Many metal fans were excited at the prospect of a supergroup featuring members of Pantera
. I was not. Mostly because of the three bands involved, I only like Pantera, and given that the Pantera member is the drummer, I didn’t see that being a strong enough factor for me to like this band. After all, no matter how good a drummer is, they don’t characterise a band or their sound.
The resultant debut album, however, has not only served to change my mind about the band themselves, but also recent Mudvayne and Nothingface albums as well. I can see why drum legend Vinnie Paul Abbott chose to be a part of this band. The similarities to the more southern tendencies of his previous band, Damageplan
, are obvious. In fact, after thorough listening this is what I imagine the second Damageplan album would have sounded like. To add to the similarities, since the album was recorded former Damageplan bassist Bob “Zilla” Kekaha has joined the band, replacing Nothingface’s Jerry Montano who was fired for punching guitarist Tom Maxwell, also of Nothingface, at the album release party.
Mudvayne provide the vital combination of vocalist Chad “Hellvis” Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett and it’s these two, along with Maxwell, who do characterise the band’s sound. Vinnie’s distinctive drumming doesn’t do it any harm either. A dirty southern drawl permeates all of the album’s heavy, grooving riffs, not least of which on aggressive eponymous opener Hellyeah
, which is guaranteed to get people moving live.
First single You Wouldn’t Know
starts softer, not losing the southern feel, and develops into a wholly catchier song than the opener, but equally full of attitude. This divide, between the aggressive mosh-inducing tracks and the catchier, more melodic ones, exists throughout the rest of the album. The next two, Matter of Time
and Waging Wa
r fall into the former, both perfectly suited to fans of all the parent bands.