“The Concrete Confessional”, the 7th studio album from Hatebreed, masterfully blends hardcore and metal on 13 crushing tracks that go straight for the jugular. Lyrically, the album is a reflection on the failings of our society, and right off the bat the opening track “A.D.” offers a scathing no-holds-barred critic of the corruption of the American Dream.
“I don’t want this dream or the grievance it brings
Can’t justify greed at the cost of equality
Tangled in endless archaic chains
Of power, profit, gain
What about the poor bearing poverty’s marks
What about the sick whose lives are torn apart
What about those whose rights aren’t respected
A nation of youth dejected”
“The Concrete Confessional” is driven by feelings of social alienation and rage against injustice. “Looking Down the Barrel of Today”, “Seven Enemies”, “From Grace We’ve Fallen”, ‘Slaughtered in Their Dreams” are just a few titles showing the band’s mindset; clearly a lot of people have sins to atone at this concrete confessional. Singer Jamey Jasta spits out the lyrics with a deep-rooted anger, while his bandmates back him up with thundering riffs and crashing chords.
Like its predecessor, 2013’s “The Divinity of Purpose”, this album was produced by Zeuss at Dexters Lab Studio in Milford, Connecticut, and it sounds fantastic. The guitar riffs cut through like chainsaws, and the powerful vocals are clear at center stage for everyone’s head banging delight. Hatebreed has never sounded this good.
Good albums are always too short, and I often found myself surprised to reach the end of “The Concrete Confessional”, to a point where I played it twice back to back quite a few times. The album clocks in at 33 minutes, with only one song longer than 3 minutes, but it packs plenty of punch and has no filler; it’s one of those albums that is exactly what it needs to be. It has great guitar riffs, thoughtful lyrics and powerful vocals, all coming together in a metal/hardcore hybrid that should please fans of both styles.
(This article was originally written for Montreal Rampage)