Halestorm : Vicious (Stripped) Review, Amazing Singing
Halestorm is a hard rock band that has been building and solidifying their brand of rock for two decades now. The group has an accomplished career, and they represent the results of genuine desire and hard work. As a band, Halestorm has outlived many of their peers. Their songwriting is growing, and the musicians are still having fun playing and writing together after all this time. The band’s 2019 release Vicious is proof that they refuse to ever plateau. The GRAMMY® Award-winning band’s fourth studio album, Vicious, was recorded in Nashville, TN’s Rock Falcon recording studio with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Rush). The musicians worked to ensure that every song had its own dynamic feeling, both overall and within each verse. “It wasn’t just about looping the same thing over and over again,” lead singer Lzzy Hale notes. “The idea was: Where can we take this that’s not predictable?” Now the band is back with a five-song EP of acoustic “stripped” down versions of their songs called Vicious (Stripped). Four tracks are from Vicious, and the fifth track is the 2019 single, “Chemicals.” Halestorm is Elizabeth „Lzzy“ Hale, vocals, guitar, keyboards and piano; Arejay Hale, drums; Joe Hottinger, guitar, and Josh Smith, bass.
“Black Vultures” is an energetic opener with acoustic guitar, piano, electric bass, and a little drum set. Maintaining the same edge that the ‘electrified’ version has, the stripped-down version gives us a chance to hear Lzzy’s incredible rock voice. Her voice is an amalgamation of Joan Jett and Stevie Nicks. The climax of Lzzy’s upper-registers full-throated howls are emotional, controlled, and will send chills down your spine. Smith’s backing vocals blend with Lzzy’s during the track to give a delicate harmony.
“Heart of Novocaine” is an emotional journey and one that Lzzy’s power and emotion convey the honest meaning. Her piano playing is off-set by smith’s excellent bass line and Arejay’s percussion and Hottinger’s acoustic guitar. Lzzy’s voice is full, robust, and has an edge that grabs your attention and demands you to listen. Combine that with great songwriting and producing, and this is a powerful track.
Lzzy’s voice is outstanding. Her hard rock sound is something special. Halestorm is a testament to having a dream and through hard work and tenacity seeing it come true. The songwriting on Vicious is some of their best to date. Now with Vicious (Stripped), we get to hear the power of the songs in a new light. For me, I was blown away with the intimate details that I can hear and appreciate in Lzzy’s voice in the stripped versions. She is a real talent!
March 6, 2020