This Week Roadie Loves: Halestorm – “Vicious”

by Alec Plowman, Aug 10, 2018 . 3 min read

This Week Roadie Loves: Halestorm – “Vicious”

This week, “Halestorm – “Vicious” has featured heavily on the Roadie office playlist. If you’ve not checked it out yet, we’d thoroughly recommend that you do.

Just over 20 years into their career now, and with four full-length albums under their belt, the past decade has seen Halestorm rise the rock ranks. That’s thanks in no-small part to their relentless touring schedule.

It was 2012’s “The Strange Case Of…” that broke the band into the mainstream – lead single “Love Bites… And So Do I” was a Grammy winner- cementing their reputation as one of the preeminent hard rock acts of their era.

“Into the Wild Life”

While still a commercial success, 2015’s “Into the Wild Life” was perhaps not the successor that fans had hoped for. Diversions into AOR, and an overly slick pop-production lacked the grit that made “The Strange Case Of…” such a compelling listen, muting the powerhouse intensity of front woman Lzzy Hale.

“Into the Wild Life” was the sound of a band at a crossroads. “Vicious,” but contrast is a blistering re-affirmation of intent. Produced by Nick Raskulinecz, known for his work with the likes of Trivium, Mastodon and Alice in Chains, it’s an uncompromising album. It is largely eschewing the lighter moments of “Into the Wild Life” in favor of undiluted hard rock, full of big riffs, snarling vocals, and undisputed “f—k you” attitude.

At 12 tracks, and just over 40 minutes long, “Vicious” keeps things lean-and-mean. Other than closing acoustic number “Silence” – which has shades of Led Zeppelin’s Bron-Yr-Aur – it’s an album with a singular, hard rocking purpose. And it works. Unlike its predecessor, “Vicious” is an incredibly focused album.

It’s super tight, going heavier than anything Halestorm has ever done before. In fact, that heaviness comes straight out of the gate – opener “Black Vultures” opens moody before giving way to anthemic riffing and soaring vocals. Through follow-up tracks “Skulls” and lead single “Uncomfortable,” there’s little let-up.

Hale roars and snarls her way through lyrics that seldom veer from sex/drugs/rock ’n’ roll themes that compliment the music perfectly. Vocally, it’s a powerhouse performance. Hale’s always been one of the standout voices of her generation, but here she really pushes it on this record. And it pays off big time.

Halestorm are a well-oiled machine 

That’s what 20 years of 200+ shows a year will do to you – and as such, the musicianship on display here is consummately professional Drummer Arejay Hale (Lzzy’s brother) and bassist Josh Smith are locked in, laying down a consistently solid foundation, upon which Lzzy and guitarist Josh Hottinger build an immense tower of power-riffage.

If you’re a fan of solid-as-a-rock anthemics, big riffing and no-bulls—t rock ‘n’ roll, this is one to pick up. A return to form for “Halestorm,” it’s the sound of a great band hitting their stride and doing what they do best.



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

Today we’re going to talk about 5 ways musicians get inspired. The term inspiration refers to being mentally stimulated to do something, especially in the creative realm.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 2, 2021 . 4 min read

We recently covered how different kinds of arthritis can affect your guitar playing. We also provided some tips on how to avoid it.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 21, 2021 . 3 min read

Johnny Cash, one of country music’s most influential singers sadly passed away in 2003; His words and music live on, continuing to have a profound effect on listeners.

Evan Ceretti
Jun 14, 2021 . 5 min read

Wondering what are the 5 most covered songs of all time? Spoiler alert! They’re not the ones you would think.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 7, 2021 . 4 min read

The 4 lies musicians tell themselves are truly baffling. Each of them are indefensible and together they form a sure stairway to failure. However, all these lies have a common denominator: lack of any kind of work ethic.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 24, 2021 . 4 min read

These 4 legendary recording studios that are active today have survived a plethora of adversities.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 21, 2021 . 4 min read

These 5 hit songs disliked by their songwriters are a true study into human nature. You wrote a song, it became a massive hit, and now you hate it? That’s right! It happens more often than you’d think.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 14, 2021 . 4 min read

The top 5 young guitar players today seem to defy the odds. You need a lot of time to get really good at something like playing an instrument.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 10, 2021 . 3 min read

These 5 inspirational books for musicians can be considered modern classics. They are a fantastic resource to feed our drive and keep us inspired.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 3, 2021 . 4 min read

The 5 jazz albums every music fan should have are a collection of incredible music by incredible artists. These records marked a moment in history and continue to inspire generations of music lovers across the globe.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Apr 30, 2021 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!