I've covered Asheville black/thrash/punk/hellhammerers All Hell for many years now, beginning with their origins in the local scene and through their blossoming to first regional and then national prominence. The Hellboys are the kind of band that all heshers should appreciate: firmly rooted in the classic '80s sounds of Quorthon and Thomas G while maintaining an ear to the future with the kind of souped-up, bass-heavy production values that appeal to millennial metalheads such as myself. Throw in instantly memorable black 'n roll riffs and eminently sing-along-able choruses ("I AM THE MIST! BE-WAAYAH! OF THUHH! GRAVEYAAARD!...DUST!") and what could any self-respecting headbanger find not to like?

It is thus my privilege to inform you that All Hell has maintained this energy and sound with their latest EP release, All Hail the Night. Now, All Hell has certainly not reinvented the wheel on this release, and returning listeners will find their sound essentially comparable to their past work. But the point of All Hell is continuity with a flavoring of innovation: on every release, the guitars sound that much better, the riffs are that much more compelling, Jacob Curwen's vocals are that much more vicious, you get the gist. It's like Motörhead: yeah they did essentially the same song for 40 years, but that song got so much more dialed in over time and rocked so much more ass consistently that you'd never dream of telling Lem and the boys to "progress." All Hell is not about being "progressive," it's about kicking ass and worshiping the darkest of forces: it's about candlelight vigils, shining black leather and the darkest of the darkest occult forces.

Take, for instance, lead single "Black Leather Wings," featuring solos from Nate Garnette of the legendary Skeletonwitch. It's like the best elements of Bathory, Discharge, late 00s Darkthrone, and Impaled Nazarene: pure long haired punk metal madness. The way Jacob enunciates "leather" ("LLLEEATHHURRRRRRR") is worth the price of admission on its own, but every instrument here does its part exactly as it should: the guitars slash out riffs like midnight at Satriale's, Garnette's solos are the platonic ideal of what a guitar solo should be (Eddie van Halen on anabolics!) the drums move in and move out inexorably, and most of all, the production is gritty enough to be punk but clean enough to really let it all sink in. And, of course, there's at least one top-notch "BLEH!" Check this shit out, fools, and do it as soon as possible, or I might begin to suspect some of y'all of the sin of posery!



All Hail the Night is available now via Terminus Hate City Records and on all streaming platforms.

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