Hatebreed – The Rise of Brutality

Hatebreed
The Rise of Brutality

As someone who avoids most major-label offerings, I figured Hatebreed would be some sort of watered down, nu-metal band with nothing original to bring to the table. I mean, what could this group of guys be presenting that tons of other bands haven’t been doing for years with little or no label support? The answer is a rather simple one – Hatebreed isn’t doing anything different from the masses of hardcore bands that have already come and gone. However, despite being signed to a major label, getting lots of press, and finding themselves on MTV or on the cover of a glossy magazine, this foursome still stay true to their roots, and the result isn’t half bad.
Since I have no experience with any of Hatebreed’s earlier material, there is only one reference point by which to compare – old-school hardcore bands that I enjoy. In the style of Hatebreed’s forefathers, The Rise of Brutality is short and to the point. At just over 30 minutes for 12 tracks, there is no time to mess around, and the members use their time wisely, moving from one hard-hitting number right into the next.
The title of the album is quite appropriate because Hatebreed is a rather brutal band and the music is a definite assault on the ears. The guitars are just this side of being flat-out metal, and the vocals bring up all the anger and angst the lyrics have to offer. Still, this group maintains a groove throughout that is just barely noticeable but adds a little dimension to the normal hardcore formula.
The Rise of Brutality is a solid album that I’m sure existing Hatebreed fans will eat up. Hardcore fans in general will likely find something to like here as well as long as they approach with the understanding that this band isn’t really doing anything innovative. The members are really just paying homage to the bands they grew up listening to, and from that perspective they do a mighty fine job. My only hope is that some younger fans who find Hatebreed via MTV or something similar will take the time to investigate some of the older hardcore out there as well.