For the Lions
Key Tracks: ‘Escape,’ ‘Hatebreeders’
A cover album for a band like Hatebreed is both a rite of passage and a bit of a backhanded compliment ”“ it’s an acknowledgement of the bands that influenced them and of the fact that maybe they’re now good enough to play those very same songs even better than the originals. Among the beneficiaries of Hatebreed’s tribute are Metallica (”˜Escape’), Suicidal Tendencies (”˜Suicidal Maniac’), Slayer (”˜Ghosts of War’) and even the Misfits (”˜Hatebreeders’). The album opens with the familiar screaming guitars and thrash drums of ”˜Ghosts of War’ but the song quickly morphs into Hatebreed’s signature hammer-down style. Abandoning Metallica’s more popular songs for ”˜Escape,’ vocalist Jamey Jasta gives James Hetfield a run for his money ”“ this is easily one of the best Metallica covers ever done. The band takes a break to have some fun with the Misfits’ ”˜Hatebreeders’ perfectly adapting punk aggression to their chugging guitar lines and galloping drums. There’s definite cheek here as Jasta cheerfully sings “Next stop annihilation/They bred the hate right in your bones/Whoa oh oh/Hate breeders!” Equally less obvious a choice is Obituary’s ”˜I’m in Pain,’ complete with fuzz-distorted guitars that gives the song an even more menacing undertone than the original. A personal grouse is that the album has too many thrash covers but doesn’t stop For The Lions from being one hell of a collection.