Formed in 2006 by Vinnie Paul (Pantera), Chad Gray (Mudvayne) and Tom Maxwell (Nothingface) and featuring Kyle Sanders (Bloodsimple) and Christian Brady, Hellyeah are truly a supergroup in every sense of the word. They have released five records and their sixth – and final to feature the late Vinnie Paul – Welcome Home is certainly something to be proud of.
Welcome Home is out now via Eleven Seven Music and is a tribute to their late drummer. It is ground-breaking, honest, and a reminder of just where these musicians have come from and what they have lost. It features Vinnie Paul’s final recordings. Vinnie died in June last year at the age of 54 from a “dilates cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease”.
Welcome Home is impeccably put together, from opening track ‘333’ – called Vinnie Paul’s “baby” by bandmates – to the closing song ‘Skyy and Water’. ‘333’ is a catchy and addictive thrasher with beautifully dark lyrics – “My goddamn life’s been torn to pieces”. It is followed up by the darker and haunting “Oh My God”. Its lyrics are intelligent and heavy on the imagery – “I made a deal with the Devil, now the Devil’s in my / blood / I’m the bullet, he’s the gun”. ‘Welcome Home’ is melodic, beautiful and by far my favourite song on the album. It showcases Chad Gray’s vocal range, making me wish he would do this more often. God, this song is good! ‘Black Flag Army’ is an anthemic entry, with a good beat, and has something for almost all music fans. This song will be a hit with fans on tour! Final song, ‘Skyy and Water’ is the perfect choice to close out the album. While the entire album is a tribute to the late Vinnie Paul, this track is truly the final goodbye. A drum-less ballad, featuring on of Vinnie’s favourite phrases “Don’t Sweat the small stuff, and just keep on keepin’ on”, ‘Skyy and Water’ is beautiful and sad. It highlights the impact his loss has on the band and across the music world.
Vinnie Paul once described Hellyeah’s unique sound as “a familiar groove, with a new sound” and listening to this album, I can see what he meant! It’s often said that you’re either a music or a lyrics person, but with Hellyeah it’s impossible not to be both. They are a band for both types of people, with great, intelligent lyrics and powerful riffs. All elements come together perfectly. Welcome Home is a fitting tribute to a larger than life musician and a heartfelt way for the group to farewell their friend.
Welcome Home is out now via Eleven Seven Music.