Hellyeah is an American heavy metal supergroup, consisting of Mudvayne lead vocalist Chad Gray, Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell, bass player Kyle Sanders, Rhythm Guitarist Christian Brady and former Pantera and Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul.
As far as heavy metal goes, Hellyeah is a bit of a variety act. An accumulation of members from some of the biggest heavy rock and metal artists, Hellyeah began in much more of a relaxed country rock genre. With their latest album (Sangre por sangre) however, they have moved back towards the more emotionally energetic, and heavier sound of metal.
Having the opportunity to see them play live at the Studio in Auckland on August 20th 2015, I knew I was in for a treat as soon as they first started. The crowd there had at first seemed small for a supergroup, but with the lack of any airtime on the radio in New Zealand, I honestly wasn't too surprised. What did surprise me, was the wide demographic of fans that had attended, and the energy with which they pushed their way to the front once the band started. Fans ranged in age from their teens to beyond their 60s. And as the vocalist, Chad Gray, mentioned many times during the set, all were part of a family that appreciated heavy metal.
The music itself was technically sound. There were no noticeable mistakes or technical mishaps. The vocalists had a few off notes as he overexerted himself, but the setlist varied from heavy to soft enough times to allow reasonable rest for his voice without having to worry about forcing the fans to listen to the ever-dreaded "extended solos". The vocalist never went more than 3 songs without taking time to address the crowd, and thank everyone for coming out, and being a large enough fanbase to allow them to viably perform in the country.
But what struck me the most with Hellyeah, were their exuberance. Chad was running from side to side, literally jumping up the walls (and I do mean literally). With technically sound music, a good mix of heavy and soft, country to metal. This is a band that provides professionalism and variety in a way that guarantees a solid product at any show. A definite must see.
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