American Hellyeah is one of those heavy metal super groups. The band consists of vocalist Chad Gray from the famed Mudvayne, former Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell and Vinnie Paul, known for his drumming in Pantera and Damageplan. The band has been around for a while and already has four full releases on its name. Now they’re back to treat us with highly groovy and catchy metal with the release of album number five: Unden!able.
Oldtime fans of Mudvayne will immediately recognize Chad‘s all too familiar voice and even the overall sound. The vibe of the music leans very much on the Mudvayne heritage on this album. With Vinnie as an essential member of Hellyeah, you will regularly get reminded of Pantera as well through the strong drums and sheer grooviness. Lyrically they seem to build further on what they did in former bands too. Everything they sing about is quite emotionally charged, with emotions ranging from anger to frustration to depression and feelings of betrayal and sadness.
X serves up the first platter of anger and a sort of retribution towards people that were and are being negative about them. It’s a really groovy heavy metal track that’ll make you shout along quite fast. This will most likely become a crowd pleaser and I presume that they’ll get any metalhead going with lines like:
“say what you want, write what you want,
but we stand proud on this stage,
we’re build to mosh, we’re build to slam,
we’re build to fucking rage!
born and bred a metal head
and that’s the end of this
and if you’ve got a problem
sorry I don’t give a shit!”
Be Unden!able is a nice piece of alternative metal in which we get an explanation for why the hell they ended up using a “!” in the name of the song:
“When you’re tired of being denied, be undeniable! then dot your !’s on the bottom!”
Now if there’s one song that really sounds as if it comes from a Mudvayne album, it’ll be Human. It reminds me of the emotion-fueled songs from the Lost and Found album and will be a great flashback for any fan. Besides that it feels like it might be a “pick me up” for anyone that feels betrayed and alone, it’s also a song to belt along and feel empowered and understood.
It caught my attention that in some of the songs the drums are really heavy in the mix and have a prominent part in the sound. In a way this is a good thing since they have such a heavy hitter like … beating the skins. It actually gives another drive and dimension to the songs. A very good example is I Don’t Care Anymore that opens with a focus on the drums. While working on this review I discovered that the song is actually a Phil Collins cover, a damn nice rendition of it I must say! They kept the dark feeling of the song and just put their own sound, heaviness and groove to it. As a great addition to it, they’ve added some never before used guitar pieces by Dimebag Darrel. A nice little treat for Pantera and Damageplan fans…
The last song I want to mention here is pretty similar to X: we’re angry, frustrated and riled up! STARTARIOT opens with sirens and Chad spelling out “S-T-A-R-T-A-R-I-O-T” to kick off subsequently in an angry spell ready to kick anyone’s teeth in who dares to oppose them. This is most definitely going to be a bombshell at live shows with the crowd shouting “Riot!” along and the chorus:
“Fuck peace, fuck quiet!
Let’s start a riot!
Let’s start a riot!
Fuck peace, be violent!
Let’s start a riot!
Let’s start a riot!”
Yet again Hellyeah delivers what you’d expect of them by now: a heavy dose of damn groovy and emotionally charged metal songs. It can’t be denied that the songs from Unden!able aren’t very original or new, but every single one hits that little bone that makes you say “Hell yeah!” and dive into a moshpit. Give me more of this shit… 8/10!
Release Date: June 3rd, 2016
Label: Eleven Seven Music
3. Scratch a Lie
4. Be Unden!able
6. Leap of Faith
7. Blood Plague
8. I Don’t Care Anymore (Phil Collins cover)
9. Live or Die
10. Love Falls