Hatebreed – The Divinity of Purpose CD Album review
With much anticipated excitement, I preordered a bundled package from MerchNow over eight weeks in advance of its drop date of January 29, 2013. The Divinity of Purpose marks the return to vintage Hatebreed that hooked me so many years ago when I first saw them at Milwaukee Metalfest in 1999 (I think it was that year. I’ve smoked weed and drank since then). MerchNow shipped it out to guarantee a package delivery date of two days ago. Great service – and you know I completely forgot I could have downloaded the music a bit sooner – but this was old school anticipation. And it felt good to pop in the CD into my car stereo and crank up the motherfuckin’ volume to near speaker ripping levels.
1. Put It To The Torch – The opening track reaches out and grabs you by the balls and I don’t even have any balls. Frontman Jamey Jasta and Hatebreed released this track early via youtube to pump up excitement in advance of the release. It’s a bit heavy for radio play, even on so-called Hard Rock stations, but many can identify with the lyrics, “Here’s to burning out.” I’ve been there, and Jasta has to, as admitted to Noisecreep.com.
2. Honor Never Dies – The title of this song graces the back of the fine quality hoodie that I got in the packaged deal I got from MerchNow. (I have not washed the hoodie yet, so don’t know how will it will hold up over time, but its so deliciously soft on the inside right out of the package.) A lyric video for this is up on the HatebreedVEVO channel on youtube. “Sometimes, standing for what you believe means standing alone” – This I can personally relate to as well given the backwards state in which I live now. I’m probably the only one from my zip code that is wearing the black Hatebreed hoodie today. This leads us into:
3. Own Your World – An ultra-style fan song if I ever heard one. If I could edit videos worth a damn, and had the time, I’d sync this up to footage from erupted flares in stadia and goals being scored. The lyrics underscore the attitude that if you believe and continue to believe and act on what you believe that change will happen. You must take action. Even before we have seen the current regime changes being attempted by the people in the middle east, and before last year’s occupy movement, there was the Vaclav Havel (Czechoslovakia now Czech Republic) and those who came before him in other countries. The best leaders may be the most unlikely ones – look inside yourself and hold your head high.
4. The Language – A deep song lyrically. Rather than a call to action like the previous two songs, it speaks to a move to a new world, one that moves beyond the belief in the Bible. It doesn’t specifically call out Christianity (or even Islam), but you can see it in between the lines of the lyrics: “The language you speak is dead/ dishonored, disgraced.” It calls out the violence that it evokes – the wars that result from ideological fights – “There’s never been a war where only one sides bled.” Truth!
5. Before the Fight Ends You – This could be interpreted on two levels – one a personal level, in personal relationships – in other words, pick your battles before you destroy yourself as well as the other party involved, or even the innocent ones caught in the crossfire (mentally or physically). And two – one an international level, a call out to the United States to stop being a warmongering nation. A piece on NPR this morning discussed how damaging the reliance on a war-tied economy is even when we are not technically at war. It creates uncertainty among the people and the marketing of fear is wrong. The fight could end our country as we once knew it – it already is.
6. Indivisible – Continuing with the political theme, Jasta cautions the current generation about the current course of the inside of our political system – “Divided / Is how they want us for their control.” And a shout out to those growing up now – “Our future will be the victim that they choose.” We must protect our children from the oppression that one side is trying to reinstate on certain segments of the population.
7. Dead Man Breathing – Back to the music discussion – all the songs, including this one are rolling along with a fist pumping, shout out in a sing-a-long as you speed in the night with the volume cranked, windows down, venting out the day’s frustrations. This one is no exception. Frank Novinec and Wayne Lozinak shred through each song.
8. The Divinity of Purpose – Chris Beattie treats us to his skills in this slightly slower, ballad-like song on bass in the intro. The title track at first blush made me think a bit about Jasta having a religious epiphany, but the more you look at it – you can see that it might be the primary track dedicated to his daughter, Madison, who is the first person he thanks in the liner notes. This song evidences the growth and maturity in the lyrics. Other artists I have followed have also shown that growth as their personal lives takes them psychologically. Music is an artistic expression and the song’s lyrics could also reference the craft of songwriting itself. The music will live on, the artist hopes, long after death.
9. Nothing Scars Me – Oh, so jaded, growth of a thick skin is what is needed. To live and move on in one’s life is necessary. So whatever is thrown at you can be dealt with. In the overall concept, this one is less heavy – and perhaps to the level of being more radio friendly to those Hard Rock stations, like the KATT (and not those weakass Clear Channel stations that claim to be heavy).
10. Bitter Truth – We crank it back up a notch in the barrage of aural candy. The riffage in the bridge gets my body undulating as the song envelopes me and I shout along with Jasta. Fists in the air as it’s pointed out that “the bitter truth cuts both ways.”
11. Boundless (Time to Murder It) – Stick in the mic stand and stir up the motherfuckin’ pit, the swirling mass of controlled chaos. A call to action – not to go out and kill people – but the effect change on the nation. “It’s time” to rise and throw off the chains that the evangelicals are trying to bind us in to become “boundless.”
12. Idolized and Vilified – A continuation of the anger of the oppressed the final call to action on the album – unless you don’t take it out of your CD player and it starts over again.
Overall this album crushes. I cannot take it out of my player – wash rinse repeat.
Listening notes: Purchased from MerchNow as a preorder package that included a download, a real physical CD with well-formatted liner notes that include printed lyrics, a thick black hoodie, and an album cover poster. Listened to in my 2006 Chevy HHR with standard equipment, on my Android Galaxy S via headphones using the Zimly app, and through my new laptop hooked up to the old Altec Lansing speakers. (one of these days something’s going to blow out). Must be played LOUD! for full therapeutic effect.