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Halestorm - Into the Wild Life Award winner

Into the Wild Life
by MarcusTheRocker at 08 April 2015, 3:59 PM

Female fronted Rock bands are not an uncommon sight as these days, they are cropping up everywhere; but if you look back to the 20th century, you’ll find that some female Rock singers are still going to this day and still making music. I don’t really have anything against them but I never really gave them a chance as when I first got into Rock music. I spent most of my time listening to male fronted bands which could be the reason why, but that’s just what I was used to so I never really gave female fronted Rock acts a chance but that all changed a few years ago when I discovered a band from the USA called HALESTORM.

I first got into this bunch after seeing their music posted a few times on a forum I was once a member of, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about and this was, I think back in 2012, around the time their second album was released and the moment I listened to one of their tunes on Spotify, I was blown away by how good it was and since then I have discovered many more talented female Rock singers.

Anyway, onto the main subject of today’s review, which is the brand new HALESTORM CD “Into the Wild Life”, which is going to be released soon (or it will be out by the time this review is published) and I’m here to see if it’s just as good as their previous album, “The Strange Case Of…”, which was a very good release with no bad songs on it, but does this one continue that trend? Let us find out.

Usually I’d do a band history section before talking about their new release but today I’ve decided to scrap that and instead talk about the new album, as I’ve got quite a bit to say about it so I’ll dive straight into that instead.

Recorded inside a studio which used to be a church, the band have aimed their sound in a different direction aiming for more of a live sound rather then the edgy hard Rock sound they have previously used on their first two releases. This is a risky move to take, completely changing your sound and I have seen some band’s music suffer as a result.

So have HALESTORM fallen into that same trap with their new release? I’m extremely happy to report that they have not, not by a long shot, as yes, their new sound may be different to what you would otherwise expect but they are still a Rock band and by the looks of it, that’s the way it’ll always be for them and thank god for that.

“Into the Wild Life” features 13 brand new songs, or 15 if you get the deluxe version of the record, and each one has it’s own unique sound, as the studio they recorded this in was more open allowing them to experiment with more gear to create a sound they would feel comfortable with for this new record and the result is superb, if not a bit unusual.

The reason why it sounds a bit unusual and a bit different is the music is more experimental than before, although that’s the impression I got when listening to this. Each song on this new album have their own signature sound thanks to the way each one was recorded including the sound used, the gear and indeed the mixing, which includes a few cool effects such as a lot of reverb and some elements which sound dirty and raw immersing you into their music.

You get a distinct impression of this signature sound and the effects used when you listen to it with songs such as “Mayhem” and “Sick Individual” which seem to stick to the classic Hard Rock formula as used on the previous two HALESTORM albums while sounding different yet very unique, “Amen” and “What Sober Couldn’t Say” have more of a bluesy vibe to them with the latter being the type you could stick on the jukebox at a bar while enjoying a drink with your friends, “New Modern Love” has more of a country rock vibe to it, “Bad Girls World” has more of a poppy vibe to it while still using a couple of Rock elements and lastly “Dear Daughter” which is the albums ballad has some beautiful piano and a few unique poppy elements thrown in for good measure to add to this already amazing song.

It’s the little ingredients in these songs as well as the whole album that allows you to see just how diverse and different it is to previous HALESTORM releases and yet, there’s something about it which gives you the distinct impression that the band really wanted to create something that sounds very different, yet unique and they have been able to pull it off brilliantly.

Part of the reason why the new experimental sound works so well is all down to the chemistry the band share with each other and you can easily detect this in the music as well as each members signature and unique sound including Joe Hottinger’s guitar shredding, Josh Smith’s deep and groovy bass melodies, Arejay Hale’s signature drumming sound which is brought to life on a live stage as he is one insane but talented drummer and then you have the key part of the band which is Lzzy Hale and her amazing vocals which have the incredible ability to transition from a heavy voice one minute for a Hard Rock song to slowing down the next for a ballad performance and it’s this ability combined with her amazing voice that makes her one of the best female Rock vocalists I have ever heard.

Any noteworthy moments worth mentioning? Having been recorded in a studio which used to be a church, the band drop a few church references in the music which is most notable in the song “I Like It Heavy” which also features an amazing gospel style acappella melody from Lzzy at the end which I was very surprised by when I heard it the first time and I still am even when replaying it for this review.

Anything else? There is one thing and that is the flow of the music is constant with very minimal or no gaps in between some songs with some transitioning into one another the moment one ends which means that you get to enjoy and appreciate this new sound even more as well as the unique diversity of the various sounds, styles and mixing techniques used to make this album.

Bottom line, “Into the Wild Life” may be the most different and most unusual sounding record I have heard in recent years but whereas some bands have completely diverted away from their Rock sound altogether, HALESTORM have been able to stick to their signature Rock sound while creating something that is different and completely unique and that is what made me enjoy it and you know, so should you.

4 Star Rating

1. Scream
2. I Am The Fire
3. Sick Individual
4. Amen
5. Dear Daughter
6. New Modern Love
7. Mayhem
8. Bad Girl’s World
9. Gonna Get Mine
10. The Reckoning
11. Apocalyptic
12. What Sober Couldn't Say
13. I Like It Heavy
14. Jump the Gun (Deluxe Edition Bonus Track)
15. Unapologetic (Deluxe Edition Bonus Track)
Lzzy Hale - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Joe Hottinger - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Josh Smith - Bass, Backing Vocals
Arejay Hale - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Atlantic Records


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Edited 04 December 2022

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