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For the Lions

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(12 Reviews)

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  • I have never really been a big fan of Hatebreed, mainly due to the fact that they completely lack creativity or originality. I have heard more or less every album they have released since their major label debut Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire. Every album sounds almost identical to the previous with the band never evolving and the only thing that has changed over time was the quality of the production. That said I come at ‘For The Lions’ open minded as this has some of my favorite songs by some of the biggest names of the Metal universe.

    KEY: Song Title – Original Band/Album/Release Date – Track Length – My Rating – My Review

    Ghosts Of War – Slayer/South of Heaven/1988 – 4:00 – 5 out of 5 – The opening track starts sounding almost identical to the original production then explodes into current Hatebreed production value. All in all this is a great cover of a classic Metal song and I was blown away by the roaring guitar riffs and the nearly identical soloing/breakaway sections. Furthermore Jasta’s vocal style fits extremely well into a Slayer song, which isn’t surprising as Tom Araya uses a similar style of simple yells. Overall a great start to an album I was skeptical about.

    Suicidal Maniac – Suicidal Tendencies/Join the Army/1987 – 3:06 – 4 out of 5 – The second track like the first is a nearly identical cover except the obvious improved production over the original. The band is in fine form here on a song that is far more straight forward Thrash with catchy vocals and an excellent solo towards the end. Again Jasta does his best to sound similiar to the original vocalist and even puts down some deeper then he’s used to vocals.

    Escape – Metallica/Ride the Lightning/1984 – 4:38 – 6 out of 5 – Talk about being completely blind sided! I was extremely anxious to hear this track as Metallica is easily one of the most covered bands in the Metal genre. Hatebreed’s rendition is easily the best I have heard to date. Jasta even moves away from his safe zone and sings in a manner that is almost identical to James Hetfield, and at times is an improvement compared to the original. Right from the beginning to the very end the guitars steal the show pretty much identical to the original. Yet again we get an amazing solo that could rival the original from the 84 recording. I enjoyed this so much I would LOVE to hear Hatebreed do a Metallica only cover album. Easily my favorite on the album and a must hear for Metallica fans.

    Hatebreeders – The Misfits/Walk Among Us/1982 – 2:51 – 3 out of 5 – The one song on the album I was most skeptical about due to both being a Misfit’s fan and because this is a style far outside Hatebreed’s safe zone. Luckily it might as well be a re-recording of the original if if Jasta tends to go a bit lower on the vocals then Glenn Danzig on the original. The only problem I have is this is a fairly boring track, just the same thing over and over and seems like filler after three amazing Thrash cover’s. Not a bad song by far, just a rather plain choice by the band. Would have rather heard a cover of “Astro Zombies” or “Vampira” or even some of the later music, anything a little more interesting.

    Set It Off – Madball/Set It Off/1994 – 2:37 – 5 out of 5 – After the rather bland fourth track Hatebreed quite literally ‘Set It Off’ with this fast paced straight forward 90’s Hardcore track. Probably one of the bands Hatebreed are inspired by the guys show fine form and this track would fit well on any of Hatebreed’s original albums. All in all a very straight forward song with some punishing riffs and drum work.

    Thirsty and Miserable – Black Flag/ASIN:B000000LZ2 Damaged/1981 – 2:21 – 5 out of 5 – Yet another band that probably inspired Hatebreed, the original is a classic mix of Punk and Hardcore, both sides shine well on Hatebreed’s version. The drumming remains the same Punk/Rock style while the guitars roar through some upbeat riffs that in my opinion obliterate the original. An overall amazing rendition with Jasta utilizing his signature style of vocals more so then on previous tracks.

    All I Had I Gave – Crowbar/Crowbar/1993 – 3:15 – 5 out of 5 – After that short stint of Hardcore and Punk Hatebreed bring something new to the table, Sludge Metal. Just as the original depressively slow, down tuned riffing, and vocals that verge on hardcore are all checked. The low tuned guitars and bass rumble through some on point vocals by Jasta, using Kirk Windstein’s signature deeper style of Hardcore yells. As an interesting side note Kirk and Jasta are band mates in the circa 2008 side project Kingdom of Sorrow.

    Your Mistake – Agnostic Front/Victim in Pain/1984 – 1:43 – 5 out of 5 – A short and almost identical cover of the circa 84 Hardcore Punk track. Nothing really stands out on this track and is a straight forward fast paced romp of classic Hardcore goodness.

