Hatebreed – The Divinity of Purpose

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Hatebreed
The Divinity of Purpose
Nuclear Blast

It’s true. I’m a pretty big Hatebreed fan. And I don’t feel any shame in saying that,. Hatebreed are undoubtedly an easy target for metal fans, presumably because of their heart on sleeve, hardcore pride lyrics and the assumed predictably of their songs. That doesn’t make them any different from a number of bands from over time, and while Hatebreed aren’t quite legends of their era, there can’t be any denying that, love them or hate them, they’ve done a lot to bridge the divide between hardcore and metal in the new millennium, for better or worse, as well as encouraging a new wave of hardcore bands to emerge, from the likes of Sworn Enemy, Terror and more recently, Trapped Under Ice, to name a few.

Even as a ‘diehard’, it’s my own personal opinion that I haven’t found a Hatebreed album as compulsive and empowering as 2002’s ‘Perseverance‘, though that’s not to say they’ve put out bad records since. Still, ‘The Divinity of Purpose‘ is, for me, the band’s best release since that album. That it’s their first in four years, their longest gap since the five years between ‘Satisfaction is the Death of Desire‘ (their other magnum opus) and ‘Perseverance‘, perhaps gives this impression – the breather in recorded activity feels to have given the band chance to gather on their collective experience and channel it into new vitality.

The sixth album begins with the usual fire and is clearly still in good effect, with the toast to longevity ‘Put It To The Torch’, very much like the Hatebreed of old, before settling into their style shown on more recent albums. ‘Honour Never Dies’ and the pit anthem-in-waiting ‘Own The World’ are satisfying slabs of brutality in their own right. However after a few listens it begins to chafe a little though as that conundrum of everything bleeding into another presents its ugly mush. It’s not a bad album by any stretch, but save for a slamming breakdown at the end of ‘Boundless (Time to Murder It)’, there’s no change of pace, which might have helped a little more here. Still, it’s not a bad return from a band approaching the magic twenty years in existence, still at the forefront of hardcore in the 21st century. So while the wider hardcore/metal community will mull over whether to bother with this album, diehards will likely need no invitation to get on board. And that still includes me.

Peter Clegg

Hatebreed – Put It to the Torch

Buy ‘The Divinity of Purpose’ here

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