We’re in a quiet, empty café underneath a Brisbane hotel, sitting across from Frank Carter …
‘My goddam life’s been torn to pieces …’ So states vocalist Chad Gray in the opening line of Hellyeah’s sixth album Welcome Home.
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We can only speculate at what Welcome Home was intended to be at the outset of its creation, but what it became was one of the band’s greatest trials, and indeed greatest triumphs. In June 2018, the legendary Vinnie Paul Abbott passed away, leaving his musical swan song in the drum tracks for Welcome Home. The band has spoken in depth about their struggle and determination to complete Welcome Home in the very real and trialling context of grief. This is therefore an important, and indeed regretfully unique, album for Hellyeah. And so it is with sensitivity and compassion that Welcome Home must be heard. And blasted out loud, for it is an absolute pearler.
Welcome Home is powerful, sincere, and stacked wall to wall with fiery and passionate tracks likely to ignite every listener.
From its wild opening track 333, it is clear the Welcome Home is an album to be reckoned with. One of their heaviest and angriest to date, Welcome Home is Hellyeah hammering it home. The persistent, locked-in heavy groove that makes Hellyeah tracks ridiculously addictive features in abundance on the heavier track Oh My God, and again in At Wick’s End. The thick attitude-laden riffs and chant-like lyrics of Black Flag Army are designed to be inflammatory. Hectic and sinister, Bury You is another hard-hitting Hellyeah song. Gray levels a stellar vocal performance on Boy, with faster, heavier, angrier and more unresolved rage than any Hellyeah track to date.
Of course, anger is like a coin: its other side is pain. Very few write lyrically about pain, rage, and suffering with as much sincerity as Gray. Over the years he has lyrically articulated the smouldering and explosive emotions that so many relate to but struggle to find words for. The title track Welcome Home is a proper Hellyeah anthem to that troubled confluence of anger and sadness, with deadly groove, and raw, poetic lyrics that bite straight into the heart. Welcome Home closes out with Skyy And Water, a heartfelt tribute.
Welcome Home is Vinnie Paul’s parting gift to the world of heavy music, and Hellyeah have dug deep to bring the album to completion. Welcome Home is powerful, sincere, and stacked wall to wall with fiery and passionate tracks likely to ignite every listener. Welcome Home is essential for all Hellyeah, Pantera, and Damageplan fans.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Welcome Home, Boy, Skyy And Water
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