Hellyeah – Stampede

Rating: ★★★★☆

The true meaning of a supergroup, Hellyeah comprises of members of Pantera, Mudvayne, Nothingface and Damageplan. Their self-titled debut took the rock world by storm, entering the US Billboard charts at number 9 and going on to sell over 365,000 copies in America alone. Their new offering, Stampede, has the potential to do the same.

From the off, it’s clear the roots these guys came from. The whole sound is very much reminiscent of Pantera in particular (possibly because Vinnie-Paul not only drummed on the album, but produced it too), as well as it’s other predecessors, but has a hint of a new edge to it. Likewise, it’s evident that this isn’t just going to be a well created metal masterpiece, but also a brilliantly catchy record. An instant favourite for any fan of real heavy metal.

As obvious as the members talent is from their previous work, it’s still showcased flawlessly on this record. The title track is a prime example of this, and is sure to be a huge hit at this years festivals with its distinguished chorus, perfect for crowd sing-a-longs. Another stand out track is the partly acoustic ‘Better Man’, this time for different reasons. This one is the absolute epitome of what a rock ballad should be, heartfelt (the lyrics tell the story of growing up with an alcoholic father), but still has attitude.

Of course, as with any old-school metal album, there’s going to be the element of sleaze. Some get it wrong, and end up sounding awfully cheesy, whereas some, including Hellyeah, get it spot on. The sexy touch stands out mostly in the suitably titled ‘Pole Rider’. The subject of this song is clear, so it’s only right that it should have a downright dirty sound.

Probably the best thing about this album, is the diversity. It shows the full capabilities of these musicians by differing from their previous work, as well as each track being different from all the others. Yes, it is mainly solid, guitar thrashing, drums crashing metal, but there’s also some slower songs, as well as a ballad. Take note, young bands, this much variety should be expected of any album, no matter what genre.
Hellyeah show talent in their lyric writing abilities as well, stepping it up a notch after their debut was criticised for having repetitive lyrics.

Hellyeah are just all round great musicians, they can pen some good words, and have mastered how to write amazing music with clever intricacy, but without the need for long, drawn out guitar solos. Hopefully, they’ll bring back proper heavy effin’ metal!

–Frankii

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