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“Hellyeah” by Hellyeah

Artist: Hellyeah
Title: “Hellyeah”
Label: Epic Records
Release Date: 4/10/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

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.
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