Weight of the False Self
METALLIC HARDCORE: When it comes to catchy, uplifting, and anthemic metallic hardcore, Hatebreed is at the top of the heap. Formed in 1994, Hatebreed is the perfect example of what metal and hardcore/crossover is. On its eighth full-length album, Weight of the False Self, it’s more of the same aggressive stomping one has come to expect from this heavyweight quintet. Featuring vocalist Jamey Jasta, bassist Chris Beattie, drummer Matt Byrne, guitarists Frank Novinec and Wayne Lozinak, Hatebreed is a hardcore institution that remains a great live draw to this day (that is, when there’s not a pandemic).
Produced and recorded once again by Chris “Zeuss” Harris (who has produced the band’s past five records), the sound is hefty and meaty, with the right amount of low end and a slamming drum sound, while huge guitar riffs cut right through the speakers. The 12 short and anthemic tracks—which barely exceed the three-plus minute mark—are perfectly constructed for Hatebreed’s brand of music.
Explosive opener “Instinctive (Slaughterlust)” immediately hits the listener with Jasta’s unwavering vocals and metaphorical lyrics, backed by his band’s menacing, mid-paced chugging riffs and slamming rhythm section. With its repeated mantra of “Give them what they want!” on “Let Them All Rot,” the band’s aggressive delivery heats to a boil on the mosh-worthy breakdown at the 2:12 mark. The anthemic title track will also most certainly induce a swirling mosh pit in the live setting. The catchy verse, uplifting lyrics, and vitriolic vocal delivery makes it one of the most memorable tracks on the record. Ditto goes for the fast and thrashy “This I Earned.”
A few minor gripes about Weight of the False Self would be that a couple of tracks don’t maintain the same momentum as others, rendering them slightly bland and repetitive (“Set It Right (Start with Yourself),” “From Gold to Gray”). Although Jasta’s shouted vocals have never sounded stronger, they get a bit exhausting throughout the 12 tracks without much pitch change, variation, or melody. However, on “Dig Your Way Out,” Jasta briefly utilizes a more melodic style on the chorus with highly pleasing results. At a perfect 32-plus minute runtime with short, anthemic tracks that immediately hook the listener and reel them in, Weight of the False Self is everything a Hatebreed fan could want from this band. ~ Kelley Simms