HELLYEAH – Welcome Home

7.5/10

Death and loss can be a real deal-breaker for any art-based entity. For any musical ensemble, it goes without saying that the death of a key formative member can be a make or break moment. Will the emotion of such an event cause a reinvigoration of sound once lost or could it cause a complete collapse without the presence of a poster boy piece of the puzzle. Time will tell what happens next for groove metal supergroup HELLYEAH, but with Welcome Home being the last recorded effort of the late Vinnie Paul prior to his passing, it’s a true challenge to deny the presence of the sheer addictive writing style that gave the act its initial jumpstart in the self-titled days of old (also known as 2007).

Comprised of members from Mudvayne, Nothingface, and, of course, the mighty Pantera, it should come as no surprise to any first time listener that this act is a Franken band of sorts, the sum of which is equal to the parts of each band member’s individual talents somehow melting potted together to create a sort of fast food type attempt at groove metal. All the standard aggressive vibes coupled with accessibility, simple yet addictive structuring, and the occasional “special of the month” attempt from release to release. Welcome Home can be broken down into similar aspects. Opening track “333” brings the familiar breakneck speed and groove along with the relatively simplistic lyrical content that the band is so often known for. Title track “Welcome Home” portrays frontman Chad Gray’s uncanny poetic capabilities that we so rarely get to see anymore along with what can be spectacular melodic chorus work. Finally, “At Wick’s End” stands tall as the outlier, bringing forth the bands best attempt at an Alice in Chains original. This leaves the rest of the album with the standard country loving redneck nu-metal vibes we know and either love or tolerate, as well as a rather intimate clip of Vinnie’s beloved positive ramblings to cap it all out under the moniker “Irreplaceable.”

Where the album crushes in terms of production quality and checks off all standard boxes on the kind of metal any fun-loving, tribal tattooed, Monster energy drink addicted, potentially cousin loving hillbilly would cream over, the flip side is that this album ultimately lacks in replay value. The past few efforts from the Dallas based supergroup have seen a further dive into the stereotypical Sirius XM brand of radio-friendly heavy metal, however Welcome Home feels like the closest thing to a return to the original form that’s been heard since Stampede. Does that mean it has, however, earned a coveted spot on a top ten or blown the mind if this drunken sexually frustrated pundit? Sadly, it has not. This record without question deserves a solid listen for any one whose eyes flickered at a single hyperlink previously flashed in front of you, but will I see myself coming back for extra helpings? Eeeeehhhhhh… Check it out live maybe?

HELLYEAH 2019 TOUR DATES
w/Nonpoint & Deepfall
November 15 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts
November 16 – Peoria, IL – Monarch Music Hall*
November 19 – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Hall
November 20 – London, ON – London Music Theatre
November 22 – Flint, MI – The Machine Shop*
November 24 – Angola, IN – The Eclectic Room
November 26 – Belvidere, IL – The Apollo Theatre
November 27 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
November 29 – Colorado Springs, CO – Black Sheep
December 2 – Missoula, MT – Palace Theatre
December 3 – Billings, MT – Pub Station
December 5 – Calgary, AB – Palace Theatre
December 6 – Edmonton, AB – Union Hall
December 8 – Vancouver, BC – The Imperial
December 10 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
December 11 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory
December 12 – Boise, ID – Revolution
December 14 – Chico, CA – Senator Theatre
December 15 – Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
December 17 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
December 18 – Los Angeles, CA – Regent Theater
December 19 – Phoenix, AZ – Van Buren
* = Without Nonpoint

2020 TOUR DATES
February 1-6 — ShipRocked 2020

Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Danielle Kenedy

About Jason Greenberg 139 Articles
On the first day, the Lord said "Let there be Bucketlist," and all of human kind then became aware of the incredulity or abysmally flaccid result on their attempt at Art. On the second day, the Lord said "Jason, go review that show you're going to on Friday," and begrudgingly, a review was made. What the world was for Jason Greenberg before that point is either completely unimportant or mildly pornographic, but the world of today after many years of serving his Queen has brought him opportunity, hardship, and a whole lot of Bucketlist patches on indiscriminate pieces of clothing. You may see him lugging your band's equipment and yelling at you aimlessly about the useless construct of time. You may see him expelling a noise not fully understood by humankind at the end of a microphone. You may even see him swimming in an ocean of poutine, but you will always see him as his true self, a sentient and obnoxious Bucketlist Music Reviews Billboard.

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