by Tom Faddis
Halestorm is a non-apologetic rock band from Red Lion, Pennsylvania. The band is fronted by lead vocalist and guitarist Lzzy Hale and she is joined by her brother, drummer and percussionist Arejay Hale, guitarist Joe Hottinger, and bassist Josh Smith. Based around prodigious songwriting, powerful guitar, driving beats and Lzzy’s remarkable vocals, the band knows how to bring out a connection with their listeners. Halestorm is what is best about rock ‘n’ roll, and with the release of Vicious, the band once again confirms their vision and brings us music that rocks! Produced by Nick Raskulinecz, who has worked with bands like Foo Fighters and Alice in Chains, Vicious is the band’s third full-length album, and three is a charm.
“Black Vultures” starts the album and makes it abundantly clear that the album is going to stay true to the band’s long-standing sound and creative songwriting. The intro has an excellent heavy riff and driving beat that is all rock. Lzzy’s singing is the perfect mix of attitude, passion, clarity and grit. The lyrics are interesting and empowering. The song-form has a flow that is surprising and exceedingly musical. The band certainly takes songwriting seriously and the various sections of the song cover excellent feel changes, building verses, big powerful choruses, and haunting interludes. Lzzy’s vocal range is strong and her passion comes through like a razor blade.
“Uncomfortable” bring all the elements together for a powerful track of pure rock attitude. With a driving drum beat and aggressive guitar, the intro grabs your attention. The verse makes good use of a rhythmic catchy line that is doubled in male and female voices, accompanied only by drums. The lyrics are first-rate. The pre-chorus has nice use of band hits, fine use of backing vocals and builds to the chorus with emphasis. The chorus is big production and its memorable. The bridge leads to an enjoyable interlude that releases all the built-up energy and tension, but not for long, the band returns and drives it home. What makes Halestorm so unique really is Lzzy’s powerful vocals; from full high note screams to gritty lower register lines with attitude, she can belt it out.
Vicious is an attitude plus collection of twelve songs with creative songwriting. The power of Lzzy’s diverse vocal range combined with aggressive guitar, authoritative basslines and bold drumming makes Vicious an outstanding metal album. Sure, it’s Vicious, but in all the right places!
- Original Release Date: July 27, 2018
- Label: Atlantic
- Total Length: 43:27