Review Summary: Girl Power To The Rescue
Halestorm have been on a rapid road trip through radio friendly success towards the high ranks of the rock universe. In 2012 they successfully defeated the daunted second-album-expectations through chaotic live performances and a fistful of stone cold anthems by their own standards. Not a full year later they won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance in 2013, ahead of legend status names: Anthrax, Lamb Of God, Marilyn Manson, Megadeth AND Iron Maiden. Whilst these bands couldn't care less for statistic based awards, Halestorm have revelled in their success and owe it to the power of the mainstream for their own popularity.
With Halestorm’s prior album 'The Strange Case Of…' they showed they had a direct ball out approach on their music: it was packed with explosive solos, catchy choruses and entrancing screams. With 'Into The Wild Life' they attempt to continue their provocative nature with songs such as 'Sick Individual' and 'Scream'- both of which sound like a threatening NIN inspired band. However the new approach they incorporate is them trying to seem tongue-in-cheek but not really being all that defiant. Like a child not going to bed when told to. 'Mayhem' and 'Apocalyptic' are good examples of this as they both have all the components of a rock song yet there is no power to it as Lzzy’s softer vocals cover the sound of her other band members, save her brother’s drums.
Lzzy Hale always takes the spotlight on anything Halestorm do. Whether it is live performances or studio recordings, Lzzy is always there to take the crown. It’s a shame how her empowering voice is unearthed, properly, in only a few instances of the new album. 'Amen' is one of the most accessible songs on this album due to her natural ability to create emphasis on vocal hooks as simple as chants or single words. 'I Am The Fire' is one of their best attempts to remain defiant and succeed with heir newer sound as Ms Hale’s elevating vocals smash through her menacing grooves and squealing solos.
The rest of Halestorm have some moments to shine, particularly in the album closer 'I Like It Heavy', a song solely written about their love for heavy music. The strutting riffs, rolling drum fills and Lzzy’s lyrics make this song the best of the album. Accessible and relatable lyrics like “Headbanging in the pit and throwing my horns and just like old school Sabbath, Zeppelin and Lemmy, I’m going to drop it down low and make it heavy!” don’t sound cheesy alongside the tone of the song.
The many could find this album unadventurous and even boring, but then they aren’t trying to impress the many; they’re conquering the few. Halestorm have just about got away with Into The Wild Life being a good record all mainly due to the power behind their front-woman’s formidable lungs.