Hatebreed's Perseverance = Hardcore Heaven
Mike Hess
6/16/2002 8:23:40 PM

Hardcore music never had a shot in hell of getting mainstream press and acceptance, that is, until now. Hatebreed has turned the underground upside-down with their upcoming release Perseverance [Universal], bringing the fury, fire and frustration of hardcore music to a big label, without losing a bit of intensity.

Perseverance is a bar-brawl turned into music, throwing sucker-punches that hit harder with each song, leaving in its path a demolished, drained and shattered feeling of hardcore perfection. Vocalist and group founder Jamey Jasta is a seasoned screamer whose malicious growl would frighten most paranormal beings into limbo. With each baneful blast of his vocal chords, Jasta demands a surge of rabid energy that is only enhanced by shrapnel-spewing guitar riffs by Sean Martin and Lou Richards and pummeling, kick-to-the-skull drumlines by Matt Byrne.

Don't let the name fool you though. They lyrics on Perseverance are overwhelmingly positive, urging fans to find hope within their own heart. "This is for the kids that have no where to turn/Who have nothing to live for/
You think you haven't the will to persist/
You have to search within yourself," scowls Jasta on "You're Never Alone".

Being Connecticut natives, Hatebreed has more than paid their dues on the east-coast hardcore scene over the last seven years, doing shows anywhere, any time and at any place. Hardcore music is all about touring and intense live shows, as major labels wouldn’t feed hardcore bands prostate stew if they begged for it until recently. Hatebreed’s underground following grew, grew, and grew with their do-it-yourself-24-7 work ethic and catastrophic blend of hardcore and death metal. Now, although on a major label, Hatebreed hasn’t dropped an ounce of putrid madness that makes them so volatile and great.

Keeping true to hardcore tradition, only 2 of the 16 songs top the 3-minute barrier, as the intensity is far too outrageous to keep up for any longer amount, and most likely would have to be regulated by some governing body and deemed unsafe for human use. Title track “Perseverance” is a hurricane-force shitstorm, a full-out aural assault and attack on the listener. “I Will Be Heard” is a big fuck-you sent out to anyone that’s ever interfered with another persons drive towards success and happiness, as Jasta scowls “Now is the time for me to rise to my feet! Wipe your spit from my face, wipe these tears from my eyes!”

What makes this album a hardcore masterpiece is its thoroughness and non-stop bombastic raid of metal panic. Showing up all the prideless bands that front-load their albums with listen-worthy tracks, and fill up the rest with meaningless filler, Perseverance packs a full clip of hardcore with no gaps or weaknesses from start-to-finish. “Below the Bottom” is a beautifully messy buckshot-blast of rage, while “Final Prayer” (featuring the man, the myth, the legend...Kerry King of Slayer) features the signature bone-shredding licks that made Slayer such a massive force in the death metal scene. And as for "A Call For Blood", it's simply the best song Hatebreed has ever written. Crushing, pulsating and vengeful music done right.

Keep it going, and track 13, “Healing To Suffer Again” will skin you, drop you in an alcohol bath, and then roll you around in glass-laced salt.

That’s hardcore, baby, and that’s Hatebreed.

While hardcore should definitely keep to the underground, Perseverance is a warm welcome into the mainstream, and a message to all that even Universal Records can’t tame a band that is pure to the game. Groundbreaking, barrier-flattening and revolutionary...here comes the insanity, riding on the tails of the best hardcore album since Vision of Disorder’s self-titled 1996 release.

For Hatebreed info, check out www.hatebreed.com


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