Fiery return as Slayer’s Kerry King rises from Hell

Move away from all the furore around the Slayer reformation, the hypocrisy, and the social media outrage. Move well away because, like him or loathe him, Kerry King, the Slayer guitarist, has, in From Hell I Rise, delivered an album that should delight all those who love Thrash Metal.

Kerry King – From Hell I Rise (Reigning Phoenix Music)

Release Date: 17 May 2024 

Words: Paul Hutchings

Kerry King’s masterstroke on From Hell I Rise is the recruitment of Death Angel frontman Mark Osegueda, who brings such intense ferocity to this album that I struggle to think who else could match it. Add in the powerhouse drumming of Paul Bostaph, the six-string magnificent of Phil Demmell and Hell Yeah bassist Kyle Sanders and this is one heady, potent mix, that delivers, no question.

Of course, many a critic has dismissed King as a one-riff artist, always living in the shadow of Jeff Hannerman in terms of creativity and style. 

I don’t subscribe to that school of thought, for it was King who propelled Slayer through the last two decades of their journey until those immense final shows in 2018. Let’s not get stuck in the return of the band later this year, but instead, focus on an album that has been promised for a long time. 

Yes, everything unsurprisingly has a deliberate Slayer feel about it. King is on record as saying, “If I wasn’t in Slayer, I would be a Slayer fan. So yes, I think it’s an extension of Slayer, and I think a lot of people will think it might have been the next record. I guess maybe 80 per cent of it would have been. Maybe it would have been exactly what I’m putting on this one.”

18jun7:00 pmKerry King - From Hell I Rise | Electric Ballroom, CamdenElectric Ballroom

With 13 tracks turning in at just over 45 minutes, Kerry King and Co are not messing around. Only two songs on From Hell I Rise tip the five-minute mark. 

It’s a blistering opening. The scene is set by Diablo, a two-minute intro that immediately gets the heart racing. Those Slayer riffs are up front and centre, Bostaph’s rolling patterns are there, and for this long-time fan, it’s a delicious sound. 

Diablo segues into Where I Reign and within seconds the head is nodding as the sheer aggression explodes out of the speakers. It’s a pace that rarely slows throughout the album, although on tracks such as Residue and Tension the focus is on the slower yet no less heavy approach.

Osegueda is in inspired form throughout, snarling and spitting the lyrics out at a phenomenal pace. He can deliver on the slower, punishing songs [Residue, etc] or motormouth on the scorching drive of the insanely short Everything I Hate About You. Here all parties almost combust, such is the speed with which it is delivered and the explosive conclusion to the album with the searing title track. 

First single, Idle Hands, could have come from the cutting floor of those later Slayer albums, but as it’s been nearly a decade since Repentless, only the most miserable would surely argue such semantics. 

We have typically King-style lyrical topics, from religion and war through to the demonic, whilst the classic Thrash and punk combination that often pulsed through Slayer’s work is in evidence. 

At times visceral, at times a little polished, there is always an edge on From Hell I Rise. There is a striking contrast between Two Fists with its immediacy and the and the more restrained and brooding intro to Shrapnel, which sits very much in the Christ Illusion era Slayer sound. 

From Hell I Rise is an album that roars and screams from start to finish. I have no doubt that some will discount it, but for me, it’s a powerful reminder that there is still plenty of unfinished business for King. 

He’s unsurprisingly satisfied with it. “If you’ve ever liked any Slayer throughout any part of our history,” he says, “there’s something on this record that you’ll get into, be it classic punk, fast punk, Thrash, or just plain Heavy Metal.”

With the promise of much more to come, for this Thrash fan at least, having Kerry King back in the world can only be a good thing. 

From Hell I Rise promised much. I think it’s delivered plenty. 

Kerry King will play his first UK headline show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom on Tuesday, 18th June. The show will come in the wake of his first ever UK solo band appearance at Download Festival at Donington Park on Sunday, 16th June.

Tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster.

Kerry King will play his first UK headline show at Camden's Electric Ballroom on Tuesday, 18th June.
Kerry King will play his first UK headline show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom on Tuesday, 18th June.

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