Every Halestorm album ranked from worst to best

(Image credit: Press Restricted/John McMurtrie)

Halestorm have come a long way since they introduced their instantly memorable blend of brash, balls-to-the-wall hard rock with their self-titled debut in 2009. The band created by sister and brother, guitarist and vocalist Lzzy and drummer Arejay Hale, when they were just teenagers has become one of heavy music’s biggest modern players, winning over festivals, courting the mainstream and filling arenas worldwide. Here are their albums, ranked by greatness.

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5. Into The Wild Life (2015)

By the time Halestorm headed into the studio to record their third album, they had gained a reputation as a formidable live act. Aiming to capture the pure hurricane force of their show, Into The Wild Life was recorded in a Nashville church with all four members of the band standing in a circle feeding off each other’s energy. It’s also their most experimental release, the band tweaking what was by then their established, rip-roaring formula with touches of electronica and country, expanding their radio rock in unexpected directions. Yet for all its vision, Into The Wild Life feels flat, sanitised and overly polished, ironically smoothing out their grittier edges.

4. Halestorm (2009)

As far as opening statements go, Halestorm’s debut is a solid one. Released in 2009, their bouncy hard rock is still a little post-grunge around the edges but it’s clear that, even at this point, the band know who and what they wanted to be. Not every track is a zinger, but Halestorm introduced the world to their breed of glossy melodic fire and Lzzy's electrifying vocal, while I Get Off and Familiar Kind Of Poison have remained in their setlists today. They would only get bigger, louder and sharper from here. 

3. Back From The Dead (2022)

Written during the depths of the pandemic, Halestorm’s most recent record is also their heaviest and most personal. The depths of lockdown saw Lzzy battling with anxiety and depression and without any live shows on the horizon, the singer told Hammer last year that she had felt stripped of “a purpose.” Back From The Dead reflects the despair of that very strange time - Wicked Ways and Strange Girl are the band’s most overtly metal tracks - and although the album as a whole lacks that sense of anthemia that defines the rest of their albums, it’s equally one of their most triumphant records. My Redemption sees Lzzy quite literally digging herself out a hole with the fist -punch chorus: “I lost faith and found belief in my own redemption.” 

2. Vicious (2018) 

Vicious went a long way to righting the missteps of its predecessor, Into The Wild Life. During promotional interviews, Lzzy once again called the album “the closest to what you see when you see us live,” only this time, the band nailed it. Vicious is sledgehammer in its effect, taking things back to basics and packed with massive, punchy riffs, finally translating their live power to tape. The opening heavy-duty salvo of Black Vultures, Skulls and Uncomfortable is the band’s strongest, while sleazy stomper Do Not Disturb is Lzzy at her most forthright and unsubtle (example lyric: “I wonder what you sound like when you come”). The most ‘Halestorm’ album in their discography. 

1. The Strange Case Of... (2012)

Having come steaming out of the blocks with their debut, Halestorm took everything to the next level with their second album, The Strange Case Of... Still the album that contains their career-defining tracks in the ass-kicking I Miss The Misery and the Grammy-winning Love Bites (So Do I), it set the template for everything that would follow. It was the moment Lzzy started to push her voice to new limits as well as establishing herself as a figurehead for female empowerment and an advocate for owning your sexuality on the mountainous Freak Like Me and Mz. Hyde, while closer Here’s To Us kickstarted their tradition of closing their album’s with a life-affirming ballad. The band started the album cycle as ones to watch and emerged as one of modern rock’s leading players. 

Dannii Leivers

Danniii Leivers writes for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, The Guardian, NME, Alternative Press, Rock Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and more. She loves the 90s, and is happy where the sea is bluest.