The terms metalcore, hardcore, punk metal, and death metal have all been applied at one time or another to New Haven, CT-based Hatebreed, but it was a shared love of all things punk rock that served as the impetus for the band's inception in the early '90s. That's not to say that the 18 covers that make up For the Lions are tapped squarely from the vein of punk history, but at least they finally got around to covering the classic Misfits song from which they derived their name. Like an LP version of Metallica's 1987 $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited, For the Lions is a love letter to the bands and songs that inspired the group, which means that all of the previously mentioned genres are more or less represented. The band sounds the most engaged on the early hardcore numbers like "Suicidal Maniac" (Suicidal Tendencies), "Thirsty and Miserable" (Black Flag), and "It's the Limit" (Cro-Mags), while nods to the metal gods such as "Ghosts of War" (Slayer) and "Escape" (Metallica) are blistering and volatile enough to warrant inclusion, but feel a little rote.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger