A huge jump from a classic “rock opera” like Tommy, From Hell’s Ascent From Hell is a horror concept album that centers around a corpse without a soul (sound familiar?) who wakes up in hell and must return to earth to reclaim the soul of a priest.

I have no interest whatsoever in stories about demonic possession or demented carnage — I think I’d rather chew glass— but this doesn’t take away from the fact that From Hell is damn good at what they do. George Anderson has proven his talent before with the extreme metal of Down Factor. Personally, I preferred the political lyrical slant of Down Factor but Anderson became interested in putting his creativity into a different type of approach.

Anderson succeeds at this, too. From Hell’s music is full force metal that does not disappoint. The structured guitars and the nuanced death metal vocals of Anderson are the stars of this show. Anderson can go from sounding like a creepy demon character to guttural growls to melodic accents. And for the recording of Ascent From Hell, Anderson gathered the likes of Paul Bostaph of Slayer (drums) and Damien Sisson from Death Angel (bass). Not to mention contributions from Starship’s Phil Bennett (piano) and the 22-piece choir, Pacific Mozart Ensemble.

“The Walking Dead” is the standout amongst the story mentioned above. If you want a quick hit, this would be the iTunes download. It could easily be the soundtrack to the hit AMC television series. It’s probably as close to a Death Metal single as you can get.

Hopefully, the supergroup feel of the band will turn into a longer term commitment. George Anderson’s vision deserves the continued recognition.

Label: Scourge Records