If you like Hatebreed, you'll love Born From Pain. That's the long and short of it, as well as the good and bad. The resemblance isn't so close as to be cloning, and this Dutch band is often more musically interesting than its American counterpart. However, the feeling is unmistakably the same – metallic hardcore with midpaced grooves, occasional thrash tendencies, "us against the world" lyrics, and simple vocal patterns.
That's not a bad thing, as Jasta and co. have arguably perfected the formula, taking the torch from forebears like Agnostic Front and Earth Crisis. Hatebreed's forte is memorable songs; titling them after choruses sure helps. Born From Pain doesn't quite reach the same level of hookiness. Ché Snelting's vocals are burly, with the requisite backup gang vocals, but the choruses just aren't commanding enough to stick.
On the other hand, the guitars sometimes break into harmonies more adventurous than the usual open-string chugging. "Iron Will" bursts with fiery, inspirational licks – more, please! It's frustrating to hear guitarists so tight and precise hold back when more complexity could help put songs "over the top." "The War Is On," in particular, is a wasted opportunity, with six plodding, instrumental minutes that kill the album's momentum.
Technically, the album is flawless. The performances are spot-on, the production is heavy and clear, and the song intros are catchy. It's musically conservative, but Born From Pain knows what it's doing, and does it well.