Hellyeah make a triumphant if not bittersweet return with the release of Welcome Home and it is an absolute belter. Ten tracks that are jam packed with groove, funk and all out metal with the absolute beast that is Chad Gray on vocals, Tom Maxwell and Christian Brady on guitars, Kyle Sanders on bass and of course the late great Vinnie Paul on the drums.
Following hot on the heels of 2016’s “Unden!able” this is by far and away their best work and not just because it is the last one featuring Vinnie Paul before his untimely death. It has a much more polished and settled feel to it, it’s groovy it’s funky and it rocks big time. The opener “333” screams out of the traps literally as Chad lets rips as the track thunders into life with great riffs and massive drums, a great way to get proceedings underway. “Oh My God” opens with a funky bass riff before Vinnie takes over and pounds the living shit out of his drum kit before it changes up again and runs with a groovy grind that has become their staple sound but as much as it sounds and feels familiar it just sounds so much fresher.
The title track “Welcome Home” is a brilliant rocker, it has a real arena feel, starting out slow and building up nicely to a real head banger that then changes tack completely with a string section and easy vocals that sounds like something off a Beatles album until Mr Gray decides to tear it all down and revert to type, an outstanding track. “I’m The One” brings the band back to their barn burning best, hard, fast in your face a great all round rocker. The track that runs as possibly the best on the album is “Black Flag Army” a monster sludgefest full of anger and power, grinding riffs and blistering drums, a head bangers dream. “At Wicks End” has a groove laden beat to it that just seeps into your brain and will have singing along without even realising. “Perfect” has a weird pop rock sound that while not their usual style it actually sits quite well with the rest of the album and you can imagine it will be a hit played live with fists pumping big time.
While “Perfect” is a pop rocky affair “Bury You” is far from it as Chad screams and snarls his way through the track like a man possessed with a suitable drum beat and riffs to give it a real hard edge. “Boy” is probably the weakest track on the album, a rap/nu-metal affair that just doesn’t gel with the rest of the album. “Skyy and Water” is the last track on the album, a softly sung ballad with easy guitars and a string section that ease the album to a close, the complete opposite to how it opened and a nice way to finish things off. There is one more “track” called “Irreplaceable” that has about 15 seconds of Vinnie Paul talking about good times and how they are irreplaceable, a fitting send off.
Welcome Home is out on the 27th September and is an absolute must!
HELLYEAH are long standing purveyors of rock, formed in 2006 by Pantera founder/drummer Vinnie Paul, singer Chad Gray (Mudvayne) and guitarist Tom Maxwell (Nothingface) with bassist Kyle Sanders (Bloodsimple) and guitarist Christian Brady who joined in 2014. Welcome Home marks their 6th album release and stands as a celebration of Vinnie along with their current US tour where they have been raising money and awareness for the American Heart Association