Beautifully unapologetic rock
Halestorm, led by powerful vocalist Lzzy Hale, have released another rocking album. Vicious is the fourth release of the group, and it’s a fantastic addition to their already impressive catalog. Halestorm consists of Lzzy Hale on vocals and lead guitar, Areyjay Hale on drums, Joe Hottinger on guitars, and Josh Smith on bass. Since their debut album in 2009, the band has produced some incredibly notable songs in modern rock, and the songs on Vicious are no exception. Hale’s impressive vocal range shines radiantly, and the variety of the styles of the songs on the album makes it one of the best releases of the summer.
Vicious begins with “Black Vultures,” a song that portrays Hales vocal range perfectly. From her screaming start, to the melodic verses and the raspy chorus, Hale shines. It’s also a great song to the start album off with, as it is similar to many of their older songs, while also remaining fresh and unique. The second song on the album is “Skulls,” another powerful hard rock song, with thought-provoking lyrics. “Skulls, a billion empty skulls/ Filling their empty lungs/ With the wrong kind of drugs/ Baby what have we become?” The lyrics indicate a desire to stand out and be unique, much like the group has always done throughout their career.
It’s nearly impossible to pick out all the best songs off of a 12-song album like this, but some other notable songs off of Vicious are “Uncomfortable,” “Heart of Novocaine” and “White Dress.” “Uncomfortable” is unapologetic, energetic and displays perfect confidence throughout. Hale’s vocals continue to shine, and the lyrics send a great message to any haters. “I did it all to break/ Every single preconceived notion that you have/ I did it all to shake/ Every single of your emotions and just to make you/ Uncomfortable.” The guitar riff throughout is just as notable as the vocals, as it completes the song, making it arguably the strongest song on the album.
“Heart of Novocaine” is a much different song, as it’s slower and acoustic, reminiscent of 2012s “Here’s to Us.” Halestorm is definitely an adaptable group, and it shows in how perfectly a slow song like “Heart of Novocaine” fits in the overall much louder album. Finally, “White Dress” stands out thanks to the drum solo beginning and another set of unapologetic lyrics from Hale. “I’m not the girl in the white dress/ I’m not your fairytale princess/ I’m sorry, mama, that I made you cry/ Someday you’ll know the reason why.” Halestorm continues to share the positive message of being yourself no matter what others think.
“Vicious” ends with “The Silence,” another softer, acoustic song. It has a retro feeling to it, which fits well with the nostalgic lyrics. It’s the perfect song to end such a unique album, as it shows a sense of vulnerability within the very confident album. Hale’s vocals show a beautiful range, and really wrap up the album perfectly.