Knitting Factory Presents
HELLYEAH’s previous album, 2014's Blood for Blood, was the album metal fans and critics were waiting for HELLYEAH tomake, based on the revered metal pedigree of the individual members. Such an artistic achievement—the album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Hard Rock album chart— meant the band set the bar incredibly high. HELLYEAH —whose core is comprisedof singer Chad Gray, guitarist Tom Maxwell, drummer Vinnie Paul, Christian Brady (guitar) and Kyle Sanders (bass)— do notdisappoint with their fifth album UNDEN!ABLE.
"We turned a corner with Blood for Blood and we wanted to continue that path," Paul states. "It's much heavier and darker, andwe take it to another extreme." The album also fosters a sense of community and the notion that "we're all in this together"among the metal community we are part of. The upside down "i" in the title is an exclamation point — a subtle indicator of howmetal fans live their lives against the grain for their entire daily existence. "It doesn’t matter how old you are — you are always ametal kid," Chad Gray declares, referencing himself and fans as one.
With the 2007 self-titled debut, HELLYEAH broke the ice, introducing the world to a band comprised of familiar faces who playedin influential bands with signature sounds. 2010's Stampede showed off a more pleasure-seeking side of HELLYEAH. 2012'sBand of Brothers was marked by internal change and further experimentation, while Blood for Blood found the band reaching thesummit of brutality, creativity, and artfully mined piss and vinegar. UNDEN!ABLE is the logical next step and it's frontloaded withsongs that crackle with a palpable industrial aggro energy. As guitarist Maxwell succinctly says, "It's belligerent and brutal, withpeaks and valleys that bring you up and down, emotionally and lyrically."
One reason it's so belligerent and brutal? The time crunch that came along with crafting the album. The band spent 18 gloriousbut grueling months on the road in support of Blood for Blood and was given exactly two weeks (!!!) off before it had to startworking on UNDEN!ABLE. The pressure and lack of recess awakened a sleeping giant within Maxwell. There was literally notime to waste and he marshalled his emotions for inspiration.
Without any time to decompress, Maxwell came out of the gates in sniper mode, admitting there was "no time for demo-itis!" Heconfessed, "I was pissed, agitated, and distraught. In the long run, it helped. There was so much intensity in thefrustration." Paul notes that the band "took no time off so that we didn't get complacent. We knew there was a window ofopportunity." It may not have been optimal at the time, but it yielded a maximized result. "We know we did great, broken anklesand all," he states. HELLYEAH’s usual formula remained unaltered when it came to the recording process. They demoed atPaul's home studio in Dallas, TX before writing and recording with Kevin Churko in Las Vegas.
UNDEN!ABLE hosts redemptive, but throttling songs that will "scratch your soul," according to Gray. "X" is fast, furious and "overthe top," says Paul. "It is something that metal fans need." It's expected to become an instant fan favorite. The morecontemplative "Human" is moving, yet monstrous. The title track surges with raw energy and industrial crunch. "Love Falls" is arhythmic and sultry departure for the band, which measures pain and anger equally, while "STARTARIOT" is nothing short of afist-pumping, fuel-burning heavy metal epic.
UNDEN!ABLE is a complete work, including a cover that is the definitive visual matching the album's sonic wrath. The artworkwas inspired by Chad Gray and designed by William “Wombat” Felch, who the band discovered through his artisticinterpretations of HELLYEAH songs on YouTube, and who Paul labeled “like a new member of the band.” The eye is emblematicof the metal community and the kids who find their kindred spirits in HELLYEAH. “The eyes are the portal to the soul," Graysays. "There is more extremity, so I wanted it to represent looking into the eye of someone who is a member of the metalcommunity being cast out. You always feel like a fighter. So we created this eye and the exclamation point [in the title] as thestamp on this madness. You are looking into the soul of a metalhead."
Overall, there's a surging current of hunger in UNDEN!ABLE. The members have had success in the past, but they're notsatisfied with all they have done. "It's all I know," Paul muses about what keeps him manning the kit and making new music,despite a career so illustrious that no one would fault him if he chose to hang up the sticks. "I could have quit and could beplaying golf. Being a traveling musician? That fuels me. I have a true passion and belief in HELLYEAH and heavy metal music."
Gray concludes, "We're all in this together. We are metal fans first and foremost. We play off each other every night with ourmetal family. As a metal kid, I'd go to shows because I needed the release. Being on the other side now, I need this as bad asthe fans do. I need to hit that deck every day and give everything I can." The divide between HELLYEAH and their fans hasbeen erased with UNDEN!ABLE. It's an album made for the metal community, by the metal community.