Halestorm released their fifth full-length album Back From The Dead and continues their ascension to the top of the rock world. As usual, it is a nonstop banger, full of hit singles and future crowd sing-alongs.
Vocalist/guitarist/pianist Lzzy Hale is a master at taking dark subject matter, looking inward, twisting it around, pointing it outward and crafting an inclusive and inspirational take on the subject. The entire planet has dealt with a lot in the past two years — many feeling isolated and alone. Lzzy was no exception and the overall theme of Back From The Dead is a celebration of our collective clawing back to the world we want to live in.
Drummer Arejay Hale, guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist/pianist Josh Smith perform with the class and consistency of a band of brothers who have spent almost two decades together, honing their sound.
Halestorm’s sound embraces their namesake, going from calm to explosive and back again with ease and perfect timing.
Halestorm performed five of these new songs at Welcome To Rockville — almost half of their set — and the entire crowd responded immediately to songs many had never heard before. This entire album is meant to be played live during the group therapy sessions that others call ‘concerts’. Lzzy and the boys always go out of their way to pull everyone else into their web, celebrating our issues and differences to build a rocking community of love.
The title track was actually released in 2021; it is an aggressive anthem meant to be a catharsis. Written at a time when we all wanted to scream, this song gives us that chance to cleanse our pent-up frustration. “Wicked Ways” is a snap back to all of the negativity that gets thrown at us, sometimes by those closest to us, including ourselves. Nobody is perfect and makes all the right moves, but that is OK. “Strange Girl” continues Lzzy’s mission of encouraging and accepting everyone into her tribe, particularly young women struggling with being their true selves. “Brightside” shows us the way to keep moving forward, despite any apparent lack of progress. The darkness may never go away, but we have to push through it nonetheless.
“The Steeple” swings open the doors to the ‘Church of Halestorm’. Anyone who has experienced this band live knows what this one is about… The lockdown may have shuttered our cathedrals, but they are back open now and we can go back to where we feel most alive. “Terrible Things” is a dark ballad, full of ominous tones; it is a search to see past our worst demons and a return to our better angels. “My Redemption” touches on something many of us endured over the past few years: the external reinforcement that keeps us on the right track was suddenly ripped away, with no signs of returning. Only by looking inside for our own acceptance and forgiveness, can we get ourselves back.
“Bombshell” is another of Lzzy’s clever twists on turning a negative into a positive.
She takes a term which objectifies women and turns it into a weapon of empowerment. “I Come First” is a nod to the classic rock that the band grew up on, complete with double entendres, gang vocals and big solos. “Psycho Crazy” showcases a woman pushing back on verbal abuse, challenging her partner to see just how much he can handle. The album closes with piano ballad “Raise Your Horns”: an emotional mission statement for all Halestorm Freaks and anyone else crazy enough to ride the rock-and-roll train. Stand tall, be yourself and hold those rock horns up high!
Purchase or stream ‘Back From The Dead’ album:
- Back From The Dead
- Wicked Ways
- Strange Girl
- The Steeple
- Terrible Things
- My Redemption
- I Come First
- Psycho Crazy
- Raise Your Horns
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.