Halestorm: ReAniMate: The Covers 2.0 review

Halestorm Reanimate 2.0In 1998, in the little town of Red Lion, Penn., a 13 year-old Lzzy Hale and her younger brother, 11 year-old Arejay, set out on a quest to take the music world by storm. Fast forward to the year 2013 and not only have they accomplished that goal but the Halestorm hurricane has left all other bands in their wake, becoming one of the most successful and in-demand bands on the planet.

In the beginning, the band did everything they could to promote themselves, from playing talent shows, to a Friendly’s restaurant for ice cream. Their tireless dedication even had them going as far as playing a funeral home for the exposure.

In 1999, the siblings recorded and released their first EP, Don’t Mess With The Time Man, with their father Roger playing bass. This was followed by their first full length, Breaking The Silence in 2001, that contained the intoxicating ballad “I Forgive You.”

In 2005, they signed with Atlantic Records and released the live EP One And Done, which contained an early version of “It’s Not You.” In 2009, they released the eponymous debut, that went on to sell over 300,000 copies worldwide, with the help of singles like the aforementioned “It’s Not You,” “I Get Off” and “Familiar Taste Of Poison.”

The album’s success launched the band into an unrelenting touring schedule that saw them doing over 250 shows a year with industry heavyweights like Disturbed, Shinedown and Evanescence. Riding high on the wave of that success, the band entered the studio to record their Grammy award winning second album The Strange Case Of…

The band made history when lead single “Love Bites..(So Do I)” became the first song by a female fronted band to top the active radio airplay chart. That same song went on to win them a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance and the second single, “I Miss The Misery,” found its way into a Bud Light commercial.

On October 15th the band unveiled their second collection of cover songs, ReAniMate The Covers 2.0.

The epic opening scream and powerhouse vocals behind their cover of Judas Priest’s “Dissident Aggressor” sees the band digging in to their hard rock roots to offer up a version of the song that is almost superior to the original. Their scintillating interpretation of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” is a million miles away from the synth-dance pop original that showcases a lumbering guitar riff reminiscent of Sevendust’s “Rumblefish.”

Their fist pumping rendition of the AC/DC classic “Shoot to Thrill” is a power chord-laden extravaganza that finds brother Arejay beating his drum kit to death, while the spine tingling presentation of Pat Benatar’s “Hell Is For Children” evokes all the heartwrenching intensity of the original and finds Lzzy’s voice in top form as she belts out the song with unbridled enthusiasm.

Lzzy also channels her inner Stevie Nicks on their stunning cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman.” Every single note is dripping with unrestrained passion and delivered with the same raspy vibrato as Nicks herself.

The album concludes with a depiction of Marilyn Manson’s “1996” that is bordering on hardcore with industrial undertones and which sounds more In This Moment, Butcher Babies or even KMFDM, than it does Halestorm.

Here’s the bottom line- the touring cycle and promotion for The Strange Case Of… is not yet over so it may be some time before the band can enter the studio again to record an album of new material. In the meantime, this is an exceptional way to fill the void.

Rating: 9/10

-Eric Hunker