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From Hell: Ascent From Hell

"A corpse wakes up in Hell and finds out he cannot rest and must return to the land of the living to find his soul that still lives on inside the body of a priest and drag it back to Hell. When the moon turns red, you must walk with The Walking Dead."

That's the premise for the new album by From Hell, a horror concept extreme metal band that puts some real heavy hitters of the scene together for a really crushing release that they've titled Ascent From Hell. Featuring drummer Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Testament, Exodus), guitarist Steve Smyth (Nevermore, Forbidden, One Machine, Dragonlord), bassist Damien Sisson (Death Angel), along with founding member George Anderson on vocals & guitar, From Hell play a lethal form of death metal that really delivers on all fronts. Produced by Anderson along with Steve 'Snake' Green (Skinlab), Ascent From Hell is a massive sounding record that any fan of the genre will want to sink their teeth into. Most of the songs fall in the 5-10 minute range, so there's plenty of shredding from Smyth over some truly crushing arrangements that are somewhat of a mix between the trashy crunch of Testament and the intricate & brutal sounds of classic Death. Bostaph as always never fails to impress, his juggernaut drumming driving such powerhouse tracks as "Soul Crusher", "The Sleep", and "Eyes of My Dead". You want riffs? Anderson has come up with a boatload of them here, and his varied vocal attack (he's playing multiple characters in this concept piece) is also quite convincing.

This is one of those death/thrash metal albums that just keeps getting better with each listen. Read along with the horrific storyline as you bang your head, again and again...this one's a keeper.

Track Listing
1) Standing at the Mouth of Hell
2) The Walking Dead
3) Soul Crusher
4) Psycho Killer
5) Eyes of My Dead
6) Nun With a Gun
7) The Church
8) Dead Reckoning
9) Ascent From Hell
10) The Sleep

Added: May 4th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2305
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

From Hell: Ascent From Hell
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-05-04 18:41:36
My Score:

Paul Bostaph of Slayer, Testament and Exodus, Damien Sisson of Death Angel, Steve Smith of Nevermore and Forbidden come together under the banner From Hell. I'm guessing it isn't a Journey tribute then?? Although Phil Bennett (Starship!) does play piano on one song and The Pacific Mozart Ensemble help beef up a further four selections!

Any doubts are immediately blasted and I do mean blasted, for Bostaph offers "his first blast beat" on this album, from the off - or once the obligatory introduction is through anyway. From there the trio and founder member, guitarist, vocalist, producer George Anderson, lay down a cutting mix of conceptual high tempo Death Metal and almost Progressive sections which allow all four band members to shred, stretch, shred some more and brutalise in cunningly snarling style. The underlying story behind the lyrics of the album finds a dead psycho killer needing to wrest his soul from the body of a young priest, where it now resides, and drag it back to hell (the sort of dilemma we all face on a daily basis then...). Anderson positively thrives as he plays multiple parts without hamming any of it up and it is much to his credit that even in this exalted company the multi talented mainman stands tall and proud.

However the real strength of From Hell is that not one of the four band members stands out, instead egos are reined in to create a blistering assault that convinces on a variety of levels and uses traditional ideals to create an album, and band, that genuinely can live up to any expectation thrown at it. Highlights come thick and fast, the multi-tempo "The Church" grabbing the attention, the catchy, silly "Nun With A Gun" a sing along and no doubt, "Dead Reckoning" an altogether more serious and atmospheric crack in the jaw, but really from start to finish this is satisfyingly uncompromising stuff which is far from going through motions.

Going forward, From Hell plan to tour with an evolving, all-star, line-up depending on the main band member's schedules. It's sure to be an Ascent From Hell more than worth the risk!

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