Halestorm are the band that just keep on giving this year. Kicking off a European tour at the end of February with an exhilarating first night in Dublin, the Pennsylvanian hard rockers are showing no signs of slowing down as they ready themselves to finally unleash their highly anticipated third album upon the world. Into the Wild Life has been a long time coming and you better believe that it was worth every moment of the wait.
Blasting off with the thumping riff of “Scream”, this fervorous opener pounds purposefully forward, adopting quite a cinematic flair. Lzzy wastes no time demonstrating why she’s one of the industry’s most awe-inspiring vocalists, wailing her way across an electronic breakdown in the middle. It serves as the perfect warm up for what’s to come as it transitions seamlessly into “I Am The Fire” without taking a breath. From here, the instrumentation explodes alongside tremendously fierce vocals that make a powerful impact. Crammed full of passion and vitality, this jaw droppingly intense offering is sure to quickly become a definitive Halestorm anthem.
“Sick Individual” follows up by slamming into piercing percussion and menacing guitars that continue to cut deep during the verse. This precedes a melodic chorus that speeds along smoothly, adding to the self-assured tone forged by the uncompromising lyrics. It’s a wonderfully obstinate entry with a fun undertone. The fantastically infectious beat of “Amen” comes next, building constantly without relenting. There’s no escaping the absorbing nature of this old school rock belter as it thrills and excites with its sing-along melody and irresistible rhythm.
“Dear Daughter” dials things down a notch, beginning with reserved piano keys and a clear cut, affective harmony. Lzzy’s vocals are the star of the show here, resonating as they make a sweet assault on the senses. It’s a heartfelt ballad full of warmth and emotion during which the instrumentation remains subtle. Ending with a gentle acoustic riff, it gradually evolves into the electric opening of “New Modern Love”, joining forces with a vibrant melody. There’s a light touch to this relaxing composition that allows you to sit back and unwind while listening.
Descending into chaos in its wake, “Mayhem” is pure fire and fury with its magnificently wild vocals and awesomely intrusive instrumentation. This appropriately named rock riot remains unapologetically heavy and aggressive, delighting through its delirious execution. “Bad Girls World” calms things down afterwards, featuring cool and collected guitars and percussion ahead of a reverberating melody. Laid back but persistent, it exhibits some biting riffs that culminate in a spectacular finish.
Being set up by the swan song of its predecessor, “Gonna Get Mine” introduces itself via hefty guitars that become more frantic as the verse sets in. It leads to an explosive chorus made epic by the adamant lyrics and vocal tone. The confident, resolute nature of the refrain results in an effort dripping with attitude that’s a whole lot of fun. “The Reckoning” takes over with a transcendent opening that paves the way for a solemn and sobering harmony. The immense chorus is loaded with expression, emanating a tormented, accusatory vibe that’s incredibly striking.
The compilation’s superlative lead single, “Apocalyptic”, is all fervour and ferocity, carrying a classic rock feel as it blasts into perfectly executed instrumentation and furious vocals. It’s an absolute belter of a tune, whose fiery spirit keeps it completely engrossing from start to finish. Things relent in its aftermath for the delicate rhythm of “What Sober Couldn’t Say”. The moving melody and mellow music forge a poignant ambience that bears a lot of weight.
Turbo-charged rock extravaganza “I Like It Heavy” plows expectantly through its unyielding verse, drawing you in and refusing to let you go. There’s not a moment where it falters, compelling you to bounce along to its amazingly absorbing beat. This flawless finale will leave you with a smile on your face and adrenaline pumping through your veins as it brings the album to a climax on an extreme high. It’s succeeded by a brief but bracing epilogue that showcases Lzzy’s breathtaking vocal talent one last time, putting an immensely satisfying cap on the proceedings.
At this point it really seems like Halestorm are genuinely incapable of disappointing in any capacity. Whether it be on stage, in person or on record, these four individuals continuously impress and inspire with the way they carry themselves and the quality of their material. It may still be early in the year, but Into the Wild Life is already the top contender for the album of 2015 by a long shot. A five star rating hardly seems sufficient to afford it the credit it deserves.
Be sure to pick your copy up when it hit shelves in Ireland and the EU on April 10th.