At the time of writing and posting this review the BSG singing competition (second round) is live. So why not review something musical.
I do love listening to new music and Halestorm (a band I’ve had mixed feelings about over the years) has just dropped album number 5.
I wasn’t sure about reviewing this but the lead single got my interest, So I am going to dive right in this time. Normally I would listen to the album then on my second play through write down my thoughts. This time I’m going to be thought writing as I listen, then some words I will write after the review actually happens.
Album: Back From The Dead
Released: May 6, 2022
- Lizzy Hale | Vocals & Guitar
- Arejay Hale | Drums
- Joe Hottinger | Guitars
- Josh Smith | Bass
Halestorm is a female fronted rock band from somewhere in America. I could have done slightly more research and given you more, but hey it is the music that is important.
I will be honest I have had a bit of a mixed relationship with Halestorm over the years. There self titled album “Halestorm” and its follow up “A Strange Case Of” were 2 brilliant albums. However I didn’t care over much for there third album “in to the wild life”, and the Fourth album “Vicious” I thought was incredibly weak.
I did review the last album “Vicious” on the blog back in 2019 and you can read that here.
Seeing them live is another area where I had mixed experiences with this band. The first time I saw them live they put on a fantastic show; I was just slightly disappointed they didn’t play very much off there first album. The second time the lead Singer Lizzy Hale was sick and the show was so bad I left before the end.
Finally a festival appearance saw them playing mostly material from the already disappointing album Vicious so I can’t say it was amazing.
But despite all of this I am back to see if they can improve my pretty low opinion of them with a new album.
So lets jump in.
01: Back From The Dead
I absolutely love this for an album opener. Musically this song hits hard. One of if not the heaviest songs Halestorm have dropped with a smashing guitar solo and some of the finest drumming on any track they have released.
Lyrically it really makes you feel like they are starting something big with this song. Brilliant start!
02: Wicked Ways
We jump in with another song that certainly feels fitting with this harder hitting sound they were going for with the first song. However this song also feels much more like an old school Halestorm track.
Once again musically it is some of the heaviest stuff they have done as a band, something you can really hear on the bridge. Here Lizzy Hale has really embraced her metal vocal range which she also did with the first 2 Halestorm albums.
03: Strange Girl
So 1 of my biggest complaints with the previous album by Halestorm was the extremely boring lyrics. For what ever reason this album is a massive step forward in this area.
This song is a brilliant example. While musically it is a little more simplistic, that doesn’t detract from the song; in fact I think it really enhances it. It really lets the vocals take front and center.
I think this song coming off the back of the first 2 songs gives this album a really powerful start.
I can’t say this song has anything to really make it stand out. But the flow from the first few songs makes this such a good mid album track.
A solid performance and a bouncy rhythm make it a fun song and something I am completely on board with.
Plus shout out to the incredibly short guitar solo.
05: The Steeple
So this song was the lead single from the album. Having now heard the first 4 tracks I am glad this was the lead single. it interested me enough to get me to check out the album. That being said, it is by no means the best song, But it fits this album really well. Even though I think it sounds allot more like the songs they dropped on album number 3.
Lyrically it leaves a few things to be desired but otherwise a fine song.
So far the thing I love is the cohesion of this album. Every song might not be the finest the band has ever written but it all compliments the tracks around them to really build this up.
06: Terrible Things
A much softer song, and I have to admit when this started I didn’t think I would be super in to it, but actually they manage to bring the tone down with out pulling me out of the album. I think this is a really well done song.
I did expect it to kick in toward the end, but I am glad they kept the tone the same all the way through.
07: My Redemption
I feel like this is a song that will have to grow on me.
Musically it isn’t bad, But the tone of the song just doesn’t really appeal to me. It also feels a little all over the place with the vocals. Not that bad of a song, but just not that good either.
This is a really interesting song. At first I wasn’t sure…half the verses are just drums, bass, and vocals. The chorus also feels a little strange, but over all I have to say it is different and it makes it a pretty good track.
The lyrics are pretty lame, but it builds nicely through out, and by the end I was really feeling this song.
09: I Come First
It wouldn’t be a Good Halestorm album with out a song clearly about sex. After the disappointment that was the last album and the song do not disturb; I think this extremely simple song drives the point home perfectly.
It is a solid song that wouldn’t sound out of place on any Halestorm album up to this point. I am completely for this song, and gentleman always know the lady comes first.
10: Psycho Crazy
Again it wouldn’t be a Halestorm album with out a song about being a bad bitch. Now I will be honest this song is a bit of a mix. I think the song is good, but it starts out a bit slow. And it flows okay but really feels a little all over the place.
It also does start to feel a bit repetitive toward the end, But over all not to bad.
11: Raise Your Horns
I am about to be very bipolar.
This song is brilliant! A soft song which is mostly just a piano and vocals. It has a real vibe to it and I think it is a fantastic vocal performance from Lizzy Hale.
Having said that I kind of hate this song.
I don’t really care for albums that end on a soft piano track. I also don’t like the theme of this song. Raise your horns is a phrase normally used at rock shows during high energy songs. This is as far from that as you can get.
If this song wasn’t about raising your horns I would love it, or if they had taken the lyrics and put it on a high energy track like the first 5 songs of the album also would have been grate, but some how they fuck this up and we are left with a good song that I don’t like.
So I have now listened to the album 3 times from start to finish. I can’t help but feel this album starts strong gets a bit shaky and ends on a song that I know I have to try and be subjective about but I just can’t.
Honestly most of the album is really solid and if you like rock music or Halestorm specifically you will find stuff on this album you will like.
Rating: 7.8 out of 10.
This is an album I will listen to again and enjoy, but some songs I will almost certainly skip.
Have you listen to the album. What are your favorite tracks?
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