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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

CD-Review: Halestorm - "Into The Wild Life"

Halestorm are one of those bands who came out of nowhere and became one of the most successful Hard Rock bands of the new generation in a short period of time. It took them just two albums to get good chart positions and a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance (song: "Love Bites (So Do I)"). Their latest record "The Strange Case Of ..." was a fantastic well-crafted, modern Hard Rock album that combined straight heaviness with catchy, radio-friendly melodies. This mixture really worked for me and now three years later the follow-up "Into The Wild Life" will hit the stores on April 10th, 2015.

Halestorm-fans have to be brave now: forget everything you know about this band and the previous songs they recorded, because "Into The Wild Life" is completely different! It was announced that Halestorm wanted to push their boundaries even further with this new album and they really did. "Into The Wild Life" has much more of a Classic Rock record paired with modern Alternative Rock/Metal and some groovy, Hard Rock edges here and there. Halestorm got with each new album more heavy in sound and the new album continues this trend. The record sounds very raw and loud but unfortunately this leads to the fact that the new songmaterial isn't so accessible anymore. You loved songs like "Bet U Wish U Had Me Back", "Here's To Us" or "Private Parts"? Forget about them, because you won't find these kind of songs on the new album.

Halestorm just do what they want to do on this record, without thinking in genres and without thinking about commercial success. "Into The Wild Life" is far away from being commercial and there is nothing wrong with that. Like so many bands in recent times they wanted to reinvent themselves and that goes hand in hand with a huge change in style. Die-hard-Halestorm fans just have to accept that.

Halestorm took a huge risk and I can understand when some fans are disappointed with the new stuff, but if you are prepared for what lies ahead and you give this album a few spins you'll definitely discover some pretty cool tracks. The opener "Scream" comes along with a darker mood, but is worth checking out as well as the following "I Am The Fire", which is one of the highlights on here. In general you could say that the first half of the album is damn strong. "Sick Individual" is a little earworm and grooves a lot. If we are talking about groove we also have to name the two singles "Amen" and "Apocalyptic", which sound both very dynamic and they unfold their strengths even more with each new listen. "Mayhem" is also a monster of a song. It's simply the heaviest track on the album. For lovers of ballads I can recommend you the calm piano-ballad "Dear Daugther" that features some of Halestorms most mature lyrics to date.

So you see, "Into The Wild Life" has much good stuff to offer. Unfortunately not every single song is that good. Especially in the second half of the record the songwriting gets more and more confusing to me. "Gonna Get Mine", "The Reckoning" or "What Sober Couldn't Say" just passed me by and didn't want to stuck in my head. I mean it says a lot when I listen to an album about ten times and I can't remember the melody of some songs. Here the previous records had much more great hooks to offer and as you know I was always a fan of fantastic melodies, but here I just can't get warmed up with about a third of the tracks.

I told you a lot about what is different on "Into The Wild Life". Now let's talk about something that stayed the same: the fantastic band performance. Lzzy Hale delivers once more some kick-ass vocals on here. Her range is impressive. She can easily switch between a calm and emotinal vocal style, just to turn into a wild powerhouse, that roars and screams the hell out of this place, a few minutes later. Lzzy is the born Rock chick and has still one of the best female voices in Hard Rock/Metal and she won't disappoint you on this new album. But also the rest of the band play their asses off with the right attitude. Razor sharp guitar-riffs go hand in hand with powerful drumming.

Productionwise "Into The wild Life" is less polished and more raw with lots of edges. This is no wonder, because the band recorded each song like they would play it live on stage. That means: they sat in one room and just played. That is very rare nowadays and the result fits to the songs very well.

Finally I just can say I needed a lot time to get into this album. You have to get used to this new musical style and you have to be willing to give this album a chance. I think the first impressions can be somewhat sobering and while some songs will grow on you in a short period of time, others won't do you that favour. Halestorm fans from the very beginning should check out some sound samples first. All in all "Into The Wild Life" delivers kick ass Rock'n'Roll with a heavy edge and people who like it that way will become what they are looking for! Personally I prefered the first two records, because of all those catchy anthems, but that shouldn't stop you from checking out this wild, little monster, called "Into The Wild Life".



01. Scream *
02. I Am The Fire *
03. Sick Individual *
04. Amen *
05. Dear Daughter
06. New Modern Love
07. Mayhem
08. Bad Girls World
09. Gonna Get Mine
10. The Reckoning
11. Apocalyptic *
12. What Sober Couldn't Say
13. I Like It Heavy

* best tracks


  1. Sounds like an improvement to me. I couldn't really get into their previous stuff but going for something a bit heavier sounds more my thing. The video here is enough to get me to want to give it a chance.

  2. Hey Sirusjr,

    yeah if you like it raw and heavy, then this one is for you ;)