Chad Gray and Vinnie Paul will both be out touring with Hellyeah starting in September with Volbeat and Five Finger Death Punch on a North American tour, and they are bringing some new material to work with off of their new album “Blood For Blood”. Hellyeah is commonly known for bringing a southern rock fused with a metal feel to their music, but this time around we went much heavier with a couple of ballad-esque gems hidden in between.
The opening song which is the title track “Sangre Por Sangre (Blood For Blood)” is their first single of three thathave come out (Cross To Beir and Demons In The Dirt), and it is delightfully grating for an opener. Its not really ominous, so much as it is simplistically harsh, and with the former frontman from Mudvayne on the mic, I would say its a good way to set the tone for the album.
Thematically, it has a lot of scratching yet catchy scales throughout thats primarily meant for playing to a live audience. Its not to say that it isnt good on the ears, its just that the style is rhythmically timed more to mosh moving. It’s something that you could follow even if you took a few blows to the head. Given how they were when I caught them at Rocklahoma this past month, it would be hard not to catch one with the sheer verocity of the music that tranfers almost instantaneously to the crowd.
For the most part, I really enjoyed the album. Its like an expert mechanic. It knows what it has to do and does it very well. It does kind of become a little formulaic at times opening many of its hit songs with fast aggressive opening, where Gray double times the tempo vocally, then comes back to match at the chorus occasionally dropping to more of a rap spoken word which sounds like a bad thing reading this aloud as I write it, but quite the contrary since it definately gives a sharp contrast to the well known vocalists style. It usually follows up with a solid guitar solo right before closing out which is compartmentalized but efficient.”Cross To Beir (Cradle Of Bones)” hits just as hard as its predecessor “Sangre Por Sangre ( Blood For Blood)”, and though the album continuously delivers on a fast paced aggression at times most impressively by Vinnie Paul (Pantera) hitting double bass beats off of the kit during “Say When”, it does take nearly an equal amount of instances to slow things down and give us a more melodic feel to really contrast the music as is evident in “Moth”, “Hush” and “Black December”. The good news being that we get a very sharp differential between The grating and melodic extremes.
Perhaps my only real criticism here is that there does not seem to be any transitional middle ground here musically to go from one end of the spectrum to the other, its just kind of you get what you get. Then again, for a metal band, thats fairly the norm promoting two sides of the same coin in the same album.
Recap: All things considered, its both the very aggressive efficient album that you would come to expect with metal veterans as well as powerful in taking the time to bring its opposite ends with a ballad feel occasionally incorporating a blues feel mixing that southern rock influence and metal riffing throughout. It offers some blistering work on the kit from Vinnie Paul, and lyrically it seems to delve into sadness as much as angst in everything from cultural commercialization to the earthy and voracious nature of man. It is a fantastically gritty album that is far less compromising as their former works.
01. Sangre por Sangre (Blood for Blood)
02. Demons in the Dirt
03. Soul Killer
05. Cross to Bier (Cradle of Bones)
09. Say When
10. Black December
11. Feast or Famine (Bonus Track)
12. Hush (Acoustic) (Bonus Track)