Dear Dirty America


Metalheads Everywhere Upset About Hatebreed’s Sloppy Use of Word ‘Decimated’

July 03
18:07 2012

Who would have thought metal fans would be so particular when it came to lyrics from their favorite hardcore, death metal bands? One man is out to keep metal bands honest with their lyrics, and force them to make proper, thoughtful choices with each word in every song. Particularly, he’s set his sights on an American hardcore band called Hatebreed. The man’s name is Jeff Sedgewick, and his story starts with a car accident in May 2006, which left him in a coma until the beginning of June 2012.

“I couldn’t wait for that fucking album to come out,” Sedgewick says, speaking about Hatebreed’s fourth full-length album, Supremacy, which was released in August, 2006, just months after Sedgewick’s car wreck and subsequent coma that would keep him asleep from the world around him and, more particularly, deprived of the fast-forging metal scene.

“When I woke up in the hospital in June, the first thing I asked was, ‘What day is it?'” Sedgewick recalls, “and the next question was, ‘How many Hatebreed albums have I missed?'” He was both happy and depressed that he’d missed three. He was also relieved to know the band was still strong as ever.

But then, a bad thing happened. Sedgewick began listening to the first of the three — Supremacy. “Everything was real fucking cool, and I was bobbing my head to the music, kind of growling along with Jasta [Hatebreed frontman], when I came to song six.” The doctors has just warned Sedgewick to calm down, since his brain was still adjusting to being conscious again.

Song six is called “Destroy Everything”. Sedgewick said he was cool with it for a few seconds. He sings the lyrics, remembering the lines perfectly, even though he has not, and never will again, listen to that song, or record. “Destroy everything,” he sings, “destroy everything,” and again, “destroy everything,” he sings. “Obliterate what makes us weak. Destroy everything!” he sings three more times, until he starts shaking his head and gets a violent look on his face.

The next line he refuses: “Decimate what threatens me.” For ninety-nine point nine, nine percent of metalheads, or music fans, or even human beings in general, that line wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary for a song lyric (except that maybe it’s a mediocre one, but this world is accosted every second by bad lyrics and lines). What’s Sedewick’s beef?

“Come on, man,” he says. “That’s the sloppiest fucking way to use the word ‘decimate’. It’s not supposed to mean wipe out everything. But in the context of the song, that word is used as an alternate line to destroying everything. Jasta screams and uses the word decimate instead. Historically, it’s all wrong.”

Sedgewick goes on to quote from the Oxford English Dictionary, the true and proper use of the word. “Decimate,” he says from memory, “means kill one in every ten.” He admits there are less strict definitions of the word, such as ‘killing or destroying a large portion of something’.

“I’m talking about going the whole extra mile,” he retorts. “I’m talking about serious craftsmanship. Not sloppy lyrics. Is Jasta going to destroy ten percent of what threatens him? Is that what he means?”

Sedgewick claims he’s not the only one upset about this. Metal blogs that are worth their salt are up in arms about Hatebreed’s piss poor use of that word.

Sedgewick has not listened to Hatebreed since that fateful afternoon only one month ago. “I’ve written to the band, I’ve done record reviews. I can’t believe so few metalheads have caught this unforgiveable fucking error.”


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The Dear Dirty Newswire spits out surreal news items blending truthful ideas with a satirical premise. Nobody can control the old newswire from sputtering and printing barely readable, inky pages of news. DDA’s editors and administrators never dare question what it produces. 

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 29, 16:59

    It is sloppy use of the language that has reduced this once great country to a pack of illiterates, and it is the metal music industry that MUST step up and lead us to a new era of erudition.

    Reply to this comment

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