Perseverance marks Hatebreed's major-label debut, despite being an integral part of the hardcore community for years. It also marks Hatebreed's first full-length album of new material since their 1997 debut, Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire. While most would expect that after five years some growth would be merited, listening to Perseverance one would have a hard time telling that such a period of time passed between albums. The album does indeed sound much better from a production standpoint, but considering that Hatebreed went from Victory, a prominent independent hardcore label, to Universal Records, which may very well be the largest record label in the world, that is to be expected. If nothing else, on this album Hatebreed manages to sound even more angry at the world then one would think possible. Hatebreed also seems to have taken on some new influences, as their excessive bond with the likes of Slipknot and Slayer has really focused the group's music on a heavier metalcore vein. The hardcore transitions are abundant and enhance almost every song contained on the album, one thing that is sure to incite riots amongst the moshers at live shows. Jamey Jasta's guttural hollering remains consistent, throatier than ever before, and it never ceases to assault the listener. Perseverance is not an album for the weak and fragile. Lyrically, Jasta seems to have a bone to pick with an assortment of unnamed characters, as almost every song on Perseverance is made up of lyrics that communicate the fact that Hatebreed will remain despite any ill words or empty threats. This subject matter goes hand in hand with the album's title and is easy to relate to. "Proven" kicks the album off to a ferocious start, and from there Hatebreed's intensity only increases. Slayer's very own Kerry King even offers his guitar skills on "Final Prayer," which is most definitely heavy metal, to say the very least. Hatebreed's determination to remain unchanged musically is inspiring; even though they have matured to a major label they lose none of their anger, yet their indifference to musical evolution may also prove to be a hindrance as well. Perseverance is an excellent introduction for those who have not yet experienced Hatebreed and matches the group's debut -- possibly even bettering past efforts. While Hatebreed doesn't disappoint, one may for the first time begin to worry about the group's longevity if they cannot broaden their musical horizons with future efforts.
by Jason D. Taylor