A HERO’S WELCOME: The frantic energy that Hellyeah has been putting into the world has stood the test of time, sustaining over a decade’s worth of metal shifting trends and evolving with pop culture. But it’s a testament to the band’s adaptability that their latest offering, Welcome Home, is as true to their roots as anything they’ve ever produced. That same adaptability is what kept the band’s sound intact, even after the tragic passing of founding member and drummer Vinnie Paul last summer. New drummer Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour) fits in perfectly on tracks like the ultra fast “Bury You” and the thumping “Skyy and Water,” dousing the latter half of the record in the adrenaline Hellyeah has become known for.
Elsewhere, however, the band switches gears and slows things down, on the soaring and methodical “Oh My God,” where vocalist Chad Gray’s one in a million style really shines. But it wouldn’t be a Hellyeah album without a down home ballad, and following immediately after “Oh My God” is the inspirational title track. “Don’t sweat the small stuff / And just keep on keepin’ on” is country wisdom at its finest, and provides a stark contrast from the horror film quotes featured on “I’m the One.” Hellyeah embodies that contradiction more than anything else, and the fact that it can shift gears so quickly and yet so smoothly proves that the members of the band will do Vinnie Paul’s legacy more than justice. ~ Tyler Davidson