ALBUM REVIEW: Hatebreed – Weight Of The False Self


In a year which has seen a global pandemic, mass protests and rioting, explosions, fires, floods, earthquakes, and even fucking murder hornets, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about what final cruel tricks 2020 might still have left up its sleeve, and just have something nice and dependable to enjoy?

Enter Connecticut hardcore mob Hatebreed. Often labelled as nothing more than knuckle-dragging or boneheaded angry-man metal, the truth is, in times of need, Hatebreed is exactly what the virologist ordered. In fact, the new album Weight of the False Self (Nuclear Blast Records) doesn’t just hit the spot, but upper-cuts it into oblivion. Forty explosively cathartic minutes of self-empowerment and positive thinking that will allow you to at least temporarily forget all the bad stuff happening right now, and just rock the fuck out.

You won’t find any surprises here. No love songs, no jazz interludes, and no tracks longer than three and a half minutes. Actually, think up a Hatebreed song in your head right now, and the opener ‘Instinctive (Slaughterlust)’ will probably be exactly what you imagine. It’s that simple. From the faster cuts such as ‘Dig Your Way Out’ and ‘From Gold to Gray’, to the likes of ‘Set it Right’, ‘A Stroke of Red’, ‘Wings of the Vulture’, the classic-sounding title track and ‘This I Earned’, the Hatebreed hardcore machine is in full effect and ready to snap some necks.

The instant smackdowns of ‘Let Them All Rot’ and ‘The Herd Will Scatter’ don’t even try to hide their clear Slayer influence while the breakdowns remain as crushing as ever, with songs like ‘Cling to Life’ and closer ‘Invoking Dominance’ featuring some sterling lead guitar work. The hoarse bark of vocalist Jamey Jasta is as unrelenting as Frank Novinec‘s riffs, the rhythm section of bassist Chris Beattie, and drummer Matt Byrne takes no prisoners, but there’s also no shortage of shredding or melody from lead guitarist Wayne Lozinak either.

An absolutely monstrous slab of US hardcore, Weight of the False Self is unapologetically ferocious, uncompromisingly brutal, and exactly what is needed right now.

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8 / 10