All Hell
All Hail the Night EP

In my limited experience with the Carolinas, one of the many things I’ve learned is to be real careful when and where to expose your more heretical impulses (though I suppose this is becoming increasingly true just about everywhere in America). We’re generally talking a bunch of folks whose love for Jesus is only surpassed by their love of guns, a combination that just has bad news written all over it. But it’s said that the places washed in the brightest light of the lord also cast the longest, darkest shadows – and it’s in those places where sometimes the greatest evils can emerge. In that regard, I suppose it’s no surprise a place like North Carolina could birth such a band as All Hell, who once again crawl forth from those cracks on the surface of God’s country, to wreak unholy mayhem.

Sharpen your ceremonial daggers and pass around the ‘shine, boys and girls. This party is gonna get a little wild.

 

I was actually interested to see what might happen with the band heading back to a smaller label (Atlanta-based Terminus Hate City Records) following a two-record run with Prosthetic Records. To give Prosthetic credit, they genuinely have grown into one of the most diverse and unique labels in metal today, but somehow the pairing with All Hell just never really seemed to quite line up with me. Regardless, the immediate effect for the band seems to be a renewed sense of urgency, as Black Leather Wings comes screaming out the gate with its title track, armed with some absolutely blistering Blackened Thrash riffs, and a much punchier production than we got with The Witch’s Grail or The Grave Alchemist. Where those albums struck me as being much more Punk-forward, this track is giving more metallic Witchery or even Skeletonwitch vibes. Appropriate then, that the latter’s own Nate Garnette should be here lending his talents to the track, making for a raucous, hellacious collaboration that gets this EP off on a rip-roaring start.

The band follows with the super catchy “Neon Babylon,” utilizing some cool synth work here and there to give the track some eerie horror vibes, and while it’s the kind of song made to easily get itself stuck in your brain, it still carries a bit more of that edge laid down on the opening track. It is, to be fair, a pretty straight-forward track, but its driving main riff can’t help but get your head banging or foot tapping in rhythm with the relentless kick drum attack. It’s a similar sort of formula they carry over to the EP’s final new track, “Let the Night Run Red,” although this time around you get the sense that they’ve put together a future fan-favorite here, with a great mix of catchy riffing and a chorus that should get crowds singing along in short order. Again, it’s another track that thrives in its simplicity – giving fans a hit of the material they’ve been looking for, and getting out before making too big a fuss about it.

But perhaps the biggest treat on Black Leather Wings are the three re-recordings of tracks from the band’s first release, 2014’s The Devil’s Work. Again, the production work is pretty great (recorded by Black Tusk’s Chris Adams and mastered by Toxic Holocaust mastermind Joel Grind), and gives the trio of “Suffer for Me,” “Breaker” and “Devilwolf” the sonic experience those three tracks deserve. If anything, I’m a little hopeful that revisiting these tracks ends up rubbing off on the band moving forward, as they prove the band doesn’t really need to stretch much further beyond the 2 minute mark to really make a compelling track (as much as I enjoyed the new content, I can’t necessarily say they needed to last as long as they did).

All told, Black Leather Wings sees All Hell operating just as effectively as ever, and perhaps even more self-editing to hit their audience with even quicker hits might not be the worst idea ever. Either way, I dig the slightly more metallic-leaning tones found here, and the band certainly show they’re still capable of giving listeners a real good time.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
May 5th, 2023

Comments

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Baron - Beneath the Blazing Abyss
  • Mütiilation - Black Metal Cult
  • Arð - Untouched By Fire
  • Kerry King - From Hell I Rise
  • Trocar - Extremities
  • Vesperian Sorrow - Awaken the Greylight
  • From Dying Suns - Calamity
  • Volcandra - The Way of the Ancients
  • Kosuke Hashida - Justifiable Homicide
  • The Dread Crew of Oddwood - Rust & Glory
  • Six Feet Under - Killing For Revenge
  • Skulldozer - Non Stop Ruthless Crushing
  • Synestia/Disembodied Tyrant  - The Poetic Edda EP
  • Necropanther - Oblivion Jones: A Tale of False Consciousness EP
  • Sarcasm - Mourninghoul