From Hell
Rats & Ravens

Label: Fastball Music
Three similar bands: Testament/Dark Angel/Destruction

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Dark Heart
2. They Come At Night
3. Lilium
4. The Witch
5. Don’t Cry For Help
6. Three And Nine
7. Forest Of The Screaming Trees
8. Room For One
9. Body Rats
10. Am I Dead

Aleister Sinn – Vocals and Guitar
Steve Smyth – Lead Guitar
Wes Anderson – Drums
Stephen Paul Goodwin – Bass

Ascent from Hell (2014)


Recorded with Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studio, Oakland, CA
Mastered by Maor Appelbaum

Released 2020-05-22
Reviewed 2020-06-12


fastball music

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This band is certainly from Hell, they say they are in their name, and they are from the US. This is their second album, the debut was released in 2014, this one gives as some hellish rats and ravens. Talk about noise, or is it? They are compared with the likes of Testament and other pretty known bands of the thrash metal variety. They open this second album with a dark heart, and it is covered with an artwork that looks a lot less hellish than the name of the band would suggest.

Musically it falls into that thrash metal category, there are no surprises, strange revelations, evil trolls or robot devils, nothing that spice up the show. The variety of songs is about the same as you hear on most of the thrashy metal albums, there are no surprises there. The playing time is a bit long and the variation doesn’t make up for that, and it also lacks the depth to really sell an album that is that long. It isn’t a very exciting album, far less so than one would expect when it comes from hell.

I like the rawness both in the style and vocals, tracks like Room for One and Body Rats are good examples of this. However, this gruff and raw style doesn’t really sell the album on its own, it needs more to really shine. But there isn’t really anything more, you get a gruff thrashy metal album that is good but not very special. It is one of all those bands in a steady stream of bands, one of those that doesn’t really make a mark – perhaps they should have visited the neighbouring robot hell and spoken to the Robot Devil, he is quite a proficient musician and could have added some much needed flair to this one.

You will probably find this album quite agreeable if you are a fan of the thrash metal genre, but if you are more of a peripheral fan of the genre you will probably not be as impressed. I think they need to do more than this if they want to be a relevant band in the future, otherwise it is probably best that they return to hell.