    I’m In Pain – Obituary/The End Complete/1992 – 4:11 – 5 out of 5 – Hatebreed tackle one of the original Florida Death Metal scene creators, Obituary. This song is a mid to fast paced romp through some pummeling classic Death riffs and double bass with some insanely well played guitar solo’s and some equally impressive fills by drummer Matt Byrne. The guitars shine through out the track and is an amazing rendition, especially from a band that is so blatantly obviously inspired by the Hardcore scene.

    It’s The Limit – Cro-Mags/The Age of Quarrel/1986 – 1:40 – 5 out of 5 – We dive back into the New York Hardcore Punk scene with a short upbeat riffeast. This song is basically standard Hardcore Punk from beginning to end and even shows Jasta using some higher pitched screams/yells. A rather solid short and straight to the point track.

    Refuse/Resist – Sepultura/Chaos A.D./1993 – 3:07 – 5 out of 5 – Easily one of the most covered tracks by Sepultura and for good reason it’s straight forward and rememberable riffs have made it one of the most well known songs of it’s time. Like the original the low tuned guitars rumble and the solo at the later end of the track again rival’s the original. Jasta manages to put down some superb vocals but easily the least similar to the original so far. They even included the metal drumming at the beginning and end of the track.

    Supertouch/S**tfit – Bad Brains/Bad Brains/1982 – 2:21 – 5 out of 5 – If I had to pick my favorite of the Hardcore Punk tracks on this album, this would probably be my final decision. Extremely fast paced, upbeat and some excellent solo parts as well as a nice breakdown towards the middle of the track and then as if it were possible the music gets even faster and even faster. An extremely fast and fun song with some excellent soling. Easily the fastest song on the album.

    Evil Minds – D.R.I./Dealing With It/1985 – 0:53 – 5 out of 5 – A very short very fast Thrashy Hardcore track with some brutal riff that done by Hatebreed almost comes off sounding not so far off to Slayer or a number of bands from that time. A couple little tiny peeks of soloing and the song end abruptly, straight forward, to the point.

    Shut Me Out – Sick Of It All/Just Look Around/1992 – 2:14 – 5 out of 5 – Some more straight forward classic Hardcore Punk where we find Jasta continuing to utilize more of his signature vocals. This track is far more in the Punk style of things but still utilizes the Thrashy riffs that was popular in the New York Hardcore scene. Yet another to the point track done well with some fairly catchy lyrics.

    Sick Of Talk – Negative Approach/Unknown/Unknown – 0:38 – 3 out of 5 – Never even heard of the group this is based off of and any information would be appreciated for the review. The song however is basically 38 seconds of Thrashy riffs upbeat drumming and very simple song structure, Just seems like filler to me or a quick ode to a group that obviously went for the most part unheard.

    Life Is Pain – Merauder/Master Killer/1995 – 3:21 – 5 out of 5 – A cover of One of the lesser known Thrash bands of the 90’s. Hatebreed give a fine showing for this often over looked track which is basically the standard for the Thrash genre. Nothing truly amazing, but far from being a bad track, even some nice mid paced soloing near the end of the track.

    Hear Me – Judge/Chung King Can Suck It/1989 – 1:54 – 4 out of 5 – Judge is yet another Hardcore Punk band from the New York scene. And though the song is of good quality it was just rather bland compared to the better part of the album. However, it’s nice that they are including some lesser known band’s towards the end of the album.

    Boxed In – Subzero/Suffering Of Man/2005 – 2:59 – 4 out of 5 – Like the song before it, this one just doesn’t have the “oomph” that the rest of the songs have. Nothing truly wrong with the song and the lyrics/vocals stay on point but just sounds like some random Hardcore song, while the others stand out as one of the best of that style/genre. For me it was a mediocre ending to a great album.

    When all is said and done and if you read my statements regarding of how I feel about the band’s previous work’s I am in utter shock. I knew these guys had skill just never imagined I’d get to hear them use it on such a wide array of styles. I do however have one gripe. I wish they would have strayed further away from their Hardcore roots and made the album a wider array of different Metal styles. Would have loved to hear Hatebreed cover Megadeth or Anthrax. But a side that it was an awesome album that a wide assortment of Metal fans should be able to enjoy.

    Hatebreed might not have made me a die hard fan but they sure got me to respect them a hell of a lot more after what is easily one of the best one band cover albums I have ever heard. I only hope that maybe having done this they may be more inclined to experiment with their sound more in the future. I still think the Metallica cover is easily one of the best cover’s ever by a band and to see them incorporate some of that 80’s thrash greatness into upcoming albums would be a step in the right direction for them musically. I hope you enjoyed my review and that it was at least interesting, if so please click ‘Yes’ below. Thanks for reading.

    Posted on January 28, 2010