Hellyeah Hellyeah

Understandably taking his sweet time to get things together after the death of brother "Dimebag” Darryl, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott finally unleashes Hellyeah onto the world. As expected, the band hold very close ties to his former outfits Pantera and Damage Plan, although from the onset of opening track/namesake "Hellyeah” it’s clear that the loss of Darryl has inspired and angered Abbott and crew to no end. Still wallowing in metallic Southern metal, a whiskey-fuelled, bouncy groove drives the majority of this eponymous effort. The thunderous delivery of vocalist Chad Gray is almost unearthly and the dirty distortion that propels each guitar riff feels as if one is polishing a turd yet getting great results. Even when the band reach into melodic territory with songs such as "You Wouldn’t Know” there’s an unbridled passion and frustration that is just, well, cool. No, it will never equal the mastery of Pantera but it’s still a gigantic leap ahead of anything Abbott has stuck his name on since. (Epic)