Label: Epic Records
Release Date: 4/10/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
The basic premise behind Hellyeah started in 2002 with singer Chad Gray (Mudvayne) and guitarist Tom Maxwell (Nothingface) but based on the schedules of their respective bands it did not actually become the group you are listening to on this CD until around 2006. Since the dawning of the idea to its actual inception and recording we have seen guitarists Greg Tribbett (also from Mudvayne) and bassist Jerry Montano joining forces on it along with powerhouse drummer Vinnie Paul (Pantera, Damageplan, & Rebel Meets Rebel). Now while some might define such a lineup as a “super group”, I am one of those who tend to hate the term and will instead label this as a super powered side project. After all, it is not like the members are leaving their groups of note to do this alone. What I found interesting about it immediately was that the listener can realize from the very first track that the music being done as Hellyeah is vastly different from that of their original groups. It’s heavy stuff without a doubt and surely aims for a particular listener demographic, but it is hardly the technical based “Groove Metal” material we found in Mudvayne or the overall brutality of a band like Pantera and Damageplan. Instead the self titled debut is a hodgepodge of different styles and at the end of the day it comes off as a quasi Metal meets Southern Fried Hard Rock outfit. Bands like this have been growing in popularity over the past few years so it could work out quite well. Based on this the listener will find that there are equal parts good and bad material on the release. The good is just simply good and not great, or fantastic and the bad will generally make you not sit through the track ever again. This might sound a bit harsh but I have to admit that I expected just a little bit more from it based on the membership roster. Lyrically this could have been stronger than it ended up being and I was disappointed to find this being the case. Gray is a solid song writer for Mudvayne, but it seems as though for Hellyeah this was more about stepping out of the known role and having a little more of a “let it all loose” fun with friends playing Metal. Those who wanted a sense of deep lyrical content could very well find some of this stuff rather banal and too laden with expletives.
Continue reading “Hellyeah” by Hellyeah
Title: “Below The Belt”
Label: Epic Records
Release Date: 11/13/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
After the release of their self-titled debut the Heavy Metal band Hellyeah embarked on a number of high-profile tours that not only allowed them to be enjoyed by a larger audience but also gave them the opportunity to film enough material to present to us on their very first DVD. Hellyeah is labeled as a super group and while there are some members of note in the band I admit that I am growing tired of the term as it’s starting to lose its luster based on the overuse that it has been getting. Whitesnake and Asia were super groups but crap like Rockstar Supernova was NOT. Truth be told, Hellyeah’s membership roster does feature some stalwarts in both the Heavy Metal and Nu-Metal world and their debut album was not that bad a listen even though it was given a mixed reception across the board. I like that it didn’t follow suit in the sounds we know from these guys other bands and instead took a different route which allowed it to remain a little more on the fresh side. I could carry on about the album, this review is about their feature film so let’s get back to that shall we? There was an inherent cool factor that these guys were finally able to create their “super group” but I wondered if it was a good idea to release a home video piece only seven months after the debut album. Since the music business in indeed a business and needs to capitalize on popular things when a mark is hit it makes a little more sense. Given the members comprising the group, Hellyeah had hit a particular demographic immediately and for those who don’t know much about who makes it all happen here is a little recap of their members: Vinnie Paul (drums), Chad Gray (vocals), Greg Tribbett (guitar), Tom Maxwell (guitar) and Bob Zilla (bass). You might be familiar with their original bands of Pantera, Damageplan, Mudvayne and Nothingface. Together they bring to the table a little bit of Metal that’s got a Southern Hard Rock vibe happening. We have seen this sound making an appearance with bands like Artemis Piledriver and Alabama Thunderpussy to name a few and while the guys were releasing something new the existing fan bases they had in their bands – the curious would come to seek it out just the same. It’s not bad when that happens as you are bound to sell good when you have a ready made fan at your disposal.
Continue reading “Below The Belt” by Hellyeah