Hellyeah – Stampede (2010)

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Music

If you’re into heavy music, you know all the players in Hellyeah. The band consists of Mudvayne’s Greg Tribbett and Chad Gray, Nothingface’s Tom Maxwell, legendary Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott and his former Damageplan bandmate Bob Zilla, who stepped in to to replace original bassist Jerry Montano. You also know that on their self-titled debut, each member took a pretty big step away from the sounds that made them famous. Hellyeah were more southern-fried hard rock than the math/thrash/whatever metal that launched their previous groups to success.

Stampede works really well when the band combine their heavy credentials with melody. Opener “Cowboy Way,” the rocking “Alive And Well,” and first single “Hell Of A Time” all incorporate radio-ready catchiness, but keep the loud guitars and pounding rhythms. There’s even a full-fledged power ballad in “Better Man” (not to be confused with the Pearl Jam song, though that would be absolutely hilarious), which recalls Metallica’s “Unforgiven.”

Actually, the opening acoustic guitar line and guitar solo are an almost exact copy of that song. Which is good, because “Unforgiven” is a fucking great song. Metal fans being a fickle bunch, it’s a thin line between “accessible” and “sell out,” but Hellyeah, like Metallica, arguably pull it off.

Unfortunately, it seems the group are aware that some of their cultish fanbase see melody as a weakness, and tried to compensate for those songs with some of the same-old, same-old. The album veers into predictable, grinding metal riffs a bit too often — see the completely forgettable “It’s On!” and title track. It’s not that the songs are bad, it’s just that you figure with guys this good and who have been around for so long, self-editing would come a bit easier.

Despite some lackluster songs, Stampede is solid overall — one of those albums where the good songs are so good that you can get over the crap pretty quick. Add in the fact that Vinnie Paul is one of the true good guys of rock, and you have an album you can get behind.

Tracklist:
01 – Cowboy Way
02 – Debt That All Men Pay
03 – Hell Of A Time
04 – Stampede
05 – Better Man
06 – It’s On!
07 – Pole Rider
08 – Cold As A Stone
09 – Stand Or Walk Away
10 – Alive And Well
11 – Order The Sun
12 – Alcohaulin’ Ass (live)

MySpace: Link | Wiki: Link | Download (320kbps): Link

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