Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S



Hellyeah
Blood for Blood

Company: Eleven Seven Music
Release: 2014
Genre: Groove metal
Reviewer: EC

  • A monumental breakthrough for the band



  • I think collectively we have all been waiting for Hellyeah to take itself seriously. Granted the band's first three albums were laced with raucous songs that positioned the group into the top tier of US modern metal, the band as a whole just seemed like a weekend job. 2007's self-title was probably a bit more purposeful than the two follow-ups, 2010's underwhelming "Stampede" and the better "Band of Brothers" from 2012. Heading into the planning and preparation for "Blood for Blood" the four-piece had a better map of where they wanted to be professionally. Singer (and studio lead guitarist) Chad Gray took more of an active role in the songwriting and steered the band away from party anthems and "commercial" visibility. The group also chose producer Kevin Churko (Ozzy, Five Finger Death Punch) and allowed him sole control to record in Las Vegas, a different stance considering drummer Vinnie Paul typically co-produces Hellyeah. It is those large steps that defines "Blood for Blood" as not just another "every other year" record but something that truly stands out as remarkable and invigorating. With this particular sub-genre of hard music the number of bands that fill the space is many. This new album sets the group apart from the pack and creates distance in terms of overall quality.

    Assailing opener and lead single "Sangre por Sangre" sets the tone immediately with Gray's spoken word intro erupting into a venomous snarl through "Blood for Blood" gang chants. After the intense fast paced "Demons in the Dirt" and "Soul Killer", both escalated by Gray's abrasive screams, the album slows for "Moth". The track is mostly a mid-tempo power ballad that remains more unfeigned than most of the band's previous slower offerings. This could be accredited to Gray stating to the label that he feels music is therapy and he wants fans to feel catharsis when hearing Hellyeah.

    The second half starts with "Cross to Bier (Cradle Of Bones)", "DMF" and "Gift" as three-in-a-row hard hitting affair that closely resembles what the group have displayed for the last seven years. It is that mandatory lubing of the gears that allows this machine so much speed and momentum on record. Maxwell reportedly stated that "Hush" was the group's approach to a more commercially viable song, a more mainstream direction. It certainly has comparisons to an unhurried Sevendust style. "Say When" is an uproar, quite possibly one of the fastest of the band's catalog. From a battery standpoint this is just simply a bruising statement of epic proportions. Interesting that the track bridges the slower "Say When" and the mid-tempo closer "Black December", another effective staple in mature songwriting and delivery.

    "Blood to Blood" is an uncompromising album that should prove without a shadow of a doubt that Hellyeah are anything but safe. Brooding, thoroughgoing and thought provoking, this is a monumental breakthrough for the band and its fans and should become a stout nominee for album of the year.


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: HELLYEAH
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Blood for BloodHellyeah
    2014
    Eric Compton5/2/2014


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: HELLYEAH
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Band Of BrothersHellyeah
    2012
    Eric Compton11/19/2012


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: HELLYEAH
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


    YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE HEAVY/EXTREME STYLED RELEASES:


    << back >>






    ERIC COMPTON PICKS
    Demonica
    Demonstrous
    The Showdown
    Blood In The Gears
    Crossbones
    Rock the Cradle
    Skull Fist
    Heavier Than Metal
    Halloween
    Victims Of The Night

    GREG WATSON PICKS
    Descent Into Maelstrom
    Descent Into Maelstrom
    For I Am King
    Daemons
    Architects
    Lost Forever/Lost Together
    Nhor
    Wildflowers: Spring
    Blynd
    Punishment Unfolds

    FRANK HILL PICKS
    Queensryche
    Condition Hüman
    Armory
    The Dawn Of Enlightenment
    Born of Fire
    Dead Winter Sun
    Katrina Johansson
    Love, Surrender, Forgiveness
    Lemmy
    Lemmy DVD

    DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
    Decapitated
    Human's Dust
    Earthrise
    Eras Lost
    Hatebreed
    The Concrete Confessional
    The Chronicles of Israfel
    Starborn, Tome I
    Ost Est Ima
    A Few For The Dead