A melting pot of hardcore, thrash, punk and death metal, Hatebreed have successfully straddled the worlds of metal and hardcore since they formed in Connecticut in 1994, becoming a leading force in the 2000s metalcore boom, and still flying the flag over 20 years on.
They've made a name for themselves through their energetic, hard-hitting live shows, but chip away at their furious metalcore exterior and you’ll find frontman Jamey Jasta penning disarming lyrics that push positivity, inner-strength and unapologetic self-belief.
Here, their eight pit-inducing studio albums from 'what were they thinking?' worst to blistering best.
8. Hatebreed (2009)
A self-titled album is usually a definitive statement on what a band should sound like, but for Hatebreed’s 2009 effort, that was far from the case. There were riffs dripping in death and doom metal, Jasta belting out his best Crowbar impression, and returning guitarist Wayne Lozinak soloing like a thrash metal maniac – in short, it wasn't your average Hatebreed release. There’s a couple of memorable moments in album highlights Everyone Bleeds Now and In Ashes They Shall Reap, but overall this is a dip in their output.
7. The Divinity Of Purpose (2013)
Bigged up by the band as being “all pit, no shit” prior to release, The Divinity Of Purpose was a little more bark than bite. Straight out of the gate, opener Put It To The Torch promised a return to the kind of Slayer (opens in new tab)-aping, circle pit starting metallic hardcore that was missing from 2009’s self-titled. But by track two, we’re in for classic Hatebreed-by-numbers, with a few deviations back to the band's punk roots. An enjoyable, albeit routine, entry in the Hatebreed catalogue.
6. Weight Of The False Self (2020)
The opening line of Let Them All Rot sums up where Hatebreed are at 26 years into the game – “Give them what they want”. Released in the midst of 2020, there was some solace to be found in knowing exactly what to expect from a new Hatebreed album, even if the rest of the world had turned upside down. Weight Of The False Self is Hatebreed 101 – and to be honest, long may it continue.
5. The Concrete Confessional (2016)
There’s something about the bone-dry production on The Concrete Confessional that makes it stand out; from the off it feels like you’re actually being bludgeoned with a slab of the grey stuff. The album doesn’t hold back: A.D. starts out by taking aim at American corruption, before diving into Looking Down The Barrel Of Today, which harks back to the hard-hitting Perseverance era. Other highlights include Sick of It All throwback Us Against Us and stonking album closer Serve Your Masters.
4. Supremacy (2006)
Hatebreed aren’t the sorts to tinker with their sound; it does exactly what it says on the tin. That being said, Supremacy marked a turning point for the band, as it introduced that mid-paced chug that’s become a focal point of their signature sound. The likes of Defeatist, Destroy Everything and As Diehard As They Come show Hatebreed at their pit-inducing best. Couple that with the twin guitars of newbie Frank Novinec (previously of Ringworm, Integrity and Terror) and longtime axeman Sean Martin (now of Umbra Vitae, Wear Your Wounds), and Hatebreed could easily level a small town with this record.
3. The Rise Of Brutality (2003)
Released just a year after breakthrough Perseverance, Hatebreed opted not to rest on their laurels and continued right where they left off – quite literally in fact, as opening track Tear It Down is a reworking of Perseverance’s Outro. The Rise Of Brutality is home to some of their most vital material – the likes of Facing What Consumes You and Doomsayer are absolute piledrivers, while Live For This and This Is Now opt for a traditional call and response formula, designed to incite a riot of self-belief.
2. Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire (1997)
One of the most important hardcore albums of the 1990s, Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire saw Hatebreed achieve more with 26 minutes of recorded music than many bands can hope to in their entire career. Released at a time when metal and hardcore were still trying to figure out if they could be friends, Hatebreed’s debut showcased that breakdowns and barked lyrics could co-exist alongside Slayer riffs and death metal longsleeves. This explosive offering contains some of the band's best and most direct songs, and the likes of Burn The Lies and Puritan have gone on to be staples in their live set.
1. Perseverance (2002)
If Satisfaction… was the blueprint for what was to come, then Perseverance is the fully-realised vision of what Hatebreed could be. Although their debut earned them a place in the hardcore history books – and could arguably have taken the top spot in this list – it’s their second album, released by Universal, that brought them to the attention of metalheads everywhere. Hatebreed’s second record saw the band quickly evolve their sound and production values. Churning death metal stomp and razor sharp thrash riffs made their way to the fore to match Jamey Jasta’s signature snarl. Perseverance elevated Hatebreed from the big fish in Victory Records’ pond to being one of the most successful hardcore bands of all time. Almost 20 years on and still nothing hits harder.