By Jonathan Bradwell.
Amalgamating genres and obliterating previous musical laws is nothing modern: Four Letter Lie, Inflames, and Enter Shikari are but a few cases of those bands where pursuing to pigeonhole them is aimless. Now we can add ‘Halestorm’ to that elaborating list. There self-titled debut album is a robust cross over of classic rock and sleazy, squalid metal. For every genteel sing along chorus, there is an identically impressive powerful, ascending moment to be savoured. To make a comparison, imagine making a smoothie by integrating a mellow strawberry with a biting grapefruit: Both sweet and sour apply to this contrivance.
Stemming from the Sunkist state, it is commonplace to have a hard lambasting raw edge. Track one: Fine example. “It’s not you” is an unexpected flare at intimacy, a subject very much disseminated throughout the album. The gently sung “I’m in love with somebody, someone who completes me, I’m in love with somebody, oh yeah, and it’s not you”, is followed by an indomitable riff that is so vexing it could have fit on a release from heroes such as ‘Alter Bridge’, or to go a step further, ‘Korn’! This uneasy transition takes some acclimatizing too, but once on that level, is notably delectable.
Metal over the past decade has been favoured by a series of sensational female singers. This revitalizing approach to the previously macho sub culture was galvanizing to begin with, but many bands are starting to sound too much like the forerunners; ‘Paramore’. Despite the much heftier aurora around ‘Halestorm’, the way the cozy vocal lines are often composed around commercially sounding parts of the music does howl Hayleigh Williams. Have no apprehension though, this band have their in your face approach evident on “I’m not an angel”, whilst still keeping the music on a layer an audience can couple with pleasingly on each track.
With a severely alluring voice, hauling a Gibson Flying V, and with looks to asphyxiate, Elizabeth Hale has everything it takes to be the head of this hazardous band. This rock queen has been performing for at least Twelve years, and participation is clearly the way to mature. Despite the substantial amount of talent inaugurated here, ‘Halestorm’ are one of the few prevailing hard bands that aren’t petrified to cut back and unravel their approach. “Innocence” is indubitably the most encompassing piece on the record, and for the most part, consists of universal chord sequences. Not as carefree as it appears to make sound so exquisite.
Metal bands with pleasant singing are detested amongst those who cling to the roots of the much heavier marginal of the genre. It’s genuinely true, there is nothing here for metal-heads that won’t extend their minds, and develop their own horizons, and there is equally nothing here for citizens who don’t like metal. ‘Halestorm’ have planted upon equilibrium quite peculiarly considering they have only yet released one album. Although I can’t see any future release altering too excessively, I wouldn’t want it too. ‘Halestorm’ have a controlling combination, pushing the light/heavy juxtaposition further into the heavier and more inhuman musical void.… Relish the smoothie.
(Picture Courtesy of Twilight Reverie)