Released: 2008, Koch Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
I find it incredible to think it has been eleven years since I first heard Hatebreed’s inaugural call to arms, “Before Dishonor.” Eleven years! In that time, Jamey Jasta has led the band through it transition from underground hardcore heshers to its current position as a major-label, Grammy-winning breakthrough powerhouse. Only four albums have dropped in that time but each has left an indelible mark on the hardcore and metal scenes by dividing the masses and invoking rancorous discussions among those who don’t like chocolate (metal) in their peanut butter (hardcore). Still, no one can deny the influence Hatebreed has had on the current metalcore scene, whose roster views the band as pioneers. So naturally, the time has come for the Connecticut-based five-piece to unleash its first DVD, LIVE DOMINANCE. Incorporating a 75-minute show shot in Detroit, Michigan in March 2008, the band tears through its catalogue of positive-thinking, groove-based songs with a few thousand of its closest friends on hand to tear the roof off of Harpo’s.
The show, shot with multiple cameras in high-definition, captures the band’s intense live rituals perfectly. Having seen Hatebreed several times dating back to 1999, I can attest that it is impossible not to get pumped up by Jasta’s charismatic stage presence and raging vocals. With the guitar team of Frank “3 Gun” Novinec (ex-Madball) and Sean Martin delivering their razor-sharp licks and bassist Chris Beattie’s rubbery bass, the songs are simply electric. From lead-off track “This Is Now” right through to the punishing closer “I Will Be Heard,” Hatebreed—if you will pardon the pun—simply destroys everything. “To The Threshold,” “Betrayed By Life,” “Proven,” “Defeatist,” “Live For This”—all are keepers. The boom cameras get right into the crowd, too, showcasing the carnage up close.
As a bonus, some cool features are included to sweeten the deal. Band interviews, backstage footage, fan tattoos and testimonials, stage setup and additional live tracks will put a smile on any fan’s mug. It’s been a dozen years in coming but LIVE DOMINANCE has been worth the wait, as Hatebreed has given its devoted flock something substantial to sink its fangs into. The absence of a Dolby 5.1 audio track is disappointing but every “must have” track from the band is here and the extras certainly make this a no-brainer purchase for any fan of the band.