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Monday, April 10, 2017

ALL HELL - THE GRAVE ALCHEMIST


Asheville, North Carolina’s horror-thrash three-piece All Hell have made some incredible strides since I last saw them live here in Chicago in early 2016.    At that time, All Hell were promoting their second full-length, 2015’s The Red Sect, that had been released by Philadelphia’s respectable independent label, Horror Pain Gore Death Productions.  Presenting a stronger-than-steel stage presence combined with their own unique blend of rip-roaring “metalpunk” (their own words), I was verily impressed by the act from start to finish, and I left the show with an excellent impression of both the music and the band members themselves.

Fast-forward about fourteen months, and All Hell have taken their solid stage act and unique music to new heights.  Now signed to L.A.’s much bigger and more ably-backed Prosthetic Records, All Hell are all geared-up to make a big, bloody splash on the national scene with the impending release of their third studio album, The Grave Alchemist.  Due to hit the shelves of metal retailers nationwide on April 14th, 2017, The Grave Alchemist displays everything that I’ve come to love about the band, but better. Much better. Better production, better songwriting, better everything.

Constantly conjuring imagery of dark, decrepit graveyards and foreboding castles brimming with alluring, bloodsucking vampires, The Grave Alchemist sports twelve delectable horror-thrash offerings that are truly all killer and no filler.  From start to finish, this album is one hell of a humdinger.  Solid offerings from the front half of the album such as “Grave Alchemy”, “Necrosophia”, and “The Castle” show you what All Hell are all about:  solid song composition featuring darkly muddy and distorted riffs, and the perfect mix of punk rhythms with metal attitudes and subject matter – but it is on the back half of the album where The Grave Alchemist truly sets itself apart.  Tracks such as “Memory Tomb”, the black-metal-inspired “The Madness Out of Time”, the swampy and spine-chilling “The Thing in the Ground”, and the swaying, head-bang-inducing closer “I Am the Mist” stand out as some of the finest tracks that the trio have ever written, hands down.

So be sure to pick up a copy of All Hell’s The Grave Alchemist on or after April 14th.  Your metal-loving ears will thank me.

FFO:  Toxic Holocaust, Celtic Frost, Bathory, The Misfits

Genre:  Horror Thrash/Metalpunk

Album Lineup:  Jacob Curwen (vocals/guitars), Erik Ballantyne (bass), Kurt Henderson (drums)

Release Date:  April 14, 2017

Track Listing:
  1. “Grave Alchemy” (4:02)
  2. “Necrosophia” (3:27)
  3. “Wed the Night” (2:21)
  4. “Vampiric Lust” (2:40)
  5. “The Castle” (3:43)
  6. “Laid to Unrest” (3:36)
  7. “Memory Tomb” (2:54)
  8. “The Madness Out of Time” (4:09)
  9. “The Thing in the Ground” (3:49)
  10. “Return of the Reaper” (3:03)
  11. “Elixir” (Instrumental) (2:40)
  12. “I Am the Mist” (4:44)
Label: Prosthetic Records

Written by Geoff Teach for Bloodrock Media on April 7, 2017
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