Halestorm – Into the Wild Life – Review

Halestorm are one of those bands where I am permanently trying to figure out when and where I first heard them. I first saw them live in Manchester in 2014 when they were touring with Alter Bridge and Shinedown but I had definitely been listening to them for much longer than that because I remember listening and loving The Strange Case Of… when that first came out. Lzzy Hale is just a goddess among women and her old school style and voice is what instantly hooked me in. As much as there has never been a shortage of female rock vocalists over the years I don’t think there has been anyone quite like her. You always have to question singers who have that much power on a record because you never know how much of it has been changed and autotuned. There’s no doubt that Halestorm, like everyone else in the world, has had a bit of fine-tuning on their recorded albums, but they are insanely good live. That raw power, grit, and passion in her voice is so real and she knows how to put on a performance that blows away a crowd.

It’s not all about her though. Arejay steals the spotlight too, and it is that brother and sister dynamic that I loved about watching them live. You can tell they’re ridiculously professional and it’s about putting on a show for the fans, but at the same time it always feels like they’re competing with each other and I love that. There are not many bands who could have a drummer do a solo for 10-15 minutes but he is incredible. On top of that they’re another band who have not had a lot of changes over the years so the whole band just has great chemistry and you can see that on stage.

Having said that Into the Wild Life is not the best album they’ve done. I like it but it’s not setting the world alight. I thought “Scream” was a good opener to the album, good energy, still a proper rock song. “I Am The Fire”, “Sick Individual”, “Amen, “The Reckoning”, “Apocolyptic”, and “Unapologetic” on the Deluxe Edition are all really good songs, but that only makes half the album. The other half is a bit predictable, repetitive, and pop-rock-ish. They have their token slow song with “Dear Daughter” but in all honesty it’s just a boring song. I have no idea what they were trying to do with “New Modern Love” and “Bad Girl’s World” but they sounded like Lana Del Rey songs with a bit of personality. The rest of them just sounded like fillers to put a few more songs on the album but I would much rather have an album with just 9 or 10 good songs than 9 or 10 good songs and a few shit ones.

Having said all that I think they released the right singles from the album. “Apocolyptic” is what I would expect from Halestorm. Not in the way that all their songs sound the same but just the standard I would expect that some songs on the album don’t live up to. “Amen” is a bit more pop than “Apocolyptic” and than anything else Halestorm have done before but I think that’s a necessary change in today’s music industry. I’m glad “I Am The Fire” is the next single being released because it’s my joint favourite song on the album. It’s a perfectly suited song for Lzzy, the lyrics and the rhythm suit her voice perfectly and the music surrounding her is spot on.

Overall the album isn’t bad, it’s just not great, and because I love Halestorm I’m not disappointed with it, I just wanted it to be great. I will listen to every song on the album like I do with their self-titled album and The Strange Case Of… but it is a bit different to those and for me their previous album was so good that any change was going to be a bad thing. I do still love them and will definitely be seeing them again soon but I would hope they’d exclude a few of the bad songs off this album.

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