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Drowning Pool – ‘HELLELUJAH’ Review

Drowning Pool – ‘HELLELUJAH’ Review

Pedal to the metal band Drowning Pool, seem unable to keep a heavy foot off the gas and are back to reaffirm pole position, throwing down yet another weighty gauntlet of an album. Not too many bands can boast that their debut record (‘Sinner’) went platinum within six weeks.  From this solid platform they have performed on several worldwide tours, both headlining and as special guests, and have sold over one million albums. So what do the lads have to offer us from their 6th studio album, ‘HELLELUJAH’?

I could absolutely talk you to death about each and every song on this record, yeah – it’s that good, but I won’t, as in this case less is more and I can’t resist the temptation to titillate you with limited information. This is an album of 13 terrific tracks, laden with ferocity and conviction. These guys couldn’t be any more metal if they came wearing helmets, gun belts and riding an M4 Sherman.

‘HELLELUJAH’ opens with a good vicious warm up, loaded with scorching vocals, a chunky deep riff and a bounce or be bounced attitude. ‘By The Blood’ is melodic and youthful with a crazy party feel to it, although still really heavy, and ‘Drop’ gives the snare an all out bludgeoning. Now that you’re mosh-pit ready and rearing to go, the first of my stand out tracks is ‘Hell To Pay’. I loved the vocals on this track, very sensual and harmonious. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing mushy about this one, it’s still a strong contender for a neck breaking session, I felt the bass in the pit of my stomach which was just fantastic. Then there was the lovely guitar solo that didn’t turn into a widdlefest.

The next skirmish is with my second standout track ‘We Are The Devil’.  The title comes from an Oscar Wilde quote “We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell”. Yep! Not only do these guys make great music, they read as well. This track opens with a snippet of a 1957 gospel song by some dudes called ‘Barney Pierce and The Friendly Four’, and according to bass player Stevie Benton, “old gospel records are creepy”. When this tune kicked in however, it had the dynamics of a Slipknot song to it; strong, monstrous and heavy-just moshing heaven.

‘Snake Charmer’ rears its ugly head and is upbeat and energetic. ‘My Own Way’ and ‘Goddam Vultures’ are both firing on all pistons, with devastating chugginess and superb riffing, however, as heavy and as manic as they were, I found them not as memorable.

Now we get to my favourite track of the album, ‘Another Name’. This is what totally makes me fall in love with some albums and the bands that create them. All out hell on the first 8 tracks with brain damaging vocals from Jason Moreno throughout, and then gut felt passion is delivered to give you some down time. This allows us to get a real feel for the talent this band has, as everything is just a little slower and deeper. Acoustic, melodic beginning with clean vocals grabs the senses and a warm fuzzy dreaminess takes over, with keys and guitar and a heart beat rhythm; beautiful song.

And we’re back! ‘Sympathy depleted’ is back to edgy vocals, interesting time changes and an echoey drum beat. This song is reminiscent of a kind of weird Motley Crue or Skid Row that have been possessed by the devil on a drinking binge. Then we are rumbled and rattled along on ‘Stomping Ground’ with tidy fast riffage. ‘Meet The Bullet’ was excellently executed; I loved the Rammstein-esque beat. Once again Drowning Pool do something with pure perfection that draws you to them and all you want to do is get up and jump around. ‘All Saints Day’ closes ‘HELLELUJAH’ and is a destroyer of brain cells which is fast and powerfully combative.

When a band of this calibre are churning out album after album with the tactics of a mechanized force of high quality, essential listening, such as Drowning pool has produced  on ‘HELLELUJAH’, you have no choice but to sit up and take notice. The much chat and anticipation for the launch of this album is not all smoke and no fire I can tell you. You want to be cool? Get this damn album into your collection!

Words By Brenda