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From Hell I Rise

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Album Review: KERRY KING From Hell I Rise

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Score

Kerry King's first foray into the world as a solo artist is exactly as one would expect. If you've been a fan of the Kerry King written songs on the last few Slayer records, you're going to find From Hell I Rise rather endearing. King informed fans months ago that the record was essentially going to be a continuation of 2015's Repentless. He wasn't wrong. Both in the terms of the lyrical content and the music, this newest record from King leaves very little in the surprise department. Overall it's a solid record with a lot to really love.

Most of the record is straight ahead thrash, though I was happily surprised with a touch of punk on "Two Fists" and some groove on "Tension." I also really love many of the solos as King really got the most out of fellow guitarist Phil Demmel. Demmel fits so very well into the lineup here and has a lot of space to do what he's great at. The chemistry is quite apparent throughout the record.

Death Angel's Mark Osegueda clearly does his best to channel Tom Araya on the vocals. While this works for many of the songs, it does feel a bit forced in a couple, most notably "Where I Reign." While the Araya-esque vocal cadence and phrasing fits the music, I wish that Osegueda took the lead singing in a slightly different direction. With that being said, however, Mark really kills it on tracks like "Residue" and "Two Fists." Of course, many will also be quite happy that Osegueda channels his inner Tom Araya.

"Shrapnel" has a signature Kerry opening that's immediately going to remind you of later day Slayer. Drummer Paul Bostaph shines on this track as does Osegueda, who really finds his place here. The familiar sounding solos also fit the track perfectly. Same with "Where I Reign," which is going to give off early Slayer vibes in the intro. My guess is that this is not coincidental. In this respect, Kerry King stays entirely true to his roots. He doesn't try and reinvent anything. Clearly, he's proud of his impressive resume and he's not afraid to keep going to back to the same well that's worked for him. So, if you were expecting something other than a record that sounds like Kerry King penned songs, you are going to be extremely disappointed.

"Trophies of the Tyrant" is another stand out track that sounds amazing on my Edifier bookshelf speakers on either side of my desk. I love the clarity of both guitars riffing at the same time. Similar sounds on "Rage" which turns up the velocity just a bit as well. Without any doubt, the production and mixing on this record is top notch. Refreshing. Ironically this record was produced by Josh Wilbur at Hollywood's Famous Henson Studies. Yes, the same place they recorded "We Are the World."

For those of you who are enamored with the latter Slayer records, "Crucifixation" is most definitely for you as is "Tension." Both of these could have easily been on God Hates Us All, Christ Illusion or World Painted Blood.

The record closes out with the title track. Another rager, King makes a statement with his signature speed and tone. Some wicked solos add texture as Demmel and King trade off. An impressive way to end the record along with the final lyric "I watch religion die. Come watch it with me." If only, right? While the world is rapidly changing around us, it's somewhat comforting to see that Kerry King definitely is not.

While it's definitely not a Slayer record, and From Hell I Rise doesn't really touch the greatness of the legendary 80's output, this is about close as we're likely ever going to get to Slayer and new music.

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