Hatebreed: Negative to Positive

Courtesy of Razor Tie

Courtesy of Razor Tie

Though not a “gung ho” head banger presently, I did have my heavy metal phase and still like to revisit the booming basses, amplified guitars and distorted voices through albums of Papa Roach, System of a Down and Slipknot. Hatebreed, a leading band in the metalcore genre (a mixture of heavy metal, cross over thrash and hard core punk) was founded in 1994.

On Jan. 29, the well-known band debuted a highly anticipated album. A four-year production, since the debut of “Become the Fuse” in September of 2009, “Divinity of Purpose” does not disappoint.

“The music makes its point and leaves its mark,” Jamey Jasta, lead vocalist of Hatebreed, said. This quote fittingly describes “Divinity of Purpose,” which, timed at only 38 minutes long, consists of 12, no frills, in your face, powerful songs. Beginning with the powerhouse “Put It to the Torch,” continuing with self-empowering “Own Your World” and wrapping with crowd pleasing “Boundless (Time to Murder It),” the album never loses its momentum and continues to build. With each original, “can-do attitude” song, Hatebreed has created a concert-like experience with their new album.

Though the album does not need any extras, I was pleasantly surprised by the commentary of each song that was provided through Spotify. Hatebreed’s Jasta gave a short informative speech consisting of the inspiration and explanation of each song. Through this, I found interesting facts that deepened my appreciation for the new album even more.

Hatebreed has always stood behind the mission statement of using negative energy to fuel a push in positive personal growth. Songs such as “Before the Fight Ends You” and “Own Your World” portray a message to listeners to rise above negative energy and events: “fist up, head high, we own the world tonight.” Though some songs may seem politically controversial, Jasta clarifies that the songs are made purely for the sake of music and some songs are meant to be purely entertainment. “Boundless (Time to Murder This)” and others proclaim a message concerning the music itself or personal struggles such as “Honor Never Dies,” giving ode to the passing of Jasta’s grandfather, a veteran.

Concerning the issue of explicit language, I found it moderate throughout the album. While definitely playing a key role in emphasizing lyrics, obscene language was not riddled throughout every song. Surprisingly, it was completely missing from some songs. I tend to find that heavy metal bands also exhaust the use of explicit words to replace their message, and even at times their music, but this was not the case of Hatebreed. They again displayed a maturity and consideration for their listener through their controlled use of obscene language throughout the new album.

“Divinity of Purpose” suitably embodies the “heavy, aggressive sound with an old school vibe” that the vocalist Jasta had envisioned.

Recommended: You’re a fan of metal; otherwise, their brand of music may be too much for the average listener.