Hatebreed Supremacy

Let’s face it, The Rise Of Brutality was a disappointment. While peppered with strong numbers such as "Beholder of Justice” and "Doomsayer,” Hatebreed’s attempts at incorporating a more traditional hardcore slant threw the album grossly off balance. Supremacy, while for the most part devoid of serious standout tracks, is a far more consistent effort, and holds up to repeat listens in a way the group’s two most recent efforts never did. The inclusion of former Ringworm/Integrity guitarist Frank Novinec in the line-up works wonders for the band’s overall depth, as the songs seem less one-imensional and overtly simplified. Make no mistake though, this is still Hatebreed — there is no guitar wankery or blast beats included, thankfully enough. The improved songwriting and increased dynamic make the album come across as less immediately satisfying, partially due to the overproduction that provides less of a bare-knuckled punch to the face. However, this ends up working to the band’s advantage, allowing for an overall less bland and disposable product. Supremacy is not so much a departure from Hatebreed’s established sound as it is an expansion — they may have put those dusty Sick Of It All records back on the shelf, but it’s clear that Hatebreed will never lose touch with their roots, or for that matter, forsake their distinctive metallic crunch. A solid return to form. (Roadrunner)