The following is Wes “Rockwell” Anderson’s review of HELLYEAH’s latest album “Blood for Blood” as it appears in print in ROCKwell UnScene MUSIC Magazine (Issue #4 “Summer Wrap Up”). For more pics of the band please visit us at http://www.ROCKwellUnSceneMagazine.com
First I have to say I’m not a big lover of “album review” columns or columnists. Live is where I tend to form my opinions about any song or album, but after being asked my opinion about “Blood for Blood” by Chad Gray at Rock USA, I paused for a moment to reflect on the songs I had heard live and gave him my honest opinion – it was awesome. I also realized privately that I had not given enough time to really digging into and listening to the album, so I promised Chad I would do what I’m not a real fan of – an album review. Below I give my brief thoughts and opinions about each song, but first I’ll give you my overall observations about the album as a whole. If I were rating it on a scale of 1-5 Metal Horns with 5 being the most Metal and therefore best possible, I’ll give “Blood for Blood” a 4.99 because I don’t want anyone to say I’m kissin’ the bands ass by giving them a perfect score…on the other hand…I changed my mind – because it‘s my review. 5 out of 5 and DMF’s who disagree!! Honestly though – it’s as close to perfect as possible from start to finish – and that’s how I suggest you listen to it. I got the feeling, through the lyrics and delivery, that this was a very personal album for at least some, if not all members of the band. I had the feeling it was going to be great when I interviewed Tom Maxwell at Carolina Rebellion in May this year. He was genuinely excited about what they had created and were about to unleash upon the world. Get the album and you too will understand his excitement. Here’s a few thoughts about each track….
1. Sangre Por Sangre (Blood for Blood) – As good it is on the cd it’s even better live when the hard crunching grooves hit you in the chest and your head instinctively starts to bang – even if it’s the first time hearing the song
2. Demons in the Dirt – You can hear Helvis return in Chad Gray’s opening scream. Add in some funky bass and some spooky – almost Halloween sounding licks towards the end of the song and you’ve got a new song to scare the kids this October 31st.
3. Soul Killer – Sounds like their talking about a soul sucking ex – or it reminds me of one of mine
4. Moth – the softer more reflective side of HELLYEAH but don’t call it a ballad or I’ll burn your wings
5. Cross to Bier – classic Chad Gray staccato stylized vocals mixed with Tom Maxwell’s rippin’ riffs and masterful solo highlights this masterpiece
6. DMF – Die Mutha’ F!cka’ – another song that must be felt live – not heard live – felt live. The studio version is killer but nothing beats this song crushin’ you live.
7. Gift – a song for all of us hard working, beat down stiffs who get knocked down but never out. Also features another top notch Tom Maxwell solo.
8. Hush – haunting beginning with self reflecting lyrics “…Hell’s where I was born – Hell’s where I was raised – this Hell is where I‘m from…and this Hell is where I’ll stay…the Hush is all I need…to Hush the misery…” Not the fastest or
hardest sounding track, but it is the one that hit my heart the hardest.
9. Say When – Listening to the Vinnie Paul intro. sets up the entire song which will run you over, slow down, and back over you again one last time – leaving you in a pile saying “Dude…that was frickin’ Awesome – do it again!”.
10. Black December – The lyric “there is a light inside the black” to me captures the essence of this song. Every song ever written is a journey interpreted through our own world view so you might have a completely different take on this particular song.
11. Feast or Famine – Getting heavy one last time Vinnie pounds the skins while Chad & Tom get into a melodic groove that proves that these guys were meant to play together. Masterful way to end the heavy.
12. Hush (Acoustic) – All that I said about the plugged in track minus being plugged in. My wife calls it “Acoustic – but with BALLS!!”