"[A] heartfelt ode to a fallen brother."
Heavy metal lost a true legend with drummer Vinnie Paul's premature death. Out of respect for the recently departed sticksman, his still grieving Hellyeah cohorts have reconvened and released Paul's final recordings on Welcome Home.
Arriving fully formed with a “supergroup” tag, and all the baggage that entails, more than a decade ago, Hellyeah's groove-metal has often been anything but ground-breaking, or even as generic as Times New Roman font. Brawling, boozy party-metal has its place, but the band had little staying power once the hangover kicked in.
It's a trend that largely continues on this LP, so if you weren't already a convert, that seems unlikely to change. Still, their diet of riff-heavy meat and potatoes fare has found an audience. Case in point here are stomping yet accessible tracks like Boy and Oh My God, which tick the appropriate boxes for diehards. The fast and furious, Dimebag-referencing 333 bristles with purpose. Another standout is Perfect. The band's often flirted with country, and this slide guitar-infused affair packs some memorable hooks.
Hellyeah appear to be soldiering on with new drummer Roy Mayorga in tow – a fitting replacement. Welcome Home is a heartfelt ode to a fallen brother (particularly the brief closing track), as it closes one era of the band and provides a final showcase for Paul's unique talents.