Hed PE – Stampede (2019)

In an unexpected twist, the guys decided this time to mix modern hip-hop (AKA the kind of hip-hop I can’t stand, barring a few unique experimental rappers) with metal trappings, which made for an interesting approach that might come off as one of the best modern rap metal releases of the year, which isn’t saying much.

The cover alone shows a completely different band than the one I grew up, possibly resulting in a more marketable attempt at commercial autotune saturated hip-hop with slight bits of rock. The record does manage to attempt a few experimental meanderings in lieu of reggae and punk influence, but it will definitely sit in their catalogue as one of their least intriguing releases. I wasn’t exactly crazy about the previous disc either, but at least this one does showcase a little bit more rock and even some harsh vocal lines from Jahred.

I can see why the band felt a need to update their sound, which again does have some rather raucous vocal sections here and there, specifically on album opener “No Apologies” and the punk infusion of “Why Not Me?” but there are a lot of pretty basic modern rap/metal outings here that do not manage to stand out well. “Playing With Fire” does manage to inject djent and memorable riff melodies into what would otherwise be a basic autotuned rap cut. A little chill-hop makes it into the record in areas as well, so Stampede is definitely a product of modern music trends.

This certainly isn’t what I expected, but it does continue to show an act that is constantly experimenting with different sounds, while keeping fresh what people loved about them in the first place. Stampede is definitely an album of the era and it will live on as an example of that in years to come.

Purchase (Amazon)

6.5

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