Kerry King
From Hell I Rise

Well, well, well the Kerry King band is finally here.  When he announced after the retirement of Slayer, that he was going to have a new band, the only thing he mentioned that we all knew was drummer Paul Bostaph, from Slayer (not the best Slayer drummer-that goes to Lombardo) and the music would sound as close as possible to Slayer, minus the Slayer name.

Regardless of what you think of Kerry, with all the posts about him slagging active and former Slayer members, then the “surprise” that Slayer would reform to play a bunch of upcoming fests, right around the same time he debuted his new band line-up and single “Idle Hands”, one cannot deny his impact on thrash metal with Slayer and as a guitarist.  He is a riff machine-he knows thrash metal probably better than any current thrash guitarist, because all Slayer albums have been thrash metal, not like many of his top-tier peers.  No names mentioned, Kirk Hammett is still bummed at me for my comments about his “awesome” guitar solos on St. Anger some years back.  Outside of all this, there are many haters of Kerry’s new project, whether it be the abysmal A.I. cover art or the fact that Kerry sometimes, puts his foot in his mouth with his comments….At the end of the day, what matters most to this guy is the music any good????

Well, F the haters, because Kerry King is back in the scene with the debut From Hell I Rise, and from top to bottom this thing fucking smokes!  Joining Kerry on guitar is Phil Demmel who has had either studio or live stints with Vio-lence, Slayer, Lamb of God, Machine Head, Testament, etc, Death Angel vocalist Mark Osegueda, Kyle Sanders on bass who was previously with the boring band HellYeah, and Paul on drums.  13 songs in 46 minutes and I think when Kerry sat down with Mark he said something like this:  “Mark-you know some of those high types of screams you do with Death Angel…well you’re gonna reign them shits in and I need you to emulate Tom Araya from Slayer, as much as you can, and if you don’t well into the slammer you go”.

“Diablo” begins and is a huge instrumental build-up.  It’s so well done with the drums and guitar work, they must open with this live and then go right into the next song “Where I Reign”, just as this album track list is set.  “Where I Regin” has an opening sounding eerily familiar to the Slayer classic “War Ensemble” with the opening guitars and drums then BOOM…right into the speedy thrash metal and when Mark comes in..he sounds fantastic.  While I have seen him live several times, I only enjoy the first two Death Angel albums…regardless his pipes are aggressive and he emulates Araya really strongly, just with more piss and vinegar, since Tom’s piss and vinegar style became tamer throughout the later Slayer albums.

One of the things that punches you in the gut and slaps you upside your pathetic head is this production.  It’s heavy and most of all pummeling.  I will say one more thing…when Kerry said this would sound as close to Slayer without the name he was transparent.  For all practical purposes this is a Slayer album without the name – it sounds, smells, and feels just like Slayer.  Heavy, fast, aggressive, and riffs to bludgeon us all to death.  This track has solos galore with Kerry’s old-school style and Phil’s more technical style, they complement one another quite well.  “Residue” is next and is a slow burn with heavy and catchy riffs with some galloping speeds.  The start and stop riffing is definitely circle pit-worthy.

“Idle Hands”, was the perfect debut song to release months ago in anticipation of this.  An excellent track and I love Mark’s whispered vocals as he gets more aggressive and lets loose a monster scream/yell.  The song is fast with a scorching and catchy chorus.  The main riff could have been lifted from vintage 1990’s Slayer….seriously.  Paul’s drums sound great and he does an overall good job on this…sorry I am partial to Lombardo, however Paul has done great work with Slayer, Exodus and of course Forbidden.  “Everything I Hate About You” calls to mind the Slayer Reign in Blood era, because this song is under 2 minutes and is only meant to thrash you from side to side and punch your jaw off for you…this is a definite homage to the 1986 Slayer of yore, so aggressive and punchy, it’s one of the fastest songs Kerry has ever written.

“Crucifixation” is the longest song at over 5 minutes it starts right off the jump with the speed, no fancy intros just chokeslam-worthy thrash metal.  The middle of the song has a slow tempo shift where the bass guitar comes through nicely alongside some melodic riffing.  It’s a pretty atmospheric part, that is a bit unexpected, then right into the whammy bar guitar soloing over the thrash pace and Mark sounding as aggressive as ever, maybe even more so. Ending with the scorching title track is killer and it rages from beginning to end, starting thrashy then into a mid-paced moment then back into the speed.  This sounds like a classic Slayer song, but still different to some degree.

When sorting your music collection, after you have purchased From Hell I Rise, I would not even bother filing it in the K section.  Slide this sucker right after the last Slayer album, Repentless, because this probably would have been the next Slayer album had Slayer stopped recording…so they say now…., but I am unsure if it would have been as good if the Slayer name was attached because Mark sounds much better on this, then Tom was on the last Slayer album.  And if I was to call this a Slayer album, which it’s not, I would say this is the best album since the outstanding, Lombardo returning on drums,  Christ Illusion from 2006.  This is thrash metal done right, speedy, punchy, multiple tempo shifts and beyond catchy.

Yes, this sounds like Slayer so much…it hurts and it burns and I love it, because Slayer will always be my favorite thrash metal band. This new iteration called, Kerry King, is fantastic and he’s put together with these songs/lineup…well it shows this dude still has gas in the tank, as other than homages to Slayer, these are not recycled Slayer riffs.  They sound fresh and this is one aggressive album from start to finish.  As I said earlier this album fucking smokes.  Welcome back…Slay…I mean Kerry King.  Buy or Die!!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
May 20th, 2024


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