Hatebreed - _The Rise of Brutality_
(Universal Music, 2003)
by: Jackie Smit (
For many, Hatebreed's pummeling 2002 effort _Perseverance_ underlined with fierce determination the fact that the Connecticut-based quartet were without a doubt the meanest pack of rottweilers in the underground hardcore yard. Yet, as powerful as it was, there were moments when _Perseverance_ suffered badly from downright monotony as characterized by a glut of superfluous grooves and downright lazy songwriting. To be honest, I was more or less expecting a repeat of both past glories and mistakes on album three, and it is ironic then, that a band who peddle such unequivocal and forthright music could actually succeed in surprising me. From start to finish, _The Rise of Brutality_ displays a distinctly matured and improved act delivering their finest moment to date; but those expecting to hear any sort of departure or diversification should think again, because from the moment that "Tear It Down" thunders its way on to the speakers, it will be evident that the record is very much set to live up to its title. Indeed, _The Rise of Brutality_ is even heavier than its predecessors and, if it were at all possible, Jamie Jasta and Co sound more menacing than ever. The album showcases a far tighter and more focused Hatebreed than ever before, with songs like "A Lesson Lived Is a Lesson Learned" and "Voice of Contention", stripped bare of any excess filler and made all the more effective by incorporating hooks that could rip the face off an unsuspecting listener at twenty paces. Elsewhere "Beholder of Justice" carves a groove of such sludge-like density that it almost becomes overwhelming, while "Confide in No One" concludes the album at perhaps its most satisfying peak. _The Rise of Brutality_ is not for everyone, and if you're hungry for melody and dynamics you'd be well advised to search elsewhere; but for those yearning to hear an album of truly heavy music that would make the likes of Fred Durst soil his oversized trousers, it is most definitely an essential purchase.
(article published 11/26/2003)
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