HELLYEAH! “Stampede” – CD Review

Review: Ben Hosking

  Many metal fans were surprised to see Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott take to the drum stool again after the murder of his brother, Dimebag Darrell Abbott in 2004. He’d famously declared he’d never play again and no one really blamed him either.

However, as early as 2000, a select few members of up and coming metal groups Mudvayne and Nothingface had started making plans to form a supergroup. The initiating members recorded a demo and approached Vinnie Paul about joining. After first declining the offer, he finally joined the band 18 months later; commenting that, “Everybody had their head in the right place and that let’s-tear-the-world-a-new-ass attitude“.

‘Stampede’ is the second release by the metal supergroup and is largely a ‘more of the same’ proposition, albeit a decent step up from their self-titled debut. If you’re unfamiliar with the band and are expecting a cross between Mudvayne and Pantera you’ll be disappointed.

Hellyeah is a more straight-forward hard rock/metal band that boasts hefty doses of southern sludge; ala Down, COC and Clutch. However it could also be said that their sonic brew owes just as much to early thrash.

Ultimately, ‘Stampede’ is an album displaying a group that’s finding their signature sound and it’s unlike anything else you’re likely to find on record store shelves.

From the opening riffs of ‘Cowboy Way’, ‘Hell of a Time’ and ‘It’s On!’; ‘Stampede’ is an album full of party anthems about hard drinking, womanising and generally having a good time. ‘Pole Rider’ seems to be an homage to strippers – no doubt a familiar theme for Vinnie Paul, who owns a strip club in Texas.

It’s not all flippant references to drugs and rock and roll, though. ‘Stampede’ contains plenty of deeper moments full of crunching riffs. It also provides opportunities for singer Chad Gray to prove that he has a greater range than the rather limited scope he normally displays in Mudvayne – such as on tracks like ‘Stand or Walk Away’, power ballad ‘Better Man’ and epic closer ‘Oder of the Sun’.

While it’s unlikely that ‘Stampede’ will be considered one of the top albums of 2010; it does contain a number of gems that will interest fans of bands like Down, early Pantera, COC, Clutch and even a few early thrash-style bands.

Ultimately it’s a pretty simple, straight forward excuse to rock out with your… you know what we mean.


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[Photo: Mel Hone]
  HELLYEAH! @ The Tivoli, Brisbane – 31 July 2010 – Photo Gallery
HELLYEAH! Australian Tour – July 2010 [Tour Announcement]