I broke out Halestorm's Back From the Dead on vinyl. If you aren’t listening to this album on wax then you are seriously missing out on so many nuances that the digital versions wipe out. As far as the album goes, after a hundred or so spins, I feel that this is their best album. It’s only short coming is the length. I could use a few more songs. This album shows both tremendous growth and a return to their gritty roots, pre Atlantic. Arejay Hale's drumming on Wicked Ways solidified his place as one of the best rock drummers around. His performance through the record is dynamic. Joe Hottinger has grown so much over the last 3 albums. The riffs are chunky and heavy and his solos have really developed into their dimension. I also love when he dials himself back for Terrible Things on the acoustic. Josh Smith for lack of a better description is Mr Dependable. His bass playing is smooth and is highlighted on several tracks. His vocals backup Lzzy in the most wonderful way. He plays with passion, not flash. Lzzy Hale. you know I always have a lot to say about you so here it is. This album has taken everyone on a journey of the last two years. I know that everyone’s 1st ? has been how did the pandemic affect your writing. In short it made the writing honest, even when the picture it painted wasn’t pretty. Your lyrics show your vulnerability, your battles that were nearly lost, your view of all the shit that’s been thrown at you and your rise through it all. You also highlighted your fans struggles and gave all of us Strange Girls as an anthem. Your vocals on Wicked Ways showed the world that you have a place in metal, Terrible Things is the most haunting lullaby that has ever been sung and Bombshell brought me right back to your roots in The Hand. The most unexpected song on the album for me was Raise Your Horns. You know we were all expecting you to channel your inner Dio. Your vocals are absolutely flawless. They show your insane range, amazing cleans, and your whiskey dust. Easily your best recorded vox ever and one of the best recordings in general. Thank you all for this amazing piece of art.
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