HELLYEAH – 'Welcome Home' Album Review


Tracklist:

1. 333

2. Oh My God

3. Welcome Home

4. I’m the One

5. Black Flag Army

6. At Wicks End

7. Perfect

8. Bury You

9. Boy

10. Skyy and Water

11. Irreplaceable

It’s unfortunate, in a way, that 'Welcome Home' will always be tagged as “the last album to feature Vinnie Paul” rather than “HELLYEAH’s biggest and best album to date”. Because although the former statement is true (and very sad), the latter is also true.

For those of you who don’t know anything about HELLYEAH (and yes, you are supposed to write the name that way, in all capital letters), they are a Metal supergroup formed by Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell. Very early on they approached Vinnie Paul to drum for them, and the three of them became the nucleus of this metal juggernaut.

While looking at the names involved might give you some idea of the band’s sound (especially if you are familiar with their other works), I’ve always considered HELLYEAH to be greater than the sum of their parts, and nowhere does that appear more obvious than on this album – it is superb.

They approach it as a band who do not give a fuck what people think of them, and just making music that they want to make, which leads to a great variety within the album. The furious driving force of opening track '333' really makes you sit up and take notice, before settling into the Groove Metal stylings of 'Oh My God', a second track that sounds both familiar and excitingly new all at the same time.

Without taking you track-by-track through the album (and where’s the fun in that), it’s really hard to express how great the variety is, and how every track will be someone’s favourite. Even the slow, ballad-esque 'Skyy and Water' doesn’t feel out of place, which is testament to the band’s quality – as you’d never have guessed that an album that starts with '333' would end with a ballad.

(And yes, there is an 11th track, but that’s more of a short coda than anything else!) My own personal favourite tracks on 'Welcome Home' are probably not a surprise to anyone who knows my musical tastes. I’ve mentioned '333' a few times, so you have probably (quite rightly) guessed that this is one of the standouts for me – others are 'Black Flag Army', which feels in it’s verses like a good Nu-Metal song, and then the heavy chorus really adds another dimension to it, and 'Perfect', which feels like someone put all the rock and metal styles they could think of into a blender, and this is what came out.

So, how best to sum up this album? If you like Rock, Metal, or any kind of heavy music, then you simply cannot be without 'Welcome Home'. It feels like it should be revered as a modern classic – not only as Vinnie Paul’s last contribution to heavy music, but as an excellent collection of songs by some amazing musicians. In short, any Metal fans answer to whether they are going to buy this album ought to be HELL YEAH.

Website - hellyeahband.com

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hellyeahband/

Review - Michael Braunton

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