HALESTORM, BACK FROM THE DEAD – REVIEW
by John Gaddis
Halestorm is Lzzy Hale on guitar and vocals, with drummer Arejay Hale, guitarist Joe Hottinger, and bass player Josh Smith. The Hale siblings of Lzzy and Arejay from Pennsylvanian are now releasing their fifth full-length studio album called Back From The Dead, produced by Nick Raskulinecz and on Atlantic Records. The eleven tracks follow a storyline of mental health, debauchery, survival, redemption, and rediscovery while still maintaining faith in humanity. Vocalist Lzzy Hale and Halestorm are strong supporters of the LGTBQ+ community, rallying for positive change while engaging with fans via social media for inspiration and support.
The opening track and lead single, “Back From The Dead,” with lyrics that deal with self-doubt and anxiety the imposter syndrome has caused. The heavy and aggressive music with the guitars tuned down gives a deeper sound and width. Hottinger’s guitar solo is full of vicious attack and focused anger. At the same time, Hale’s voice resonates with conviction and hard-hitting drive.
“Psycho Crazy” has playful lyrics of confidently owning one’s issues with a distorted bass line from Smith’s bass line. Hottinger’s switching between acoustic and electric guitars adds colors and variety. The interlude leading to the bridge has a hip riff as the song builds to Lzzy’s powerful scream. Hale has a voice that hasn’t been heard since Janis Joplin with its raw attack and dynamic control. Hale offers a more polished sound indicative of this era, with all the bite and force of a hurricane raging with force.
Back From The Dead represents a band finding its voice, both as performers and songwriters. This album has a balance of ripping vocals with memorable melodies, catchy distorted riffs and driving bass and drums. Hale’s powerhouse voice is a welcomed addition to the rock idiom. Her vast vocal control and tempestuous raw power ignite as she weaves her way through socially conscious lyrics that deal with the very real subject matter.