New Music Review: DROWNING POOL “Hellelujah”

DROWNING POOL 'Hellelujah' Web Cover Photo

REVIEW – Massive.  If I had one word to describe DROWNING POOL’s sixth full-length studio album, “Hellelujah”: Massive covers it.  Released on eOne Music on February 5, 2016, it consists of Huge guitars, Enormous drums, Monster vocals, Thunderous bass. Considering they’re from Texas, it’s no surprise that everything is big. Heavy as hell, but still quite melodic in many parts, and giving us the most aggressive album since their debut.  Great one-man production by Jason Suecof, who also engineered and mixed “Hellelujah”.  Thirteen tracks, but not one track goes over 4 1/2 minutes, keeping the attention of the listener, and bringing the album in at a respectable running time of almost 50 minutes. Their songs on this album address survival against the odds, and strikes chords among blue collar fans worldwide.

DROWNING POOL is no stranger to popularity. Their debut album contained the hugely popular (even to this day) “Bodies”, and a 2nd hit “Tear Away”, and their last 3 albums all debuted in the top 5 of Billboards Hard Rock charts.  Not bad considering that albums just don’t sell like they used to.  They’ve opened for Ozzy, and shared stages with Mötley Crüe, System of a Down, Kiss, along with several others.  They’ve regularly performed overseas for US troops, going as far as war-torn middle-east countries, and southeast Asia.  They’ve also pushed to get the Lane Evans Health Act approved, so veterans can have better healthcare.  In this day and age, for a rock band to fight for healthcare benefits for America’s veterans, it’s a refreshing change to all the “more Me now” mentality of some artists. I’m looking at you, Kanye.

DROWNING POOL is currently celebrating their 20th year as a band, and like most bands that have endured the test of time, they’ve endured other, much more difficult tests.  Founding core members; guitarist C.J. Pierce, bassist Stevie Benton, and drummer Mike Luce lost their first vocalist, Dave Williams, to heart disease, and saw stints with replacement vocalists, Jason Jones, and Ryan McCombs, resulting in one album with Jones (2004’s Desensitized), and two with McCombs (2007’s Full Circle, and 2010’s eponymous release) Pierce, Benton and Luce seem to have finally found a kindred spirit in vocalist number four, Jasen Moreno. He’s fitting in quite nicely, appearing on his second album since joining DROWNING POOL in 2012, and showing what he does best on “Hellelujah”.  Screaming in harmony over the heavy tones of the instruments just works, and works very well.

DROWNING POOL 'Hellelujah'DROWNING POOL “Hellelujah”

Track Listing:
1. Push 3:13
2. By The Blood 3:27
3. Drop 3:42
4. Hell To Pay 4:01
5. We Are The Devil 4:06
6. Snake Charmer 3:47
7. My Own Way 3:33
8. Goddamn Vultures 3:54
9. Another Name 3:41
10. Sympathy Depleted 3:31
11. Stomping Ground 3:41
12. Meet The Bullet 4:01
13. All Saints Day 4:20

Total Running Time: 47:57

Jasen Moreno- Vocals
C.J. Pierce- Guitar
Stevie Benton- Bass
Mike Luce- Drums

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