Kerry King - From Hell I Rise album

Kerry King – From Hell I Rise (Album Review)

Kerry King 2024 band

When Slayer took a final bow on November 30, 2019 it marked the end of an era for one of Thrash Metal’s most influential bands. A bittersweet farewell, Slayer left a fire blaze behind them after their near 40 year reign of aggressive, fast Thrash Metal like no other. However, while this may have been the last anyone would see Slayer again, some of the band’s key components remain active years after the final notes rang out. This includes Gary Holt (who took over on guitar when Jeff Hanneman passed in 2013) moving forward with his own band Exodus, but also Slayer’s co-founding Guitarist Kerry King.

King, one of the most recognized names in the genre, has always made significant contributions to Heavy Metal; first in terms of the songwriting when it came to some of Slayer’s most memorable material, and second on live stages with a fierce performance each time out. Still passionate about the music, rumblings took place around 2020 that he would indeed be continuing in a solo capacity, but now in 2024 he arrives with his debut solo album entitled From Hell I Rise. Released on May 17th through independent label Reign Phoenix (which features a list of artists from Deicide to Sebastian Bach), King recruited an absolute stellar team of musicians that all Metal fans know and love. First, you have long-time Slayer Drummer Paul Bostaph involved, but it does not stop there, because also included is Death Angel’s Mark Osegueda on vocals, former Machine Head Guitarist Phil Demmel, as well as HELLYEAH’s Kyle Sanders on bass. Really a supergroup (if you care to use that term), the new project is one bound to have many Metal fans salivating.

This in mind, highly accomplished Producer Josh Wilbur (who has worked with everyone from Korn to Megadeth) took the reins in the studio, and together the bunch created 13 high-octane heavy, aggressive Metal songs. First piquing fan’s curiosity back in February with “Idle Hands,” the energy was plausible, and carried over into the next preview in April with the track “Residue.” At this point giving you a good peek behind the curtain of curiosity, it became evident that this new endeavor for King would pick up pretty much where Slayer left off with their final studio album, 2015’s Repentless. An obvious direction, in truth, no one was expecting King to put out a Blues or Jazz album, right? Well, you never know, but either way he takes to each song with a furious attack that combines some of his classic Thrash guitar playing from early Slayer albums, with the more violent style heard on later 2000s material from the band.

A really great combination of the two approaches, if you love straighter up Thrash, the opening instrumental “Diablo” plus killers like “Trophies of the Tyrant” and the title-track, will be more than satisfactory. This is while if you want a hybrid of speed and intensity, others like “Where I Reign,” “Crucifixation” and “Toxic” will be right in the wheelhouse. However, if you want something a little more downtempo and darker, “Tension” is a great place to turn.

Overall, Kerry King, with his all-star band, have bridged the gap between Slayer’s legacy and a new direction. Filling the void for Slayer fans looking for new songs to dig into, From Hell I Rise has everything you could ever ask for. Although, it should be noted that to the surprise of many, Slayer has indeed reunited in 2024. Not a full-fledged reunion in terms of an album cycle and heavy touring, but more of a getting together for a few shows 5 years after they concluded, you can catch them at Chicago’s Riot Fest on September 22nd, followed by Louisville’s Louder Than Life, and then Sacramento’s Aftershock. Rather cool, it should not overshadow King’s new solo album or the fact that he and his new band will be doing extensive European and North American touring throughout the summer of 2024. So, with so much to look forward to, Cryptic Rock highly recommend From Hell I Rise, giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

Kerry King - From Hell I Rise album
Kerry King – From Hell I Rise / Reign Phoenix (2024)

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