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Halestorm - 'Into The Wild Life'' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/91/45/6e/Halestorm-Into-The-Wild-Life-10-1437680296.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 23, 2015    
 
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Simply excellent.

Halestorm have come such a long way in such a short space of time and I have tracked every step of that progress with satisfying interest and critical delight. I am a huge fan of female vocals and Lzzy Hale's talent was obvious, even from the first low key EP release. Along with brother Arejay (drums), Joe Hottinger (guitar) and Josh Smith (bass), the band have taken a Classic Rock musical blueprint, modernised it and made it their own. That quality was recognised by the band's peers and saw Grammy success for the song 'Love Bites (So Do I)', taken from sophomore record 'The Strange Case Of.....'. However, those expecting "Part 2" may be surprised by 'Into The Wild Life'.

The new songs were recorded live in a church-turned-studio in Nashville with producer Jay Joyce. The musical styles are more varied, often reflective, and the in your face approach has been replaced by a song-writing ethic that is more mature and diverse. It is certainly a sign that Lzzy Hale is not afraid to take risks and a further indication that development and creativity are intrinsic if a band is to evolve and avoid stagnation.

'Scream' has a hypnotic tribal drum pattern at its core and is sedentary compared to previous album openers 'It's Not You' and 'Love...'. The writing on '...Life' encompasses so many emotions and themes and this is highlighted by the 'Bad Girl's World' and 'Gonna Get Mine' one/two. By no means complex, but worlds away from the likes of older songs such as 'Dirty Work' and 'I Get Off'.

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'Mayhem' (previewed during the encore on the 2014 U.K. tour) is a brooding monster that stalks and strikes in equal measure. There is nowhere to hide from the menacing vocals and cutting riffs and solos. There is a lyrical depth running through a number of songs ('Dear Daughter', 'The Reckoning' and 'What Sober Couldn't Say') that accompanies the more thoughtful musical arrangements perfectly. Anthems come in the form of 'Apocalyptic' and 'I Like It Heavy'; both tracks come towards the album's end and I can see them becoming an integral part of the live set for years to come as they have energy to burn and just scream crowd involvement. Vocally Lzzy Hale is on top form throughout and it is easy to see why she has become so popular with artists outside the Rock music genre.

'Into The Wild Life' may alienate existing fans because of its organic values but for me it is easily the best release of 2015 so far and the one to beat during the next remaining ten months.... simply excellent!

Dave Bott

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