Genre: Hardcore
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year: 2016

Connecticut’s hardcore pride, the mighty Hatebreed, are finally back. “The Concrete Confessional” is the band’s seventh studio album and was released in May 2016 via Nuclear Blast.

Hatebreed’s new record is short in duration, lasting about 33 minutes in total. For this kind of genre and successive sonic explosions, the duration of the album is working wonders; enough to make you go crazy and just as much as it needs to avoid boredom due to repetitiveness. Each of the tracks is under 3 minutes! Exciting, huh? {Except for “Something’s off” –is the title a hint? – which lasts almost 4 minutes and it’s actually the record’s most interesting track, as Jasta practices his melodic vocals – I guess it was a hint after all-}.

“The Concrete Confessional” presents an excellent combination of Hardcore and Thrash, with a few shots of Crossover (in the faster parts) and New Wave of American Heavy Metal (meaning there’s more melody and a certain kind of groove in the tracks, found in bands like Machine Head – and that ain’t a bad thing). The structures are not plain and simple nor are they extremely complex; I’d say they’re somewhere in between; “keeping things casual”, as we say in my village. The guitar riffs seem to flow effortlessly, while the catchiness / hooks of the rhythms and especially of the choruses stick to your mind. Energy is over-flowing! Aggression and violence are actually the two words that can describe exactly what’s happening in “The Concrete Confessional”. It’s an album that grabs you by the neck and throws you into the pit. Hatebreed in their 7th studio record have added more variety to their compositions compared to their previous release (from my point of view). Although avoiding to experiment with their material, the final outcome is intensely interesting and becomes more addictive each time the record spins. There are enough touches of jaw – breaking breakdowns and sing-alongs that spice things up, as well.

Generally, Hatebreed didn’t produce something ground-breaking or something too innovative, yet “The Concrete Confessional” is a solid release. Even though the band didn’t reinvent itself, just imagine the massiveness of the album’s songs performed live. Definitely some heads are gonna roll.

“The Concrete Confessional” will satisfy both the long-term fans of the band will lure to Hatebreed’s den a bunch of new listeners who dig this king of aggressing music.

Highlights: In The Walls, Us Against Us Dissonance

5/6