I was really lukewarm on “Perseverance”. I wrote a so-so review about it and I very rarely listen to it. It was almost unlistenable (especially at first), because it was made for the vocals (there is little emphasis on the instruments and the vocals were just like track after track of bellowing). And now when “Rise of Brutality” came out, I heard Jamie Jasta’s voice wasn’t at all altered, so I assumed that this album was just like “Perseverance”. Then I heard the sample tracks on hatebreed.com and they sounded good, so I went out on a limb and bought “Rise of Brutality”. Let me tell ya, I’m glad I gave Although Jasta’s voice doesn’t fluctuate, it doesn’t mean Hatebreed have made “Perseverance: Part Two” because Hatebreed a chance. I like this C.D. a lot more than their last, because it is about 50% harder and faster and the instruments are much more present, noticeable, and generally better. There are even several short, good, almost-solos. The instruments are more than just background noise, here; Jasta actually has to compete with them. Coupled with the vocals, there is an overal good, cool, headbangin’ sound–almost Slayer-esque at times. On the opening track, Hatebreed pick up where they left off on their last album, with “Break it Down” (also the last song on “Perseverance”), turning the riff into a song and making it longer. A one word scat (“WACK”), making it also very catchy. Hatebreed explodes out of the gate with this catchy, awesome song and never let up until the album is finished. “Facing What Consumes You” finally does what I’ve been waiting for Hatebreed to do for a while, and (as expected) they do it well: Funky, grungy, catchy, hooky, vibrant guitar riffs with a bobbing beat and no vocals. I can just see the entire crowd at a Hatebreed concert slamming their heads and moshing. During “Live for This” the singer has about 3 seconds of acapella, where the beat was going as fast as a Viper and thus, when it stopped Jasta went flying through the windshield.And although it might not be as easy to listen to on headphones(and I probably won’t very often), it’s great to listen to in the car. I drove around listening to this in the car all afternoon, with the volume up as loud as possible. Unlike rap, that’s how this music is meant to be played. Not only is the guitar improved, but the bass and drums are as well. They “anchor the songs and make them an inpenetrable wall of volume”–Revolver. Sometimes I would look into the rear view mirror and see the bass riffs make the windows shake. “The Rise of Brutality” is an appropriate title for this album, as there isn’t a hint of melody. But Hatebreed differ from other hardcore acts. They are decent human beings just trying to achieve the American Dream. Jamie Jasta is among the top three (if not THE) hardest workers in metal today. He writes most of Hatebreed’s music and all of their lyrics, is the host of “Heabangers Ball”, tours almost incessantly (even on off days when on tour for opening for another band, he squeezes in a couple of shows for kids who aren’t financially stable), is Hatebreed’s Public Relations guy, and even when Hatebreed are on break, he produces other music (Agnostic Front). He is as much a business man as he is a musician, therefore he only manages about three hours of sleep a night. In addition, Jasta’s lyrics are different than those of say Slipknot’s. They are definately not Satanic and even include hints of advice and optimism to his listeners (i.e.: “A lesson lived is a lesson learned,” “If you don’t live for something you’ll die for nothng”, “How can I change tomorrow if I can’t change today”, “Until you gain some self-respect…for once, just stand up and fight”, “Facing what consumes you is the only way to be free.”) This makes Hatebreed appeal to the metalheads but not put them in a depressing, suicidal mood. Despite the occasional “F” word, his lyrics are clean. So, parents: don’t be detered by the “Parental Advisory” logo.Although it’s definately not an easy listen and won’t appeal to 90% of the population, it’s great to listen to in the car and when in a certain mood or when you want to get “pumped up”. Hatebreed is essential for any metalhead (fans of Slayer, Slipknot, Six Feet Under, etc), and thus I definately reccomend it to any Hatebreed fan (and any hardcore fan for that matter.) If you were like me and were only so-so on Perseverance, don’t get this C.D. until you’ve enough of it to make an opinion. But listen with an open mind!