ALBUM REVIEW: Halestorm – Back From The Dead



While it’s damn near time to call a moratorium on the “bands affected by the pandemic” introduction to review pieces, it does seem particularly prevalent to do so in reference to Halestorm, for whom life on the road seems such an integral and core part of who and what they are. That isn’t to say that a fifth album wouldn’t have been coming around now, just that the circumstances and unplanned quiet time wouldn’t have dictated the methods of its creation.

For quiet isn’t usually a word to describe either the band, or frontwoman Lzzy Hale, and contemplative isn’t usually one either.

While Back From The Dead (Atlantic Records) could refer to many things, several inferences in the lyrics across the piece give rise to an assumption that there is thought behind the attack, approach and importance of this fifth release. But, given the space and time to look at themselves as band heading into their eighteenth year (shiiiiit) as an unchanged group, it is interesting that there is still a doubling down on attitude. 2018’s Vicious added more heft to their recorded sound – albeit while perhaps missing the depth and heights of The Strange Case of… – and, amongst some personal reflections and addresses to their fans, things in the Halestorm camp this time around are, fundamentally, about roaring back to life.

And the title, and opening, track does just that, being about a trademark a Halestorm song as you can imagine. Vibrantly produced by Nick Raskulinecz once again, thick rock guitar tones with a pounding attitude and a roar of a chorus hook are belted out, confirmation that attitude and studio precision can be bedfellows in the school of hard rock.

Rock albums can, at times, struggle to last the distance, often relying on a handful of singles and a whole lotta filler, but Back From The Dead passes that test too, peppering it’s forty-minute run time with quality, and while some the lyrics may be a bit throwaway or from the stock book of rock (and roooolllllll!), we wouldnt expect any less, with any shortfall of depth made up for by attitude, assurance and integrity-dripping delivery. Joe Hottinger lets it rip on the solos, and Arejay Hale injects the energy from the engine room behind the kit to match the energy upfront and the powerful vocals: there is no dialling it in from a close-knit four-piece with near telepathic understanding.

Confident and assured, Back From The Dead is the sound of a band who know their strengths and their worth and are playing to them without playing too safe. Whether it is producing uptempo anthems like ‘The Steeple’ or ‘Wicked Ways’, more chunky statements like ‘Bombshell’ and ‘Psycho Crazy’, or the surprisingly vulnerable – considering the title and lyrical topic – piano and (impassioned) vocal closer ‘Raise Your Horns’, Halestorm continue to add new anthems to their arsenal and have found a way to match their live sparkle with their ability to consistently write strong rocking tunes.

Buy the album here: https://amzn.to/3OZ105a

7 / 10

STEVE TOVEY

 

 

 

This post contains an affiliate link. Ghost Cult makes a small commission on a sale.