Hatebreed - Live Dominance [DVD]
Record Label: Koch Records
Release Date: September 2, 2008
Since forming in 1994, Hatebreed have experienced all the ups and downs a band of their nature could, seeing trends come and go over the years while touring almost non-stop. They've given plenty of blood, sweat, and tears and have continued to play the same metallic hardcore style of music. In a genre where musicians often change their sound (claiming to "mature") or just disappear all together, it's admirable that Hatebreed, undeniably one of the biggest heavy bands out there today, have stayed true to their roots. With a freshly-inked deal with Koch Records, the band recently put out their first live DVD. Entitled Live Dominance, the disc features a sold-out show show at Harpo's in Detroit on March 29, 2008.
The 75-minute set is a great mix of twenty-two tracks from their fourteen year career, sure to please old school fans as well as new ones. The audio, mixed by Grammy winner Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, Avenged Sevenfold), is top notch. Energetic frontman Jamey Jasta's vocals are loud and clear, with the rest of the band sounding tight. The Hi-Def video is sharp and was filmed from multiple camera angles to capture all the chaos, including one from the middle of the crowd.
There isn't an abundance of banter between songs, but the charismatic Jasta does give a few insightful speeches. He explains the band's "attitude of gratitude," compliments the audience's tenacity, introduces the band members, and dedicates a few songs, all while spreading a message of positivity. The band really tears it up while performing, and the crowd feeds off their adrenaline by reciprocating with their own energy in the pit. The show comes to a close with the band's most well known track, "I Will Be Heard." Hearing the 3,000-strong crowd chanting the lyrics is epic. The night ends on the perfect note of Jasta bringing a young fan onto the stage for his first stage dive.
Most noteworthy among the bonus material are the interviews with the band members. They give their input and thoughts before the show, each touching on the history of the band, their thoughts going into the performance, and their appreciation for their loyal fans. Despite the band's name (taken from a Misfits song), the members seem like genuine, humble, and down-to-earth guys. The music and background noise is a bit distracting at times; I think the statements would have been better if taken from within the venue, but it's nothing that can't be overlooked.
There are also a few bonus videos filmed at a couple of other recent shows. I would've liked to have seen some classic live footage from the archives, before the shirtless meatheads took over the pit and turned it into a bro-pushing extravaganza. Although I'm proud of the band's accomplishments and much deserved exposure, seeing them perform on a huge stage just seems a bit strange. Still, despite wishing for some more special features, there's nothing I can complain about in terms of the quality of the live footage, and Live Dominance is a must for any Hatebreed fan. If you've seen them before you can relive the fun from your living room, or if you've never caught their show before, you're in for a treat.