Hellyeah
Welcome Home


2.8
good

Review

by Simon STAFF
September 29th, 2019 | 14 replies


Release Date: 09/27/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid send-off, with a promising future.

Cutting straight to the chase here; Welcome Home is the best album HELLYEAH has ever produced, but it’s not necessarily for the reasons it should be. You see, essentially, Welcome Home is a by-product of life’s ironies, almost to the point of being the butt of a joke. For the uninitiated, HELLYEAH’s very existence stands on the shoulders of the late Dimebag Darrell – Pantera’s very talented guitar player who lost his life far too early on – and was created by several well-established musicians who wanted to pay their respects to metal’s lost legend. And, look, I’ve never hidden my disdain for almost everything HELLYEAH has ever produced – I find their music to be aimed at the lowest common denominator, and their sound and image has always come across as trashy and tasteless, for lack of a better term – but I can at least appreciate the sentiment behind their initial concept. Past the barroom-brawling-tobacco-spitting image the band originally coined for themselves back in 2006, the success of their self-titled release has seen a continuation lasting 13 years and counting, but in dragging it on, they have diminished the worth of that foundational idea, and thus bringing themselves into the situation they’re in now.

Indeed, HELLYEAH is at a weird junction in its own life: in 2019, the band is down to just two of its original members, while the whole selling point of Welcome Home is to pay tribute to yet another one of Pantera’s deceased members, Vinnie Paul Abbott, who died last year from heart disease. It’s a paradox that brings a bizarre aura to this whole album; to think, the very same drummer who was in Pantera, and helped form HELLYEAH in memory of Dimebag Darrell (his younger brother), is now being memorialised with the very same band. For devoted fans, they will be pleased to know that Vinnie managed to play on all but “Skyy and Water” before his passing, making Welcome Home a more touching and personal affair to drive the context of this album home. But in trying to separate this crazy situation from the album itself, one would assume there’s a bit more weight behind Welcome Home than what HELLYEAH is typically accustomed to dishing out – after all, all the pieces are there to make something more noteworthy.

In that regard, the results are… mixed. Sonically, this is the strongest HELLYEAH has ever sounded, a blend of Panteraesque riffs with a lean on Mudvayne’s heavier sensibilities. Sure, the Mudvayne comparison situates itself on the latter end of their career than the former, but the likes of “Black Flag”, “Oh My God”, “Welcome Home” and “At Wick’s End” showcases a generous offering of that style and makes for a more rounded and interesting experience, overall. In fact, Welcome Home is actually a pretty competent metal record that tones down on the obnoxious elements associated with their previous works. Unden!able was far from a good album, but it teased these kinds of sounds enough to make it their most cohesive sounding album to date, so it’s good to see HELLYEAH building upon that and letting them flourish more in Welcome Home. Chad’s lyrics are a big improvement as well, and elevate the quality of the songs to a higher grade: with the exception of “Perfect”, “I’m the One” and “333”, the lyrics and vocal performances are – for the most part – fairly grounded and focused by HELLYEAH standards.

To my surprise, there is a fair bit of enjoyment to be had here. The inherent problems which bog Welcome Home down largely stem from superficial writing. This is nothing new for the band, but for a record centring itself around Vinnie, the lyrics feel like they’re skirting around the topic in a humdrum manner in favour of really getting into the nitty-gritty of it all: “333” delves into the initial torment, “Welcome Home” tackles the loss with a positive perception in dealing with it, and “Skyy and Water” is an overt send-off for their friend, but beyond that the album lacks real lyrical depth. The same goes for a good portion of the music: the good ideas are present throughout, but they don’t feel all that fleshed out – occasionally hitting dull moments like the generic “I’m the One”, a riff-for-radio number that lacks even a morsel of its own character, or “Black Flags”’s verse which fails to stand as tall as its catchy chorus. Overall however, “Perfect” is the only bad song on here, everything else ranges from inoffensively generic alt-metal, to legitimately engaging moments that can be quite heavy at times. The band is slowly showing signs of credibility by paving their own way, rather than coming across as unintentional satire. With the passing of Vinnie Paul, it’s going to be interesting to see where the band goes from here on out, but all things considered, things are looking pretty promising.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://shop.hellyeahband.com/




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user ratings (32)
2.2
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2019


15703 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

I know, I know, a positive review for a hellyeah album. what's the world coming to?

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2019


10394 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

That bar graph is taking an early hit.



I'm confused to whether you actually like this Simon. Or maybe that's fully die to the mixed bag, mixed reception that's presented here. It might be a (slightly) positive scored review, but your argument leans to the left of all things considered.

William21
September 29th 2019


488 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This band's been relatively improved the last couple of albums compared to their earlier days, but they're also at this point basically what Mudvayne would've probably eventually become--especially with Vinnie gone

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2019


15703 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

It’s good by hellyeah standards notce, which doesn’t say much really. Good to see them improving though.



And yeah will, there’s a lot of mudvayne at the heart of this. Though, ironically, I account the mudvayne influences coming through since Greg left the band

bloc
September 29th 2019


57896 Comments


inb4 hellno

Digging: Orange Juice - You Can't Hide Your Love Forever

KjSwantko
September 29th 2019


11438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Probably their best album agreed. And still awful.

Imperial
September 29th 2019


1787 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

It's absolutely awful.

Minus.
September 29th 2019


2731 Comments


Should I bother listening to this?

Son of Mr. Pain
September 29th 2019


24882 Comments


lol, there's no way.

FearThyEvil
September 30th 2019


17067 Comments


"Should I bother listening to this?"

HELLNO

Donchivo
September 30th 2019


845 Comments


Strong competitor for worst bandname ever...

mindleviticus
September 30th 2019


9911 Comments


hell yeah brother!!

obviously embarrassingly terrible but it's fun maybe if you're drunk

Digging: Trvth - Black Horse Plague

KjSwantko
September 30th 2019


11438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It is the worst band name ever. No comedic value at all.....just old men trying desperately to be badass...

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
September 30th 2019


10394 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I think these guys have maybe 2 good songs over the course of their discog.



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