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Halestorm Hit Hard With the Uncompromising and Empowering Vicious

Lzzy Hale is close to a modern-day Joan Jett, and Halestorm continues to wave the flag for hard rock with pride and power

July 28, 2018

Halestorm, coming off their previous album, The Strange Case Of …, which yielded four Top-10 mainstream rock hits, has set the bar high for their new disc.

In fact, Halestorm scrapped an entire album’s worth of songs — not satisfied with the material they churned out — before cranking out the tracks that would make up their fourth full-length release, Vicious.

The resulting effort is an uncompromising, hard-hitting album with lyrics that exude equal parts empowerment and sexuality.

The Good

Few voices in modern hard rock are as powerful as frontwoman Lzzy Hale’s, and her pipes indeed are on full display on Vicious. In fact, her epic screams in the first 20 seconds of the blistering leadoff track “Black Vultures” make it clear that Halestorm is bringing the heavy on this album.

 

 

While Lzzy and her brother, drummer Arejay Hale, are children of the ‘90s, they grew up on ‘70s and ‘80s hard rock, and that’s evident on the album’s opus, “Killing Ourselves to Live,” a song with a monster chorus that conjures up such artists as Dio and Heart. The disc closes out with the beautiful acoustic ballad, “The Silence,” a raw and emotional track that shows off Lzzy’s genuinely incredible vocal range.

 

 

The Bad

Lzzy has never shied away from exploring sexuality in her lyrics, and that remains evident on songs like “Buzz” and “Conflicted.” On Vicious, an album that gets deep into themes of empowerment and personal struggle, the “sex” songs seem a little out of place.

While Halestorm has never been a political band, it would be intriguing to see Lzzy and company take the lyrics a step further and tackle more social issues and other topics on future releases.

 

 

The Verdict

A solid album throughout, Vicious is slickly produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Mastodon, Alice in Chains), who helped give the disc the big sound that these songs deserve. Despite popular music trends, Halestorm continues to wave the flag for hard rock with pride and power.

 

 

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Halestorm Tour Dates Through August 2018

Jul 28 – Dubuque County Fairgrounds          Dubuque, IA

Jul 29 – Centennial Terrace                             Sylvania, OH

Jul 31 – UMBC Event Center                            Baltimore, MD

Aug 2 – Mohegan Sun Arena                           Uncasville, CT

Aug 3 – Capital Center                                      Albany, NY

Aug 4 – Maine State Pier                                  Portland, ME

Aug 6 – Stone Pony Summer Stage                Asbury Park, NJ

Aug 7 – Express Live                                         Columbus, OH

Aug 9 – Bluestem Center for the Arts            Moorhead, MN

Aug 10 – Stir Cove, Harrah’s Casino               Council Bluffs, IA

Aug 11 – Grandstand, Illinois State Fair         Springfield, IL

Aug 14 – Big Sky Brewing Amphitheater        Missoula, MT

Aug 16 – Star Theater                                        Spokane, WA

Aug 17 – WAMU Theater                                   Seattle, WA

Aug 18 – Cuthbert Amphitheater                     Eugene, OR

Aug 20 – Bi-Mart Amphitheater                       Medford, OR

Aug 21 – Grand Sierra Resort & Casino          Reno, NV

Aug 23 – The Warfield                                        San Francisco, CA

Aug 24 – Harrah’s Resort                                   Valley Center, CA

Aug 25 – Fremont Street Experience               Las Vegas, NV

 

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Also be sure to check out the weekly RTN feature “Lost Tracks.” We focus on deep cuts from rock’s royalty that never received the attention the song deserved, including when a backmasked Motorhead tune spread a sublime message.