Hellyeah – Undeniable album review

Vinnie Paul opens up a new world of options

Hellyeah band

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There are times here, on Hellyeah’s fifth album, when you wonder if someone has given them something calming.

_L_ove Falls is a power ballad, and Leap Of Faith has an insistent, addictive melody. So, have Vinnie Paul’s vile vagabonds decided to become a little more mainstream? Not a bit of it.

There might be a new lineup, featuring bassist Kyle Sanders and guitarist Christian Brady, but the balance between fearless, full-on bashing and more cerebral contemplation suggests that the band have become a little more mature. However, the overriding atmosphere here is still dark and forbidding, featuring songs run through with a frightening desperation. Scratch A Lie is a vitriolic attack on those who stab you in the back, while STARTARIOT offers a bloodthirsty rampage of revenge. The new boys fit in well. Brady and Tom Maxwell provide some incendiary dual guitar flamboyance, which gives Hellyeah an extra layer. It’s opened up new possibilities for the band. Adding a second guitarist has strengthened the sound, which is clear on the biting Blood Plague and the ominous Live Or Die. Undeniable is Hellyeah entering a new vibrant era, with drive, ambition and composure.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.