Success has not softened HATEBREED's delivery one bit, nor has vocalist Jamey Jasta mellowed with age. "Supremacy" continues down the same metallic hardcore path blazed on albums like "Perseverance" and "The Rise of Brutality". One might even be tempted to call it the angriest and most brutal album yet. The one certainty is that if you were a fan of the band prior to this Roadrunner debut, then you will continue to be a fan once you've sopped up the blood spilled from "Supremacy". That does not mean that the songwriting has improved or that the band has expanded its style. It is a matter of continuing to do what HATEBREED has always done: create music that espouses virtues like self-respect and possesses all the subtlety of a baseball bat to the skull.The mainstays are the hardcore basis, the SLAYER-esque licks, and Jasta's rabid diatribes against the weak-willed and his insistence that an individual's greatest strength is found within oneself. Of course, producer Zeuss continues to demonstrate that he is the master of the HATEBREED sound, as the biting riffs and pain-inducing drumming indicate. The songs will sound familiar to anyone that's ever been exposed to the group's past works. "Defeatist", "Horrors of Self", "Mind over All", "To the Threshold", and "Spitting Venom" are but a handful of the examples of HATEBREED's relentless attack, built on speed and the almighty chug. If I had to point to a downside, it would be on a track like "Destroy Everything", one of the few moments in which the pace is slowed. The tune is not bad, but its somewhat cliché chorus and basic structure results in a slightly awkward moment that causes a bit of drag. That's nitpicking I suppose, as there are no stinkers here. On the other hand, the lock-step rhythm of "Supremacy of Self" works precisely because of its fundamental and eminently memorable gang shout of "Supremacy!" that features a hint of classic BIOHAZARD. Incidentally, the band benefits from the addition of new second guitarist Frank Novinec. The live sound should be even better as a result. The bottom line is that you will find in "Supremacy" exactly what you would expect from HATEBREED. Though not as memorable as the excellent "Perseverance", the album largely succeeds at giving the fans what they want. I still think TERROR's "Always the Hard Way" trumps it and would have to recommend it over "Supremacy" if cash on hand allowed for the purchase of only one of the two discs.
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