Over the course of 500 episodes of his podcast, Jamey Jasta has given listeners an honest insight into his musical processes, be it songwriting, production or the live environment. In the case of Hatebreed, the frontman has revealed that as well keeping it “haaaard” and having necessary trips to “Moshville”, each new album should have songs that are strong enough to open and end a show – a daunting task considering the already bulging setlist boasted by one of heavy music’s most consistent live acts.
So even though there is little to dislike or criticise about the Connecticut bruisers’ eighth effort, the only relevant test is how its songs stack up against their own watertight discography. The opening duo, Instinctive (Slaughterlust) and Let Them All Rot, have the potential to be firm live favourites, with gang vocals, adrenaline-filled turns of pace and bulldozing riffs that hardcore fans can shout, jump and kung-fu dance along to in that way they find so agreeable.
But while Cling To Life’s theatrical leads help add an emotional edge, Hatebreed have comfortably found their niche since a bit of experimentation on 2009’s self-titled album, and as such every other track unapologetically follows an almost clinical, bulldozing approach. Relying purely on energy and positive attitude, it’s this tried and trusted method that may limit the band’s scope but also provides a cordial familiarity. Yes, the title track may be a little too wordy, but on the whole Jasta’s outpouring of self-help slogans and optimistic advice ensures Weight Of The False Self does an exemplary job of making you feel instantly better about yourself.
Ultimately, it’s this beneficial affirmation that ensures that any new Hatebreed release makes for an indispensable, cathartic trip to Pit City, no matter how it stacks up against their previous efforts.