Hatebreed - Weight Of The False Self

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Back in the late ’90s, Hatebreed was innovative and bordering on groundbreaking. By performing heavy metal within the boundaries of hardcore punk, the Connecticut band helped set the template of the dominant form of metal in the early ’00s. Others had done the same but it remains a pillar in the evolution of its genre.

Weight of the False Self is its eighth album and they all follow the same formula of simultaneously angry and inspirational songs. The shouted lyrics of vocalist Jamey Jasta and aggressive, shredding guitars courtesy of Wayne Lozinak and Frank Novinec makes you want to tear down a brick wall with your forehead. Essentially, if Dethklok from Metalocalypse became motivational speakers, that’s more or less the musical output of Hatebreed—this album included.Like a modern-day AC/DC, there’s not really reason for Hatebreed to change because it hasn’t been left behind by the musical landscape. This band in 1997 sounded like metalcore in 2020. The songs on Weight of the False Self feature same tone, same tempo, same vocal style and same structure. The album starts at 100 MPH and holds that speed until the end, the only feigning nod to power ballads in the intro to closer “Invoking Dominance,” before going right back to normal. The closest it gets to bringing it down is when the guitarists shred at the exact same speed but Chris Beattie turns up the heaviness on his bass.

And it’s glorious. One doesn’t listen to Hatebreed to be taken on a journey through an emotional soundscape after all, one listens to Hatebreed to be driven at full speed through the center median, across four lanes of oncoming traffic, and off an overpass into a river. And this delivers.

1. Instinctive (Slaughterlust)
2. Let Them All Rot
3. Set It Right (Start With Yourself)
4. Weight Of The False Self
5. Cling To Life
6. A Stroke Of Red
7. Dig Your Way Out
8. This I Earned
9. Wings Of The Vulture
10. The Herd Will Scatter
11. From Gold To Gray
12. Invoking Dominance