If you don't like Hatebreed, you're not my friend. It's as simple as that. And I know who my real friends are: my bros from Vile Gash, Weedsteeler and Homage Clothing who made the trek with me to catch the Hatebreed/Cannibal Corpse show a few weeks ago. If you're too boring and old to go, here's what you missed.
I'll be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to see Cannibal Corpse, but I should have been. They fucking slayed, especially when they played shit off "Tomb of the Mutilated." Hearing those songs live made me remember how that record blew me away when it came out, and also that when I was in 10th grade my mom said "Please don't play Cannibal Corpse or The Accused before dinner, they make me lose my appetite!"
I'm guessing the Cannibals are in their 40s by now, and I can't decide whether it's sad or awesome that they've made a career out of playing death metal. They're like the death metal version of the dad from the Wonder Years. When you ask them how their latest tour is going, they just grunt and say "Eh. Work's work," and go back to killing Night Elves.
If that's the case for you, congratulations. I'm happy for you. Unfortunately for me, I need all the help I can get. I won't lie: 2k9 has been the hardest, most painful year of my entire life by far and I've listened to Terror and Hatebreed pretty much nonstop. Sometimes your life falls apart and you need to have Jamey Jasta screaming at you that "This day is worth living." When you're as down as I've been this year, "Never succumb to the war you fight in your heart" is exactly what you need to hear. Laugh if you want, but I sincerely love Hatebreed because their songs mean a lot to me and have helped me through some seriously fucked up times just like Black Flag, Terror, and Cro-Mags do/did.
"They changed it, now it sucks" & "They didn't change it, so it sucks"
Another common criticism among butthurt haters is that Hatebreed's albums all sound the same. First of all, that's not really true: the latest record, for example, is by far their most blatantly "metal" album, despite remaining 100% consistent with the Hatebreed sound. Second, what's so bad about that? As long as Jamey & crew keep coming up with new breakdowns and lyrics that keep me from sticking my head in the oven, I'll always be stoked on the band. And they're fucked either way: Whenever they do introduce something new such as the Crowbar-style clean vocals on the new album, the haters hate even more.
I don't give a fuck. All I know is that the new Hatebreed record has some of their hardest mosh parts to date and is arguably their best since "Perseverance," which is a nearly perfect album. If you like Hatebreed, you will like this record. If you don't, go listen to Xasthur while you beat off to noise CD-Rs and let me mosh with my bros.
If you don't consider Hatebreed one of the best live bands of all time, you are a fool. Whether you like their music or not, you can't deny that they are a finely tuned mosh machine that knows how to get the party started like no other. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite parts of the show.
A la Carte Moshing: I didn't want to get all sweaty and get my leather seats all yucky, so I watched from the back of the venue and ran down to mosh it up for my favorite 3 or 4 songs (I think they were "As Diehard As They Come," "Perseverance" and "Proven"), then returned to the safety of the other old people by the bar.
Irresponsible Breakdowns: I hadn't heard any of the new songs live, and when I heard them play "Not My Master" and "Everybody Bleeds" I literally started laughing at how absurdly brutal the breakdowns were. If I was in Hatebreed and someone brought in a riff like, say, the meta-breakdown from "As Diehard As They Come" (listen to 1:30, holy fucking fuck) I think I would have to say something just to ease my conscience. "Dudes, remember that with great power comes great responsibility. We possess powers of mosh like nobody else on this planet, but we must use them wisely. I am afraid that riff is so fucking hard that people will die when we play it live. We can bring the mosh to the people for sure, but we may have their blood on our hands!!"
Mosh Platforms: Jamey had two little platforms that he would stand on, jump off of, etc. I'm guessing that he's eaten shit onstage before from standing on a monitor or whatever only to have it slide out from under his feet. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and I salute Jamey for his innovations in moshing!!
Buy the new Hatebreed album here
Follow Jamey on Twitter
Postscript: More X Breakdowns X 4 U