Monthly Archives: February 2013

Hatebreed-The Divinity of Purpose

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Hatebreed, the modern day kings of hardcore, are back with another offering of angry yet uplifting music for the circle pitting masses with The Divinity of Purpose. With Hatebreed you know what you are getting. 3 minutes songs of intense energy with catchy riffs and Jamey Jasta’s barking vocals of inspiration.

In fact his lyrics should be considered as a member of the band with being as integral as they are. Without them these songs would be very cliché and boring. While he sings about well-treaded topics as self reliance, he does them in a way that don’t sound as dickish as other singers do. Take “Own Your World” which starts out with chanting “who has more heart than you/NO ONE”. Talking about burning the bridge and making a stand, very simple yet powerful lyrics that draw in the disenfranchised and wandering masses. Couple that with riffs that act as magnets and you have a rallying point.

With the title track’s subject of friendship, which sounds on corny in print, makes you want to hug your friend and start slamming into strangers when you hear it.

On those songs when everything is meshing, Hatebreed is one of the best. Yet when it isn’t, they are very tired and boring. Its at those times when you notice the limitations of the band. Simple riffs are great when they work, when they don’t it sounds like a beginners band. Having no solos underscores that on the bad ones too. The bad music then spotlights how these lyrics can be cheesy at times.

The Divinity of Purpose is a perfect representation of Hatebreed. When it works they are a mass of of fist pumping, me against the world, awesomeness. When it doesn’t, they become “didn’t they just play that?”

However, the good is just so Gahd Damn good.

 

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…

$14.99-Regularly Priced CD

$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon

$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale

$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop

$0-Not worth the drive space

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Enslaved-RIITIIR

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Black Metal can be a tricky lot. Lyrics and image seem to pigeonhole bands into a corner that they cannot get out of. Nor do many seem to want to leave that corner. The genre seems to embrace horrible production thinking it is the most troo. Going so far to releasing stuff on cassette.

Really?

Cassettes?

Except for my 2000 Dodge Neon, I do not know of another cassette player outside of a resale shop.

Then along comes Enslaved and sets the genre on its’ corpse painted ear. Their latest offering from the cold tundras of Noway is RIITIR. To put it mildly, this is a game changer. What Leviathan and Operation:Mindcrime was to its’ time, RIITIIR is to the present.

RIITIIR shows bands what they can do and not to be confined by genre labels.

When describing Enslaved the word “progressive” gets added on to black metal. It is fitting because the band certainly knows how to play. However, it is not the noodling a Dream Theater, more along the mines of Nachtmystium. “Roots of the Mountain” is over 9 minutes long with lots of soloing but it more for building an atmosphere than for showing off. There is still the the guttural vocals most identified with black metal but they are nicely countered with clean ones. It adds a nice contrast and really helps convey emotion to the tracks.

It kicks off with “Thoughts Like Hammers” a perfect representation of the whole album. Starting with a slow heavy dirgy riff and and vocals that are so shredded you can hear the larynx tear. Then comes the chorus with clean vocals and they are harmonized.

HARMONY?!?! In Black Metal? Yes, and it works so good especially when it goes back into the opening sequence. It’s just so refreshing to hear a band push away the supposed definitions of what they are supposed to play. There is a lot of instrumentation and those passages give the album space and a direction.

The beauty of RIITIIR is being a great gateway album for those that may not like Black Metal. The vocals are not as typically off putting and the music, while still heavy, has is not as dissonant yet very powerful.

RIITIIR may have come out in 2012 and I am late to the party, as usual. However, this is a Top 5 release of ’12 and fans of all styles of heavy should get this.

 

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…

$14.99-Regularly Priced CD

$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon

$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale

$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop

$0-Not worth the drive space

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