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CD review: Halestorm continues to shine on 'ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP'

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Halestorm – ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP

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No one has more fun making music than Pennsylvania’s Halestorm. The quartet’s passion for writing, touring and recording is palpable and contagious. Just as they did after their brilliant debut album, Halestorm has once again put together a 6-track EP of cover songs which serve to reward and tide fans over until the next studio album: It is also a chance for the young rockers to treat themselves to reworkings of some of their favorite tracks from artists they have admired.

In 2011, the band unleashed "ReAniMate: The CoVeRs eP", where they took on the likes of Guns n’ Roses, The Beatles, Skid Row, Heart, Temple of the Dog and Lady Gaga. It was an impressive and addictive affair. On October 15, they will release "ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP" on Atlantic Records.

At this point I am obliged to admit my weakness for vocalist Lzzy Hale, drummer Arejay Hale, bassist Josh Smith, and guitarist Joe Hottinger. This is one band that pushes my fanboy button, and I have yet to be disappointed by anything they have offered to date. That said, Halestorm has once again knocked the ball out of the park with "ReAniMate 2.0". They up offer another six-pack of ramped up, vamped up, Haleacious headbanging, toe-tapping, rock and roll revelry.

As alluded to in our interview with Halestorm earlier this year, the band kick it all off with a dynamic cover of Judas Priest‘s classic “Dissident Aggressor”, which hails from the classic 1977 album, "Sin After Sin". The first question that comes to mind is can Lzzy manhandle Rob Halford’s powerful vocal delivery? Those who really question that have never truly heard Lzzy perform. Her delivery is masterful and the Metal God himself would be honored as I am sure he is. The heaviness of the instrumentation brings new weight to the song through modern production and a ballsy delivery.

The EP’s first single is an unlikely cover of Daft Punk‘s “Get Lucky”. Halestorm have taken an innovative risk revving up this massive 2013 house hit. I am reminded of the many times I (and most other rockers) daydreamed about hooky, pop classics being rocked up with thick riffs and bombastic drums and vocals. This mops the floor with the original.

Jumping back to 1980′s "Back in Black" album, Lzzy and company take aim at AC/DC‘s monster, “Shoot to Thrill”. Ready, aim, fire–bullseye. Their take on Pat Benatar‘s “Hell is for Children” is an absolute gem, and proves what I have been saying for the last four years: Lzzy Hale is the best voice in rock music right now and hopefully for many years to come. It takes ample chops and a kindred musical spirit to channel Rob Halford, Benatar, Sebastian Bach, Axl Rose and Ann Wilson, and to do so with such grace and grandeur.

Lzzy brings her own raw and magical delivery to Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac‘s classic, “Gold Dust Woman” from 1977′s best-selling epic, "Rumors".

Halestorm close it out with “1996″ from Marilyn Manson‘s massive album, "Antichrist Superstar". The result is a thick, gritty and brutal sonic throwdown.

In an era where cover albums and EPs have become trendy, déclassé, and often lacking in significance, "ReAniMate 2.0" reinforces the strength and import of Halestorm‘s talent and presence. They have created this for the genuine love of the music and to challenge themselves through inspiration and aspiration. Yet another stunning success for Halestorm.

Rating: 9.4/10

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