Vinnie Paul’s post Pantera outfit Hellyeah has build a comfortable niche for themselves after releasing three studio albums and relentless touring. Hellyeah’s penchant for bro rock type lyrics and booze-fueled anthems earned them both praise as the ultimate party band and criticism for being a bunch of shallow Southern rednecks. “Blood For Blood”, the latest musical outing from Vinnie Paul and Co. may turn heads on both sides of the proverbial fence.
The new Hellyeah album is much more focussed and concise than the previous three records. The juvenile redneck party anthems are all but gone in favour of Chad Gray’s trademark cutthroat type of musings. The metallic assault of ‘Sangre Por Sangre (Blood For Blood)’, ‘Demons In The Dirt’ and ‘Say When’ really manage to bring the message home. Those songs come pretty close in intensity to Pantera songs like ‘Strength Beyond Strength’, ‘War Nerve’ and ‘The Great Southern Trendkill’ and mandatory Mudvayne staples like ‘Silenced’ and ‘Pushing Through’.
There’s room too for more melodic moments in the form of ‘Moth’, ‘Hush’ and ‘Black December’. Those tracks work nicely in tandem with the harsher moments on this album. This gives “Blood For Blood” a nice set of dynamics and a sense of maturity which was lacking on the previous Hellyeah records. The new album can best be described as a combination of between the harsher Pantera moments and the alternative metal leanings of Nothingface and Mudvayne, without the technical and progressive undertones of the latter band.
“Blood For Blood” may lack some true standout tracks on the album, but its more than up for that in overall quality and cohesiveness. It clearly signifies a new chapter in the ongoing Hellyeah story and this record may the one that Vinnie Paul and Co truly come in their own.