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Hellyeah at the Whisky-A-Go-Go | Photo by Kriss Perras

The band Hellyeah has a strong following in real life and on the charts. Crowds show up and fill the house to hear them perform at iconic venues here in the Los Angeles area and across the States. They’re a metal and hard rock band. Their sound is unique in part due to the lead singer, Chad Gray’s, voice. They also have a drummer that is very popular, Vinnie Paul, and guitarists that rock.

Hellyeah’s 2014 metal album Blood For Blood debuted number one on the Billboard Hard Rock album chart. The main band members are lead singer Gray, guitarist Tom Maxwell, drummer Paul, guitarist Christian Brady and Kyle Sanders on bass.

Their recent album Unden!able is a strong set of songs woven together to create a tapestry of metal for the future. Their track Human on this album just plain rocks. The lyrics are poetic and for the average person. “I defy your defiance/It’s all lies and alliance/I’ve been damaged left in ruin/cause I’m broken flawed and human.” The song is about a broken relationship and the wrath the poet feels afterward. “You drove the stake in my worst mistake/Now I’m the one left alone.”

This theme of love lost is present throughout Unden!able. Another track on this album is Love Falls. The poet in this track asks the listener, “Have you ever wished for death?/Prayed all night for your last breath?/Have you ever wanted to forget/the failure of your dreams?” The lover is battling depression after love has left him. The woman in the associated music video is clothed in a white flowing robe with a hood, the very image of a ghost wandering the earth aimlessly, someone who has already past this life into the next. We see her as though she has decided to take her life and is in the glowing afterlife.

At the end of the music video the band states it is part of the You Rock Foundation effort. On this site you’ll find artists sharing their stories to help spread awareness and help battle stigmas. The group and band seek to help battle mental illnesses such as depression. Hellyeah states they remind listeners that “you matter, you’re needed, and you rock.” This is just one example of how this band is metal for the future. Instead of just conjuring up wrath, anger and that whole violent eruption of emotion after love ends in their lyrics and music, Hellyeah seeks to help heal.

This was apparent in a recent performance here in Los Angeles. Chad Gray shouted out to the enthusiastic crowd, “be the flame not the moth!”

The album Unden!able has a decent cover of the Phil Collins classic I Don’t Care Anymore. Gray’s metal gruff vocals ignite a wrath in the song that was already there with the Collins version. The cover is dark, full of guitar riffs that speak to the band’s true metal history and fills the breadth of the band’s grasp on the extreme of the metal genre. It’s a well done cover.

The music video for this cover, I Don’t Care Anymore, is dark and emotional. It’s downright gothic. It’s truly in the vein of the original song, but Hellyeah adds their blend of metal and sound and imagery.

The track ! the band says is “The upside down ‘i’ in the title is an exclamation point, a subtle indicator of how metal fans live their lives against the grain for their entire daily existence.”

“It doesn’t matter how old you are. You are always a metal kid,” Gray declares, referencing himself and fans as one.

The ! track is a true metal fan’s dream. It is purely metal. So is the track Startariot.

The band states, “the artwork was inspired by Gray and designed by William ‘Wombat’ Felch, who the band discovered through his artistic interpretations of Hellyeah songs on YouTube, and who Paul labeled ‘like a new member of the band.’”

The cover art is of a bloody eye looking out at the viewer.

“The eyes are the portal to the soul,” said Gray. “There is more extremity, so I wanted it to represent looking into the eye of someone who is a member of the metal community being cast out. You always feel like a fighter. So we created this eye, and the exclamation point [in the title] as the stamp on this madness. You are looking into the soul of a metalhead.”

The album is furious yet directing that anger to a point.

“One reason it’s so belligerent and brutal? The time crunch that came along with crafting the album. The band spent 18 glorious but grueling months on the road in support of Blood for Blood and was given exactly two weeks off before it had to start working on Unden!able The pressure and lack of recess awakened a sleeping giant within Maxwell. There was literally no time to waste, and he marshalled his emotions for inspiration.”

The band’s 2007 self-titled debut broke through the ceiling, announcing the band to the world. Although it was comprised of familiar faces who played in influential bands with signature sounds, it had its own sound. 2010’s release of Stampede showed off a different side of Hellyeah. Their hometown roots are present in the titles and underpinnings of the music. 2012’s Band of Brothers really hit home with a mix of hard rock and metal. Blood for Blood showed the world what this band was made of when they topped Billboard’s Hard Rock Album chart.

Now Hellyeah is at a new climax with Unden!able.

This album speaks to the true metalhead and the emotions that person feels. It’s unusual in that it doesn’t inspire hate but seeks to draw out pain and resolve it. The imagery in the associate music videos are powerful and lasting.

Hellyeah’s Undeni!able can be purchased on iTunes, through your Android device or on the Web:
http://hellyeahband.com/music/undeniable/

You Rock Foundation:
http://yourockfoundation.org/

 

Author Bio
Author: Josh HastingsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bio
Josh Hastings has been a writer for Malibu Arts Journal since 2007. He is an arts and car and motorcycle show writer.
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