Hellyeah confirmed on Thanksgiving that they will be releasing a new album in 2019, the final album featuring drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, who passed away in June. It is rumored that Paul had already finished recording his drums before passing away, so fans are excited to hopefully hear Paul’s final recordings on this next album.
Hellyeah revealed its plans to issue the LP in a short Thanksgiving message on the group’s Facebook page. The band wrote: “Happy Thanksgiving Hellions!! See you all next year and with a new record that is going to blow you away!!
Shortly after Paul’s death, bass player Kyle Sanders told SiriusXM’s Jose Mangin that the group had been in the studio recording a follow-up album to 2016’s Undeniable. “We’re in the middle of huge things right now. This is the last thing you expect to hear. We’re in the studio right now, man. We’re doing a record, [this is] everything that Vinnie lives for. It’s devastating, man,” stated Sanders at the time.
According to Blabbermouth, Paul died of dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease. His death was the result of chronic weakening of the heart muscle — his heart basically couldn’t pump blood as well as a healthy heart.
Sanders continued: “The music that I’m sitting on right now, it makes me so happy to hear it, to have all the music done. We’re doing vocals now, we’re like 75 percent done with this record. [The] tour’s starting in September, all these festivals [are booked]. We just were on the phone with Vinnie talking about the game plan.” Sanders said that things were so far advanced with plans to release the new album and tour that he and Vinnie Paul had already started planning the menus for shows where they could also barbecue.
In late June, frontman Chad Gray released a statement on Paul’s death, saying that dealing with his passing “has been one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to face in my life. I’m so confused, sad and as helpless as I’ve ever been.”
“I’m at a loss and completely devastated. But I’m trying. It’s the equivalent of an emotional riot in my head and in my heart as I write this. But I’m trying to focus on anything good. I know Vinnie would want that. And the good things are my memories of him. His smile, his infectious laugh and his personality that beamed light.”
Gray continued: “I just want to say, thank you, Vinnie Paul! For saving my life, for your music, for your endless generosity, for accepting me into your life, for creating our music that touched people, for being proud to be in Hellyeah and for always treating me like a brother and more importantly for treating me like a friend… I will always love you and go to the end of the earth to carry the torch for you and Dime’s legacy.”
Paul’s brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was shot and killed in 2004 during a live performance. The Abbotts founded bands Damageplan and Pantera, and, following Dimebag’s death, Paul joined Gray and other members of Mudvayne and Nothingface to form Hellyeah. The band has released five albums to date.