Lyrical Analysis: Hatebreed – Defeatist

Posted by on Jan Thu, 2020 in Grind, Hard Rock, Hardcore, Heavy/Traditional Metal, Lyrical Analysis, Metalcore, Punk, Technical | 0 comments

Lyrical Analysis: Hatebreed – Defeatist
Defeatist is a single from the 2006 Hatebreed album, Supremacy.

Intro

Hatebreed is one of my favorite hardcore bands. People think that the genre is for a bunch of posturing dudes with something to prove. But I disagree. And even if a bunch of losers were listening to it to feel tough, isn’t that the point? I feel shy and awkward all the time. I rarely ever feel like a badass. But Hatebreed is one of the bands who makes me feel strong. Far from being negative and nihilistic, I have found hardcore music to be deceptively positive and motivational, like a blessing in disguise. This is one of the songs so intense, that is seems to invade my own thoughts, until it’s hard to tell apart the song from the voices in my head. Since it’s difficult to know where one ends and the other begins, this Lyrical Analysis will incorporate a few experimental writing techniques, to illustrate the effect of music distracting me from my own mind. It may seem like nonsense, but I think Gertrude Stein herself would be proud. Here’s why:

Lyrics:

Trapped within your own apathy
Spiraling into a cycle of loss

When I’m depressed, it feels like the world is against me. Like I’ve suffered more than anyone else has ever suffered. That my pain is impossible to understand, let alone overcome.


Beaten mind with a bruised reflection
It’s addiction to failure and substances

I wallow in self-pity, and self medicate with booze and weed. This only makes me feel worse in the long run. I try to escape my pain with infinite distractions, like a dystopian apocalypse novel.


That ties you to your selfish punishment
In your eyes it’s cursed

Everything reminds me of a painful memory. Everything. Certain sounds, scents, shapes, and even colors and numbers. Certain days of the week or time of the year. Hell, even the time of day.

No fix, no cure
Tortured with imperfection, your hatred is aimless

I wake up on the wrong side of the bed every morning. I ruminate in negative memories all day. Supposedly, sleep should bring relief. But instead, I am tormented by nightmares, and I even grind my teeth in my sleep. There is no reprieve from my suffering.

This is my hatred, this is my vow
Never to be broken

In all the hatred, bitterness, and spite, I lose myself. Pain is so much greater than myself. An all consuming force of darkness.

Because you hate yourself
And you hate this world
And you hate the fact
That you hate every moment

The overwhelming self-loathing and misanthropy is stifling. The more I think about it, the more pissed off I feel. I fucking hate it. The only thing I hate more than myself, is everybody else.


Because you hate yourself
And you hate this world
And you hate the fact
That you hate every moment

My toxic thoughts just keep repeating themselves like a broken record. I keep hearing the same horrible things, over and over, ad nauseum. It literally makes me feel sick to my stomach. I don’t know if I want to puke my guts out, or sob my eyes out.


Defeatist, you and I will never be the same

I feel nihilistic and dejected, because my life was harder than most. I have a hard time relating to other people. They don’t see the world like I do.

I’ve taken this vow of hatred (take the vow)
A promise to myself
To never be my own defeatist

…Wait, was this song a diss track against me?! I feel personally attacked! The singer isn’t the defeatist, but the guy yelling at the defeatist! He’s been berating me this whole time!

This is my hatred, this is my vow
Never to be broken

The bridge is repeated, but this time it has a different connotation. The first time I heard this stanza, I felt like it was coming from the defeatist’s point of view. Like it was my celestial destiny to just be a pawn of fate, and relinquish into a life of endless tragedy. Just like everbody else. But this time, I think of this stanza in terms of rising to my fate, instead of despising it.

We suffer Because of the tragedies of our personal lives, and global history at large.

You were born on this planet because life in this solar system was an accident in the grand scheme of the universe.

We hate the imperfections in society, in our families, in other people, and in ourselves.

…Especially the ones within yourself.

And the cycle of pain repeats forever, like an Ouroboros swallowing its own tail.

 You can never escape the random chaos and violence of life.

Hate is a force of nature, just as powerful as love.

This is the cruel truth.  

The world is unfair.

And it’s unfair to everyone.

 Not just you.

 Hate is a force to be reckoned with, but it is ultimately just a small piece of the vast expanse of existence.

 The most extreme act of rebellion against a corrupt system, is to care deeply, to change the paradigm, no matter the cost.

In fact, your very survival is a radical act of defiance.

It’s a miracle that we have survived the very things that tried to kill us.

 You are living proof that this imperfect world is still beautiful, and worth fighting for.

It’s normal to feel negative emotions, like regret, sorrow, and even hate, but you should also have some positive feelings about something or someone.

Every living thing dies, and most of them suffer, but life is still amazing.

Cherish every ephemeral moment, before it is inevitably gone.


Because
suffering. You resent. Hate multiplies. Yourself to blame. And nobody else. You relapse. Hate everything.  This sucks.  World destruction. And annihilation. You hurt.  Hate prevails.  The apocalypse.  Fact checked. That stings. You retreat.  Hate wins. Every time. Moment passed.


BECAUSE
This YOU song HATE makes YOURSELF me
AND
think YOU in HATE another THIS perspective WORLD like
AND
the YOU lyrics HATE interrupt THE every FACT other
THAT 
word YOU in HATE my EVERY own MOMENT head.

Defeatist, you and I will never be the same

After hearing this guy scream the bridge and chorus to me, over and over, I felt like I was being lectured by a disappointed parent or stern teacher. Like, I get it, you wish I would I “apply myself” and “get my shit together”. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit childish and ashamed of my own self-destructive tendencies. But it was also weirdly empowering.

I take this vow
I take this vow of hatred
I take this vow
Never to be broken

The greatest revenge and biggest “Fuck You” to the world is to overcome my past traumas, to rise above it, to be happy and successful. No matter what other people think. No matter what other people do. I’ve got my own battles to fight. I can cheer other people on in their journeys, and even accompany them on their way, but I can’t do everything for them. Just like I can’t always count on others to be there for me. But if you can’t keep up, then at least stay out of the way, or prepare to get bulldozed.

Outro:

The first time I ever heard this song, was on the Metal Shop, a late night radio show on one of the local rock stations. The weekly show broadcasted every Sunday, after the Local Zone, a short time slot for local rock and metal acts. This was my church. This is what I looked forward to every week, every Sunday. Not some stuffy mass in a creepy old chapel. This was like the psalm that gave meaning to my suffering. Not just this particular song, but also the other “sermons” that were switched up every week. It was familiar, but unpredictable and exciting. Just like everyday life. And I loved it, even with all it’s imperfections.

Try to tell me that this heavy earworm didn’t crawl into your skull and get stuck your head.

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