Vicious? Yes. Yes it is.

Finally! A new Halestorm album! I first came across Halestorm on youtube years ago when they were doing a Skid Row cover live, and that was all she wrote. They’re perfect together. Lzzy’s vocals are unapologetic, Animal’s, I mean Arejay’s, drumming is relentless, Joe’s riffs are prefect, and Josh’s bass is thumping. He also called me sweetie once but that’s another story. Actually that’s basically the whole story. No wait, there’s a PHOTO TOO: Anyway. If you don’t know Halestorm: they have 4 studio albums and 3 cover EPs. I’ve said it before and I say it again: it’s a special kind of art to do a good cover, and Halestorm has mastered it (so has Metallica and Marilyn Manson, but that’s a whole other post). Check out their version of Judas Priest’s “Dissident aggressor” and tell me I’m wrong.

If you enjoy catchy, thumpy, riffy hard rock with in-your-face vocals and rebellious lyrics, this is the stuff you need. Some of my faves from the first 3 albums are “I get off“, “Mz Hyde“, “Freak like me“, “I miss the misery“, “Daughters of darkness“, “Mayhem“, “I like it heavy“, and “Apocalyptic“. And about 20 others.

SO! The new album is called “Vicious” and is all I expected it to be, and then some. Some of it is entirely surprising, some is comfortably recognizable as the Halestorm I know and love.

Black Vultures” – Wow. That is some insanely distorted screaming. I LOVE IT. Guitars. Drums. Involuntary headbanging. Lzzy’s voice drops down, smooths out. It’s perfect. Super catchy chorus. I can listen to this on repeat all day. I did, in fact, yesterday. The breakdown around 2:40 is GROOVY and I like it so much.

Skulls” – Quiet vocals that erupts in screaming, and repeat. The parts with only vocals and drums. It’s genius. Listen to the lyrics. Feed your empty skull / Leave the tv on / Believe what you want / If you can’t see right or wrong /

Uncomfortable” – PUNKY! More involuntary headbanging. So catchy. I dare you to sit still. Unpredictable arrangement from the bridge into the chorus. I like to be surprised. And again, lyrics. I do it ’cause the whole damn worlds gone crazy / And fuck it man / This is the end /  That riff at 2:52. Chunky.

Buzz” – Aaaahh yes this is the stuff. This song reminds me of something Heart could have done. Catchy. VOCALS. I can’t sleep / I can’t think now / I can’t breathe without you touching me / Oh and they’re doing the whole Bon Jovi thing… the talk box? Yeah, that.

Do not disturb” – Rated R in all kinds of ways. Besides saying that you should pay special attention to the guitar solo at 2:40, I’m just gonna leave this headline from MetalSucks here:

Conflicted” – Not used to hearing Lzzy’s vocals like this. I love it. Chorus is groovy. So groovy.  I’m conflicted / this addiction’s got me twisted on you

Killing ourselves to live” – Wow okay so I spent hours on a transatlantic flight a few days ago with this on repeat. It’s amazing. Heartbreaking. Empowering. Gut wrenching. Thumpy, crunchy, and vicious. Probably my favorite song on this album. This could have been a Pat Benatar ballad from the 80s, but it’s a Halestorm ballad from the 10s and it’s AWESOME.

Heart of novocaine” – Oh break my heart, why don’t you. I absolutely love how Lzzy’s lazy pronunciation emphasizes the emotions in the lyrics. I dare you not to feel this song. With the acoustic guitar and all it kind of takes me back to the best but most heartbreaking parts of the 90s.

Painkiller” – YES. That guitar bend. The thumping. Teasing vocals that turn into screaming on the chorus. Almost a progressive feel. I really like he guitar work on this song. And that vocal part at 2:20? Hot.

White dress” – Classic hard rock. Catchy. Classic Lzzy lyrics. She’s really succeeded in making her lyrics relatable for women of all ages and from all walks of life, not just on this album.

Vicious” – This is AMAZING. The progression and effects make me think of Garbage, but metallized. THIS IS A VERY GOOD THING. Also a song I could have on repeat all day long.

Last on the album is “The silence“, a pretty ballad with some beautiful vocal work. Again, something that might as well could have been released in the late 80s or early 90s.


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