Assessment of Album: KERRY KING From Hell I Rise

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Kerry King has ventured into the realm as a solo performer for the first time, which is precisely what one would anticipate. If you have admired the songs penned by Kerry King on the recent Slayer albums, you will find From Hell I Rise quite charming. King had informed fans months in advance that the album would essentially be a continuation of 2015’s Repentless. He was accurate. In terms of both the lyrical content and the music, this latest album from King holds few surprises. Overall, it’s a solid album with much to adore.

The majority of the album consists of straightforward thrash, although I was pleasantly taken aback by a hint of punk on “Two Fists” and some groove on “Tension.” I also particularly appreciate numerous solos as King truly extracted the best out of fellow guitarist Phil Demmel. Demmel seamlessly integrates into the lineup here and enjoys ample room to showcase his talents. The chemistry is glaring throughout the album.

Death Angel‘s Mark Osegueda unmistakably does his utmost to embody Tom Araya in the vocals. Although this succeeds on many tracks, it does appear somewhat forced in a couple, especially “Where I Reign.” While the Araya-inspired vocal style and delivery suit the music, I wish that Osegueda ventured down a slightly different path with his singing approach. Nonetheless, Mark truly excels on songs like “Residue” and “Two Fists.” Undoubtedly, many will also appreciate Osegueda tapping into his inner Tom Araya.

“Shrapnel” kicks off with a distinctive Kerry intro that immediately evokes memories of later Slayer. Drummer Paul Bostaph shines on this track, as does Osegueda, who truly finds his groove here. The familiar solos also complement the track perfectly. Similarly, “Where I Reign” emits early Slayer vibes in the intro. I speculate that this is intentional. In this aspect, Kerry King remains entirely faithful to his origins. He doesn’t attempt to revolutionize anything. Clearly, he takes pride in his remarkable track record and doesn’t shy away from revisiting the same formula that has served him well. Therefore, if you were anticipating anything other than an album featuring songs penned by Kerry King, you will be sorely disappointed.

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“Trophies of the Tyrant” stands out as another remarkable track that sounds phenomenal on my Edifier bookshelf speakers positioned on each side of my desk. I relish the crispness of both guitars riffing simultaneously. A similar vibe can be felt on “Rage,” which elevates the pace slightly. Undoubtedly, the production quality and mixing on this album are exemplary. Refreshing. Ironically, this album was produced by Josh Wilbur at Hollywood’s Famous Henson Studios. Yes, the same venue where “We Are the World” was recorded.

For those enamored by the later Slayer albums, “Crucifixation” is certainly tailored for you, as is “Tension.” Both of these tracks could have seamlessly featured on God Hates Us All, Christ Illusion, or World Painted Blood.

The album concludes with the title track. Another powerhouse, King makes a statement with his trademark speed and tone. Some wicked solos add depth as Demmel and King take turns. An impressive way to wrap up the album, alongside the final lyric “I watch religion die. Come watch it with me.” If only, right? While the world is swiftly evolving around us, it’s somewhat reassuring to witness that Kerry King certainly isn’t.

While it doesn’t precisely emulate a Slayer record, and From Hell I Rise doesn’t quite reach the heights of the legendary 80’s output, this is as close as we are likely to come to experiencing Slayer with new music.

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