Review: Kerry King “From Hell I Rise” [Reigning Phoenix Music]

Review: Kerry King “From Hell I Rise” [Reigning Phoenix Music]

- in Reviews

Alright, so what the hell is going on with Slayer anyway? In 2019 they pompously end their career and get off the stage, then they declare they are back, later it turned out that it was only for live shows and now “it’s only three of them”. Great. Fans are overjoyed, of course and prepare their battle vests (and money, obviously.) However, Slayer never said anything about some new album (the last one, Repentless, was released nearly a decade ago) but we know how it usually goes: some “super special reunion shows” at the beginning then a highly demanded “no, seriously, the last one farewell” tour, a “we had a great time together on stage and on the road, so we have some new ideas for the next album” news and here we got a new album and a new tour in support. Scorpions will not let you lie. But it’s just my speculations. So, while Slayer rehearse for their upcoming shows or whatever it will be, Kerry King releases his first solo album From Hell I Rise.

Far back in 2020 Paul Bostaph said the he and Kerry were planning to make something “like Slayer, without being Slayer.” Four years later, in interview to Metal Hammer Kerry King told about it in more details: [From Hell I Rise] is “an extension of Slayer, and I think a lot of people will think it might have been the next record.  I guess maybe 80% of it would have been; maybe it would have been exactly what I’m putting on this one.” Anyway, here we are and here is the strong lineup for the album: Kerry King and former Machine Head‘s Phil Demmel on guitars, Kyle Sanders from Hellyeah on bass, aforementioned Paul Bostaph (Slayer) on drums and the brave man, who will be ready for endless comparison with Tom Araya, Mark Osegueda from Death Angel.

So, we got the lineup and the understanding of what these guys want to deliver and let’s finally get to the music. The opening instrumental “Diablo” is grim and rigid and it is very predictable what will be further – a Slayer but not exactly Slayer. Actually, “Where I Reign” confirms it with the hurricane riffs, drums and Araya-esque vocals, where Mark spits the lyrics out.  “Residue” reduces the tempo a little bit just to get a little pause before one crushing high-paced piece “Idle Hands.” “Trophies Of The Tyrant” adds some melody (well, in a way) and the longest track in the album “Crusifixation” turns music back to a “typical Slayer” with Paul Bostaph’s great work. In its turn, “Tension” sounds too grim and even atmospheric for this album; moreover, guitar solos here are way too melodic, when Mark make his voice much lower.

“Everything I Hate About You” is a short thrash metal track with fast tremolo riffs and screaming vocals. “Toxic” reminds the “Trophies Of The Tyrant” with its pace and structure while “Two Fists” stands out by taking the music to the punk territory: aggressive mid-paced guitars and another great drumming from Paul. Another outstanding track is “Shrapnel”, which starts almost doom but soon get back to thrash. And the ending “From Hell I Rise” with “Rage” were written for the last Slayer‘s album, so if you listened to it (and I bet you did), you have an idea how these two songs sound exactly: aggressive, super-fast, with classic King’s solos.

While reading a numerous reviews for this album, I understood that Slayer fans just want more of fast and evil riffs, discordant solos and Araya-like vocals; From Hell I Rise delivers it abundantly and everybody happy. Another thing is it doesn’t deliver something new and this album sounds maybe if not 100% but very much like Slayer, so this record will hardly bring some new people to already enormous fan base of the band, which kind of finished its career but it seems that not. Also it is stupid to expect something definitely new from Kerry King: he knows how to make certain music and makes it good. And, you know, if something already works, don’t touch it. However, this album greatly occupies the niche, which remained after Slayer – the throne is never vacant.

From Hell I Rise will be released on May, 17th via Reigning Phoenix Music.

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