Halestorm hails from Red Lion, Pennsylvania and is fronted by the powerful and talented voice of Lzzy Hale. Lzzy also throws guitar and piano to the mix, along with her vocals. The rest of the band consists of her brother Arejay Hale on drums, Joe Hottinger on lead guitar and Josh Smith on bass. Into the Wild Life is their third studio album and was released in April of this year to mixed reviews.
Best known for their ‘in your face’ hard rock/metal guitar riffs, which are balanced with a pop-like catchiness that makes it hard to not move your feet, Halestorm doesn’t disappoint with their latest album. Lzzy’s voice backs you into a wall and holds you there until she’s finished with you. She has great range and manages to growl through the lyrics in both her high and low registers without losing sight of the melody. This is no shrinking violet and by the end of the album, you feel blessed that’s she’s given you her attention even as you collapse in a heap at her feet.
The band that backs this powerhouse is formidable as well. Arejay seems to have four arms and four legs as he physically attacks his drum kit. It’s hard to believe that there is only one person providing all the percussion that grounds the music. This is complemented by a solid performance by Smith on bass. The driving beat provided by this combination carries you through from the first to the last track. Over the rhythm section and weaving in between Lzzy’s vocals is Hottinger on lead guitar. His riffs take you on a trip in and around the other notes and chords to guide you to the ultimate finish.
This album is well crafted on all fronts, even if you feel you’ve heard some of the music in previous Halestorm efforts. Even while the music drives you at a relentless pace through to the last track, there is enough variation in speed, tempo and key to keep things interesting. I highly recommend this as an intro to Halestorm for the uninitiated and as an addition to long-time fans collection. There are very few front women who own the stage like Lzzy Hale.
Into the Wild Life is produced by Jay Joyce and available on iTunes and Amazon. There are 15 tracks on the deluxe edition with a running time of approximately 56 minutes.