“Back from the Dead” by Hellstorm (Atlantic)
Lazy Hale, lead singer and guitarist of the heavy metal band Hellstorm, is that rare breed of wild child whose paths you cross at your own peril, and his aggression soaks through his music.
The band’s new album, “Back From the Dead,” isn’t for the faint of heart, or even a trace of a headache for anyone: it’s a full throng of screaming, guitar-playing, drumming, and booming bass. Sound attack.
And yet Hale manages to pull it off with a clever songwriting touch and a surprising sense of tune that bombs.
The title track is the band’s potential concert opener on tour this summer, and begins with a roar (as do many of Hale’s songs.) It’s got a big shriek, and he uses it several times, on most songs. not afraid to do.
Yet he has a really beautiful singing voice that can go unseen in the midst of screams. The ballads “Awful Things” and “Raise Your Horns” feature her soft, sultry vocals that are 180 degrees from many of her other vocals, most notably on “Wicked Way”.
“I Come First” sounds like a spectacular double entrant at first blush. But there is only one entrant at work here; The song is exactly what you think it is.
“The Steeple” is an infectious anthem/hymn to fans, a concert-hall-made song—along with “This is my church, and these are my people.”
And try I don’t see it, Hale looks like Sister Dee Snyder twisted on the cover of an album that will surely be in the running for best hard rock/metal album of the year.