First of all, I like Hatebreed and I like this album. I'll admit, it's not their best. (Not by a long shot) There were lots of better albums released this year. But I've heard a LOT worse than this this year. That being said, I'm going to play the bad guy and rip Hatebreed to shreds. Just because I can find fault in something doesn't mean I can't enjoy it to some degree.
I'll start with the music itself because I can speak of that in a more or less general sense. In a word: stock. I bet if you took the time, you could find all the riffs in some form, on one of their older records. The few times they do branch out a little it either sounds forced and/or weak and/or Not Hatebreed. Case in point, on the instrumental track, "Undiminished", it doesn't sound like Hatebreed at all. If I had heard that song by itself randomly, I would never, ever guessed it was Hatebreed. Not in a million years. I would have guessed it was an instrumental Paradise Lost track. And if you told me it was Hatebreed, I'd call you a liar.
On to the vocals. The majority of the gang vocals on this album suck. Either they down right sound bad or they detract from the song. For example, on "No Haloes for the Heartless" the "whoooa" gang vocals sound awful. Ruins the song. And on "Every Lasting Scar", they shout along with Jamey at some parts and it's completely unnecessary. That song is one of the most aggravating on the album. Other than the gang vocals, it features his "Kingdom of Sorrow vocals" as I like to call them. You know, the voice he has where it sounds like he's trying to sound like Kirk from Crowbar but can't? No-one can. He's too awesome. (Isn't a new Crowbar album like, way overdue?) They are "okay" on a KoS album but they don't fit on a Hatebreed album. Plus, it's so damn catchy I can't get it out of my head!!
I don't know if it's just my copy (digital) or what, but the "Escape" cover at the end is horrible. The music is pretty solid and accurate but Jamey, Jamey, Jamey. I hope it wasn't his idea to put all the effects on his vocals.I don't know what they were shooting for, but they missed the mark. Oh, that accursed vocoder!
Be that as it may, Hatebreed can still get the blood pumpin'. If you allow it to permeate, it will raise your adrenaline levels. One of the few redeeming qualities on Hatebreed is "As Damaged As Me". The lines "You're just too fucked for words./You're fucked!" are the most honest lyrics I heard on the album.