Abbott, Gray say ‘Hellyeah’ to southern rock

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By Tyler Davidson

By Tyler Davidson

In the world of rock music, the term “supergroup” is becoming increasingly easier to find. Take, for example, the success of Audioslave. Active from 2001 up until just recently, the Grammy-nominated group (consisting of former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and members of Rage Against the Machine) saw all three of their albums break the Billboard Top Ten.

With supergroups like Audioslave, Velvet Revolver (featuring members of Stone Temple Pilots and Guns ‘N Roses), and the like, it comes as no surprise that one of the most talented supergroups in metal history has been formed under the name of Hellyeah, whose self-titled debut album dropped in April.

The most notable members of the group are lead vocalist Chad Gray of Mudvayne and legendary metal drummer Vinnie Paul. More than two years have lapsed since Damageplan, Paul’s last musical effort, ended abruptly with the on-stage murder of Paul’s brother, “Dimebag” Darrell.

Don’t take this to mean there is any rust, though; Paul blazes through the tracks on the album with incredible beats and fills that prove his glory days are definitely not behind him. This is especially evident on the self-titled opening track of the disc as well as the bass-heavy “Matter of Time.”

Gray’s distinctive vocals take on a new life for Hellyeah, retaining a much more Southern rock flavor than his efforts with Mudvayne. He juxtaposes gravelly shouting with melodic singing liberally on the album, most notably on the first single, “You Wouldn’t Know,” and the largely sentimental “Thank You.”

Also making the disc a standout effort are the tandem guitars of Greg Tribbett (Mudvayne) and Tom Maxwell (Nothingface). Complemented by Nothingface bassist Jerry Montano, relentlessly heavy riffs find their way on tracks like “Star” and “Waging War,” while the signature twangy feel of Southern rock makes its presence known on “Alcohaulin’ Ass.”

The individual talents and successes of each of its members has made Hellyeah one of the most prominent supergroups to have ever hit the metal scene. A critical and commercial success within mere weeks of its release, “Hellyeah” is a must-have for fans of Pantera, Mudvayne, or just good, pure metal in general.

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