The question, who nowadays bears crown and sceptre in the Hardcore business, can only be answered with one name: HATEBREED. Continuously and dedicated like none other they took the way to the top and anno 2003 the Americans finally truly have managed to place their butt on the throne of this genre. And with a calibre of "The Rise Of Brutality" to back them up, this spot should be unattainable for the competition. Those now have a high bar to cross to even begin to challenge for the top spot.
The reasons for this fact are obvious and basically you only have to listen to the new masterpiece once and you will come to the same conclusion. Musically they continued exactly, where their last breaker "Perseverance" (2001) had left off. Again HATEBREED managed to audibly progress, yet still stay true to their self proclaimed concept, not losing a iota of their credibility. Even with their early works "Under The Knife" (Demo and released as CD in the year 2000) and "Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire" (1997, Victory Records) they could garner a healthy following of fans and managed, without a big label to back them up, to sell incredible 200 000 copies. So the follow up was very anxiously awaited and it would not be HATEBREED, if they would not have withstood the pressure.
Of course also "Perseverance" was followed up with extensive touring and led the band through all continents of this planet, where the fans already waited for their heroes, drooling. No matter how high the pressure of expectation was, from fans, label and press or how strenuous the many concerts had been, HATEBREED seem to sweep by any kind of obstacles with almost frightening ease. Not even the split with guitarist Lou Richards could make them stop or even stumble, instead they decided to continue as a quartet and not even try to find a new guitarist that would fit into the band. Apart from all the side projects of Jamey Jasta (Vocals, manager of several newcomer bands, MTV moderator, label boss and family father), HATEBREED and the new album had been the only focus of the band.
And in each and every murderous riff, every ingenious break and every single word on the new album this shines through. At the moment there is no other band that celebrates Hardcore as intense, brutal and authentic as this power package from New Haven, Connecticut. Even the short playing time of little more than 30 minutes cannot be held against them, because even after a hundred listens "The Rise Of Brutality" won't grow stale or boring and even if you listen to it several times in a row, you will still be as enthused as during the first rotation. "The Rise Of Brutality" is not that different to SLAYER's masterpiece "Reign Of Blood", not only because of the playing time, but also because of the musically timeless and gripping performance, which will keep your interest up for a long time, yes maybe even for all eternity. You think that I am joking, then try for yourselves and fans of the Thrash gods should definitely risk both ears. "The Rise Of Brutality" is a stroke of genius and that is a fact. (Online December 21, 2003)