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Jamey Jasta
Sean Martin
Frank “3 Gun” Novinec
Chris Beattie
Matt Byrne

Grammy-nominated. Respected by peers. Revered by fans. An unstoppable force. Tougher than a prison yard. Architects of positive, uplifting anthems that require and demand crowd participation. That’s Hatebreed, top to bottom, back to front.

This Connecticut hardcore/metal institution has been demolishing its way around the globe since 1994. Not many bands can enjoy that kind of longevity, but Hatebreed have made “being a career band” look easy. They’ve endured typical band “issues” like changing members and record labels, but through it all, they’ve never compromised and never looked back, instead choosing to charge ahead and make the most brutal, boot-to-the-teeth music they can.

And here they are, 15 years into their storied career, which includes four stints on the quintessential summer tour Ozzfest, racking up more appearances than any other band other than Ozzy himself; there are countless magazine covers (including a forthcoming issue of American metal Bible, Revolver); a Grammy nomination for “Live For This” from 2004’s The Rise of Brutality; a debut album, Satisfaction is the Death of Desire, that is considered a classic release by fans and critics alike; a front-man who was invited to serve as the first host of the exhumed Headbanger’s Ball on MTV2; and countless fans who hail from all walks of life. Go to a Hatebreed show and you’ll see dudes, girls, and casual metal fans with a soft spot for Hatebreed. Hatebreed’s music is like a universal language that so many speak and comprehend.

Despite all the accolades, the rich history and the band’s keen ability to remain relevant deep into the second decade of its career, Hatebreed refused to rest on their laurels for Hatebreed, their fifth proper studio album, not counting 2009’s For The Lions, which found the band flexing its creative muscles and covering influences such as Slayer, Misfits, Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags and Sepultura! The band retains the same headspace from For The Lions, by confidently trying new things and attempting different things to result in fresh, unexpected sounds.

For Hatebreed, former guitarist Wayne Lozniak returns to the fold and the band inked a new record deal with E1 Entertainment for U.S. and Canada and Roadrunner International for the rest of the world. This flurry of activity has infused the band with new life and a renewed sense of energy and as a result, everything about Hatebreed is bigger, stronger and louder. It’s like the band has been rejuvenated by all these changes. After 15 years of brutality, the music is fuller, more technical and Hatebreed finds the quintet boldly going to new places. The results are beyond impressive and the risk has yielded a greater reward.

Each track on Hatebreed is both like everything you’d expect and nothing like what you are expecting, a testament to the band’s ability to change without veering too far off course.

“Become The Fuse”: The song boasts the technical playing that defines the album and is bolstered by Jasta’s authoritative vocals.

“Not My Master”: An anthem in the classic “Hatebreed style,” the song boasts a bold chorus, simple ‘n savage riffery and a singalong. This is vintage Hatebreed, which will delight fans old and new.

“Between Hell And A Heartbeat”: The band goes beyond 2-minute hardcore anthems, with a Slayer-style rocker that rattles teeth loose from gums.

“In Ashes They Shall Reap”: With its shrill feedback, which is reminiscent of classic, live hardcore matinees at CBGB, the song is new territory for Hatebreed, with Jasta employing a singing vocal style not previously heard on Hatebreed records. The influence of his side project, the sludgy Kingdom of Sorrow, has found its way into a Hatebreed song and it works.

“Hands Of A Dying Man”: Thrashes and burns and leaves a mark with its fast and thrashy riffage. A hallmark, signature Hatebreed chorus and technical guitar work abound.

“Everyone Bleeds Now”: Chunky and riffy, the song is not so much a change of direction or a change of pace as it is building upon the already- sturdy Hatebreed foundation.

“No Halos For the Heartless: There’s layered melodies and singalongs that could have been birthed at Toad’s Place in Connecticut or at any venue in the Bay Area. The band displays its influences but makes the sound unique and its own.

“Through The Thorns”: A song with Hatebreed signature moves, like empowering lyrics and a positive, yet devastating pit factor.

“Every Lasting Scar”: A venomous song that gets the red out, thanks to its cathartic, cleansing metallicness. But once again, Jasta has the confidence to do new, different things with his voice, like sing!

“As Damaged As Me”: Destined to become a song you send to someone who has fucked you over!

“Words Become Untruth: Like Cro-Mags, Slayer, and Testament all rolled into one, but with Hatebreed’s unique flourishes.

“Undiminished”: The most unexpected, yet satisfying song on the album. It’s a doomy instrumental that clocks in at nearly four minutes.

“Merciless Tide”: Another Hatebreed anthem that’ll have kids in the pit screaming along, finger pointing and quoting it on their Facebook status updates.

“Pollution Of The Soul”: The band goes out like lions on the final song, another classic Hatebreed anthem.

It’s clear from all the different and new elements on Hatebreed that this band, who has seen and done it all within their genre, has had the courage to test their creative limits and exceed them , by trying new things, such as more pronounced, technical guitar work and through Jasta’s vocal prowess. But the band never sacrifices the ultra-aggressive music in order to try new things. The band took risks and the dividends will be reaped once fans hear Hatebreed.

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