guitar, Chris Beattie- bass, Matt Byrne- drums) was founded in 1994 and has been instrumental in bridging the gap between old school hardcore and the mainstream metal scene. And now, the band that brought you “I Will Be Heard,” “Destroy Everything,” and “Looking Down the Barrel of Today” is releasing their eighth studio album, “The Weight of False Self,” on November 27, 2020, through Nuclear Blast Records.
The album starts out with the intensity of “Instinctive (Slaughterlust).” Yes, “Slaughterlust” is a made-up word, reminiscent of Slayer’s “Repentless” or Soulfly’s “Warmageddon,” but it’s a hard intro to an album that gives you the hint that is not your Mama’s lullaby. The riffs are heavy, the drums are brutal, and the vocals are savage. “Instinctive (Slaughterlust)” is guaranteed to be on your next lifting playlist. The song was released as a single on October 23rd. The official music video is much different than what Hatebreed has released in the past as it does not feature the band performing at all.
The first single to be released from this upcoming album was the title track, “Weight of the False Self.” Since its release on September 11th, the track has been inspiring every Hatebreed fan to look at the world around them and start making changes within their sphere of influence. It seems to be the mission of Jasta and company- create easy to remember, positive, lyrical phrases and entwine them with memorable and merciless riffs. This single is sure to be a live staple for years to come.
If the first two singles aren’t enough to satisfy, “Weight Of The False Self” is chock-full of other vicious tracks. If you are drawn to the lyrics, the self-reflective tones of “Set It Right (Start With Yourself)” and the warnings of life’s negative forces in “Wings Of The Vulture,” are sure to motivate you. “A Stroke Of Red” and “From Gold To Gray” feature provocative bass lines, and if you’re hungry for an aggressive thrash song, “Dig Your Way Out” is sure to please. “Let Them All Rot” thrusts repetitive gang vocals in the spotlight and at the pinnacle of “The Herd Will Scatter,” a breakdown is brandished for fans in all its violent glory.
With this latest release, Hatebreed proves they are still in the fight for dominating the scene. Like a raging uppercut to the chin of complacent metal, “Weight Of The False Self” delivers a fury the genre so desperately needs.