Release Date: 10th April 2012.
For Fans Of: Paramore, Evanescence, Stone Sour, Lacuna Coil, Papa Roach
Halestorm are a band who’s name I’ve read in passing, having briefly recalled them touring the UK with Disturbed and Papa Roach a couple of years ago but never paid any attention to until a couple of weeks ago when their latest album, The Strange Case Of, which is Halestorm’s second album (and their first for their new label Roadrunner Records) landed in my musical in-tray. Always keen to try new music, it soon became apparent I, and anyone else who isn’t familar with Halestorm, has been missing out in a big way.
The opening riff to the album’s kick off “Love Bites (So Do I)” instantly makes one sit up and take notice. Everything about the song from the guitar work to the vocals to the simple yet very effective guitar solo screams “hit single”, at least for the American market where such a song would get substantial airplay (at time of writing the song was currently riding high in the US charts and on iTunes). Songs such as Mz Hyde and I Miss The Misery show Halestorm to be equally adept at producing darker sounding songs with more angst in them, while the anthemic Freak Like Me is likely to go down a storm at any festival where the band appears (Download 2012 anyone?).
Singer (and guitarist) Lizzy Hale shows off her impressive set of pipes throughout the album but particularly on “Beautiful With You” and the (almost obligatory rock ballad) “Break In”, mixing it up in style as the different types of song on the album require. “The Rock Show” is another track destined to be a crowd pleaser, as is Daughters of Darkness, which is the type of song to lodge itself in your head for days on end.
Anyone who likes both metal and the odd dose of cheese and/or pop music may have in fact heard a Halestorm song without realising it, as the closing track of the album “Here’s To Us” was used in Season 3 of Glee (say what you will about Glee, but that’s excellent exposure for a band when the album wasn’t even out at that point). Needless to say the original version packs a significantly more substantial punch than the neutered version sung by Lea Michelle and friends on the TV show.
In terms of female fronted rock or metal bands Halestorm are a breath of fresh air. Sitting somewhere between Paramore and Evanescence on the accessability scale, Halestorm are one of those bands who sit comfortably on the border of being a hard rock band or a metal band. They can do the riff laden headbanging numbers, songs that seem destined to fill arenas or festivals, they can do the rock ballads, and everything between. “Commercial metal” is often banded around as a dirty expression but The Strange Case Of is a perfect example of a fantastic commercial metal album, and one that is going to make sure a lot more people know the name Halestorm on both sides of the Atlantic before too long. If rock and metal want a future in the mainstream, then we will need a few more bands like Halestorm.
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