May 2024 31

Album CoverKerry King
Album: From Hell I Rise
Category: Thrash Metal
Label: Reigning Phoenix Music
Release Date: 2024-05-17
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


Fans clamoring for a thirteenth album from Slayer were undoubtedly disappointed at the band’s assertation that no such album would occur, even as a series of reunion shows following the 2019 disbanding are to take place. However, founding guitarist Kerry King seems to have provided the next best thing with the first album from his new solo outfit. From Hell I Rise is just about what you’d expect from him, the opening instrumental of “Diablo” setting the stage with an almost regal mid-tempo march of chromatic metal simplicity. From here, King’s riffs and Paul Bostaph’s drumming lay down the familiar thrashing foundations, with Death Angel’s Mark Osgueda screaming and wailing like a slightly grittier, throatier version of Tom Araya. Songs like “Where I Reign,” “Idle Hands,” and “Crucifixation” resound with the signature flippant blasphemy that has been beloved and reviled in Slayer, lyrics often alluding to God being the true source of all evil and suffering. Others are more grounded in a general misanthropy, with “Toxic” very directly addressing the most negative traits of human personalities with lines like “Too many people spend too much time forcing their opinion on other people’s lives.” Although King has often claimed to avoid politics, one can’t listen to lines like “I can’t find where liberty goes to die” and “I relied on this outdated system” on the song “Residue,” or “So fucking infantile, impotence needs validation” on “Trophies of the Tyrant” without having an inkling as to who he is talking about. All the while, King’s riffs remain the star, with songs like the aforementioned “Crucifixation” and “Shrapnel” sure to spark memories of “South of Heaven” or “Seasons in the Abyss,” while “Two Fists” hearkens back to the guttural punk/metal grind of “God Hates Us All.” His solos remain as chaotic and dissonant as ever, contrasting with ex-Machine Head and Vio-lence guitarist Phil Demmel serving up his own more melodic and technical passages, even adding a touch of Iron Maiden-esque harmony in “Trophies of the Tyrant.” The closing title track is the only song to shift the key to a lower, darker register, while still retaining the aggressive speed and fury that permeates the whole of From Hell I Rise. Sadly, Kyle Sanders’ bass is conspicuous in how virtually unnoticeable it is, but that’s par for the stylistic course. Ultimately, the album offers no surprises to anyone who’s familiar with Kerry King’s work over the past 40 years; persistent critics will continue to decry it as a formulaic appeal to the lowest common denominator, while proponents will likely appreciate its brazen approach and uncompromising adherence to the sound King helped to create – as with anything, the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. At the very least, longtime fans will surely love it as the thirteenth Slayer album they never got.
Track list:

  1. Diablo
  2. Where I Reign
  3. Residue
  4. Idle Hands
  5. Trophies of the Tyrant
  6. Crucifixation
  7. Tension
  8. Everything I Hate About You
  9. Toxic
  10. Two Fists
  11. Rage
  12. Shrapnel
  13. From Hell I Rise

Kerry King
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Reigning Phoenix Music
Website, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram

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