Hellyeah - Band of Brothers

Hellyeah is an American rock/metal supergroup consisting of Chad Gray (vocals) and Greg Tribbett (guitars) of Mudvayne, former Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell and Pantera/Damageplan alumni Vinnie Paul (drums) and Bob Zilla (bass). “Band Of Brothers” is the title of their third collective effort and it may very well be their heaviest and most consistent album to date.
The first two Hellyeah albums were all about getting as far away from any Mudvayne, Pantera and Nothingface influences as possible, but on the “Band Of Brothers” Gray and Co decided to embrace the heavier elements of their main/former bands again.
The typical power grooves of Pantera are the biggest catch here, especially on “War In Me”, “Bigger God”, “Drink, Drank, Drunk” and the title track. The latter two tracks have an anthem-like quality to them, much in the vein as Pantera’s “5 Minutes Alone” and “I’m Broken”. The bluesy guitar leads and solos by Tribbett and Maxwell give the album a typical vintage southern rock feel.
The Mudvayne and Nothingface references are less obvious, but when you listen carefully to the arrangements and build up of the song material, you’ll hear enough little details that make “Lost And Found”, “Violence” and “The End Of All Things To Come” such powerful and memorable albums. Chad Gray’s trademark growls, screams and clean vocals give “Band of Brothers” a decisive aggressive and ragged edge. I have to admit that Gray is a better singer than lyricist, but then again Hellyeah isn’t the type of band for deep spiritual or insightful themes and subjects.
“Band Of Brothers” is blessed with a powerful and in-your-face type of production. Especially the snappy sound of Vinnie Paul’s drums should give long time Pantera fans warm and nostalgic feelings.
The previous two Hellyeah albums are fine releases but they do have their share of little inconsistencies. “Band Of Brothers” is by no means a classic metal album, like “Cowboys From Hell” or “Vulgar Display Of Power”, but it’s certainly the most consistent and heaviest Hellyeah album to date. I don’t know whether this is a sign of things to come but I think Hellyeah has earned its rightful place among the more celebrated bands in rock and metal. Especially long time Pantera, Lamb Of God and Black Label Society fans will relish this album. Solid effort!

Raymond Westland 

Band info: www.hellyeahband.com