Releasing their fourth studio recording on the world, Halestorm appear ready to unleash hell with this truly dynamite album! Since 2009, frontwoman Lzzy Hale, along with her brother Arejay backing her up on drums, have been carving out their own place in the world of rock and Vicious is set to elevate them to new heights.
The central message of Vicious is one of positivity and fighting strong; it also covers themes ranging from traumatic breakups in the emotionally fueled acoustic track “Heart of Novocain” to one-night stands in the sexy, rock n’ roll fantasy “Do Not Disturb”, Lzzy Hale further proving with potent vocals that she can hold her own in a genre dominated by men.
The title Vicious suits the album well as it delivers a vicious selection of songs, kicking off with “Black Vultures” – a hard rock tune starting with a distorted roar from Lzzy Hale – before moving into her sexy yet ferocious vocal style, anyone who listens will be singing along to the chorus: “Black vultures circling the sky, pick at the pieces, scavengers waiting for me to die, but I won’t be defeated”. It is an easily identifiable feeling that we all have when life knocks us down, but it also highlights a positive outlook on that kind of situation.
This video is rad and in now way “Uncomfortable” to watch.
The rest of the record plays out in one of those two above camps: either fast-paced rocking hits like “Uncomfortable” or sexy and seductive numbers such as “Conflicted”, in both of which the group are clearly in their element. That said, there is room for wiggle in the formula: “White Dress” shows an alternative to the idea of a perfect princess, highlighting Lzzy Hale’s “take no shit” attitude but reflecting on a time when, like many of us, she wanted to fit into a box. Closing out the album is a second acoustic number, “The Silence” once again demonstrating that behind the tough persona she projects, Lzzy Hale is still human and just as vulnerable as anyone.
My honest verdict here is that Vicious has all the elements to make it go down as a modern classic; there are simply no bad songs to speak of, and Lzzy Hale’s charisma shines throughout. With so few prominent women in the world of rock, the few there are carry a heavy burden, but Vicious has lightened that load for all the others. Furthermore, with so few positive female role models dominating the music industry of late, Lzzy Hale is a breath of fresh air. If you have a daughter, burn that Miley Cyrus album and replace it with some Halestorm!
Fly away with the “Black Vultures” music video visualizer.
Vicious Track Listing:
01. Black Vultures
03. Uncomfortable Buzz
04. Do Not Disturb
06. Killing Ourselves to Live
07. Heart of Novocain
09. White Dress
11. The Silence
Run Time: 41:28
Release Date: July 27, 2018
Record Label: Warner Music