Hardcore trailblazers Hatebreed have been ripping through North America, celebrating 20 years since the release of their sophomore record, Perseverance. This album took the hardcore/metal worlds by storm with its cross-genre appeal. Joining them on this tour are three bands that are making their own waves, Dying Wish, Bodysnatcher, and Gatecreeper.
Metalcore legends, Bleeding Through are set to join the tour on the California dates. Obituary will also fill a special guest spot on the New Mexico date. It had been nine years since the last time Hatebreed visited Lexington, KY, and the fans came out on Wednesday night in numbers to let loose in honour of the prolific record.
Dying Wish from Portland, Oregon, started the night. As a band that is still relatively new, they are also very busy. Dying Wish spent most of the year on the road, crisscrossing North America and had their first stint in Europe. With all of that mileage on stage, you can see how much they have ratcheted up the intensity of their show, including coordinated jump kicks and high knees. The crowd was a tad sleepy initially but bought into the dynamic metalcore riffs and savage breakdowns. This group is definitely having fun whether they are opening or closing the show.
Florida’s Bodysnatcher continued the heaviness with their brand of crushing deathcore. Vocalist Kyle Medina mentioned that this is a dream tour for the band to be on. A technical difficulty occurred at the end of the set when the PA went out during the last half of their final song. Fortunately, the show continued. The group released their third album, Bleed-Abide, in April of 2022.
Gatecreeper blends elements of heavy, groove, and speed in its signature style of death metal. Even with their serious “take no prisoners” demeanour, they added in some levity with jocular samples between songs. Gatecreeper will be shifting their energy into the studio to focus on a new record in early 2023.
With a career spanning 28 years, Hatebreed has built one of the most dedicated fan bases in heavy music. Lexington crowds are notoriously statuesque, although the circle pits picked up speed throughout the night. Once Hatebreed hit the stage, the enthusiasm kicked up a few notches. The headlining set featured tracks from the very first Hatebreed release, 1999’s Under The Knife. It also included all of their signature singles over the years, with some deep cuts from Perseverance.
Bands like Hatebreed carry a lot of nostalgia from past eras of Metal. It’s a fantastic sight to see fans jamming out and singing along to songs released 20 years prior. This album could have been their gateway into heavy music in their formative years. In a small scene like Lexington, shows like this feel like a high school reunion.
Frontman Jamey Jasta told the crowd how this album changed their lives and took the band worldwide on tours with Slayer and Slipknot. Jasta also encouraged the older crowd to come out of mosh retirement for the night, and many did. But made sure fans were picked up when they hit the ground. Former Hatebreed member Sean Martin came out and added extra guitar support during the second half of the set. Hatebreed still packs a punch when performing their biggest hits, many of which came from Perseverance.
If you cannot catch this heavy hitter of a tour, keep all four of these bands on your radar in 2023.