Released by: Warner Music
Release Date: July 27th, 2018
Genre: Hard Rock
Lzzy Hale – Vocals, Guitar
Arejay – Drums
Josh Storm – Bass, Vocals
Joe Storm – Guitar, Vocals
Do Not Disturb
Killing Ourselves To Live
Heart of Novocaine
Halestorm definitely belongs to the rising stars in rock over the last few years. The quartet from Pennsylvania debut in 2010 with a self-titled album, which entered the US charts immediately. The ice was broken by this stunning kickstart and Lzzy Hale and band managed not only to maintain success, the band grew even more with the two following albums. ‘The Strange Case of…’ could widen the band’s fanbase and it was the crucial third album ‘Into the Wild Life’ that cemented the band’s success story.
What was as smart as entertaining were the EP’s, especially the ‘Reanimated:…’ ones, that helped that band to keep up momentum. They acted as an exciting bridge between two records. Since ‘Reanimated 3.0: The Covers EP’ was unveiled in 2017 it wasn’t a difficult thing to predict a new record in the near future. And here it is.
Halestorm’s fourth full-length album is entitled ‘Vicious’ and comprises of 12 rock anthems as we know them from the earlier records. Lzzy Hale, her brother Arejay Hale, bass player Joe Hottinger and drummer Josh Smith will launch this new power boost end of July and after having listened to it, I can confirm that Halestorm is still on a winning track.
The Grammy award-winning powerhouse kicks off ‘Vicious’ with the pounding opener ‘Black Vulture’. The band doesn’t allow any moment of getting yourself ready for this album. Halestorm fires from the very beginning on all cylinders, even though the bit calmer verse might help to keep things more balanced.
One of the success factors of Halestorm is without any doubt the vocals done by Lzzy Hale. She has so much rock’n’roll spirit that comes with here way of singing, it really wows. The quartet shifts gears with ‘Uncomfortable’ which is faster than the first two songs, before ‘Buzz’ starts to create excitement by its grooving swing.
The half acoustic ‘Conflicted’ adds another color to the musical spectrum of Halestorm. The word ‘ballad’ would be totally misplaced for describing the tune. It’s more of a moderate paced rock song that’s kept a bit calmer in the beginning without compromising on heaviness. After such a moment of raspy calmness, it’s the following ‘Killing Ourselves to Live’ that reveals again Halestorm’s rock power. The track belongs to the heaviest ones on the album with furious solo parts and a rock-solid punch.
‘Heart of Novocaine’ is another calmer moment on ‘Vicious’. It’s again Lzzy Hale’s coarse voice that gives the tune the extra that’s needed to differentiate it from standard acoustic ballads. It gives ‘Heart of Novocaine’ the intensity of the song demands. The rocking double ‘Painkiller’ and ‘White Dress’ leads you to the title track, which is placed towards the end of this disc. ‘Vicious’ is a very rhythm-based track that comes with a wicked verse and a strong chorus, which you can’t get out of your mind anymore.
‘Vicious’ is a great next album of the US power rockers of Halestorm. The record can easily compete with each of the first three records. ‘Vicious’ doesn’t contain any weaker moment or a filler. The album is fully charged with the power of rock. It’s an electrifying release that leads to even more appetite for seeing the band live on stage again. Both thumbs up.
Written by: Markus Wiedenmann