Thursday, January 11, 2007

Taking A Look Back - Hatebreed - “Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire” (1997)

When I was at the New England Metal And Hardcore Fest in 2005, I heard Scott Vogel in his band Terror tell the audience that he loved being able to share the stage that night with a band that influenced them: Hatebreed. I was slightly perplexed at first, as I was only familiar with Hatebreeds later discography which was much more riff oriented hardcore, whereas Terror has a much more old school chords up-and-down-the-fretboard old-school style hardcore with some modern touches. As it turns out, what I didn’t know was that Hatebreed had been growing in success and popularity long before their second full length “Perseverance”.

Many bands that get named as helping to start modern metalcore as we know it usually include Prayer For Cleansing, Shai Hulud and Poison The Well, although I think Lamb Of God, Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage could be named as well. Almost all the aforementioned bands had some sort of significant release sometime between 1997 and 2000, the two earliest being Shai Hulud, and Hatebreed.

“Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire” represents a way point between old-school hardcore and modern metallic hardcore as we know it today. Many hardcore bands throughout the 90's had in fact been striving to become heavier by cranking up the distortion, detuning their guitars little by little, and roughing up the vocals more and more. “Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire” is the earliest hardcore album I’ve come by so far to make us of the breakdown. Not only was “Satisfaction The Death Of Desire” a well done hardcore album, it was also much heavier than its predecessors, and introduced such things as choruses and breaks played at half-tempo to get the audience moshing harder. Hatebreed probably wasn’t the first band to do this, but they were one of the most popular with a perfected formula before many other bands.

Comparing “Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire” against “Perseverance” in 2002, one can see the progression from old-school hardcore styled power chords against sharper metallic riffs and slightly longer songs (from under a minute now to over 2 minutes) which add more depth. Then when comparing “Perseverance” to “The Rise Of Brutality” in 2003 the progress continued with songs varying much more in tempo (mostly mid-paced to now including faster and slower songs) and even a slight hint of melody at times. “The Rise Of Brutality” again featured longer songs often over 3 minutes. In a genre where proper execution is often valued over progress, this was a welcome thing to hear, as was hearing many other modern hardcore bands continue to make progress as well. This continuation of progress unfortunately makes the last Hatebreed album “Supremacy” in 2006 look a little sad, and almost a step backwards.

Everything being said, when talking about bands that influenced modern metalcore, Hatebreed should be at the top of the list, for one of the earliest, “Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire”.

Hatebreed At MySpace
Hatebreed At Roadrunner Records


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