Hellyeah – Unden!able
Label: Eleven Seven Music
Release Date: June 3, 2016
I’ve been wearing out the grooves to Hellyeah’s last record, Blood for Blood, waiting for the release of their new one, Unden!able. With Blood for Blood, the band took a major step forward stylistically. They stepped away from fan expectations and defined their true sound. With Unden!able, they continue to forge ahead and expand their sound.
Hellyeah founders Chad Gray (vocals), Vinnie Paul (drums) and Tom Maxwell (guitars) seem to have found all the right parts, with guitarist Christian Brady and bassist Kyle Sanders solidifying the line-up for both Blood for Blood and Unden!able. The chemistry is working.
The opening track (or intro) is simply titled “!” and is an instrumental piece that sets the tone and builds the tension up to the true beginning of Unden!able found in the groove-laden ballistic assault of “X”. This is followed by the spiraling riffage, rhythmic bounce, and almost rap like vocal attack of “Scratch A Lie”. Gray is relentless on “Be Unden!able”, which rolls into the moody vibe of the darkly melodic opening single, “Human”.
Guitarist Tom Maxwell said when talking about the record that, “It’s going to be moody, it’s going to be dark, it’s going to be crushing, it’s going to be heartbreaking, it’s going to be everything.” Found in some of the album’s strongest moments are some pretty big stylistic departures for these boys, who sing that they are “born and bred a metalhead”. A real standout track here is the no-punches-pulled cover of Phil Collins’ “I Don’t Care Anymore”. The song features some log-shelved guitar parts from the late Dimebag Darrell Abbott. Gray’s gritty vocal delivery adds a heavy throat-punch to the track.
If you think it stops there, you would be mistaken. Buckle up as the band gets hostile on “Live or Die” then takes a sharp right into a ballad, “Love Falls”, one might sooner expect from Def Leppard or Seether: A rare, collective vulnerability breaks through on this one. The pace is quickened again as a brief interlude of sirens introduces the psychotic “Startariot”, a song that even though it retreats to some older influences, will no doubt see venues demolished during its live performances.
Closing the album is the unfortunately anti-climactic “Grave”. Leading to the end with this broody (and in parts, doom metal) track fails to deliver the final punch one was hoping for here.
Hellyeah prides itself on being for the fans. Unden!able is a fierce album that does the band and its fans most proud.