Album Review – Halestorm – The Strange Case of….(2012)

Availability: Spotify, Halestorm Rocks Music Store, Amazon, iTunes

Forming in the year 1998, when siblings Arjey and Elizabeth Hale were ten and thirteen years old, respectfully, it wasn’t until 2005 when Halestorm signed up with Atlantic Records and released their debut extended play, One and Done that the post-grudge band gained public recognition.

In total, the band carries twelve releases in their discography; two albums – their debut, Halestorm (2009), and the fixture of this review The Strange Case Of… (2012) – two live albums (Live in Philly, In The Live Room), and six extended plays (Don’t Mess with the Time Man, Breaking Silence, One and Done, ReAniMate: The CoVers eP, Hello, It’s Mz Hyde, and ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVers eP).

The Strange Case of…is the longest of their projects, being released in the year 2012 alongside its partnered Hello, It’s Mz Hyde. Within the two years expansion, five promotional singles and accompanying music videos have been released; Love Bites (And So Do I), I Miss Misery, Freak Like Me, Here’s To Us, and Mz. Hyde.

The deluxe and reissue editions feature the likes of Slash (formerly of Guns ‘n’ Roses), vocalist of Shinedown, Brent Smith, Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge), James Michael of Sixx:AM, – also featuring on additional tracks Private Parts – Tyler Connolly (Theory of a Deadman), David Draiman, vocalist of Disturbed and Device, and Maria Bank of heavy metal band In This Moment in an alternative (guest special) of Here’s To Us.

This albums and side projects explore exclusively the misunderstood fringes of life, covering extremer, darker subjects such domestic abuse, jealousy and unrequited love (I Miss the Misery, Love Bites), psychological and personality disorders (Mz. Hyde), anarchy and social freedom (Freak Like Me, Daughters of Darkness, American Boys, and Don’t Know How to Stop), and every day issues; self-acceptance, discovery and embracing difference (Beautiful With You, In Your Room, Rock Show, You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing), finding true love (Break In, Here’s to Us, Hate It When You See Me Cry), and sexual identity (Private Parts).

Elizabeth Hale as a vocal and visual persona has the power of original female rockers, Joan Jett (of Joan Jett and the Black Hearts, The Runaways), Lita Ford (The Runaways) and Doro, with the incredible octaves of Sharon den Adel of Dutch symphonic rock/metal band Within Temptation, who she emulates in tracks in Daughters of Darkness, while having the gruffness of Ford and Jett in their younger years.

Throughout the transformation of this album, it seems to travel instrumentally outside their founding sound, post-grunge; they throw in hard rock, soft/acoustic rock, and metal with the rough, deep trembles of the drums in Love Bites (And So Do I).

They use this experimentation to tell a story, a story of woman who struggles with a relationship that doesn’t gives her the respect and love that she deserves – causing her to suffer from jealousy, lack of self-respect and denial, resulting in her rebelling in the darker side of life, promiscuous behavior, heavy drinking, before meeting someone who helps her crawl out of the hole she found herself in, in her depressive state.

The narrative can be seen a therapeutic to anyone find themselves in similar situations, making the album relateable, and a life changing journey to experience.

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