Review by Shadowdoom9 (Andi) for Killing Joke - Hosannas From the Basements of Hell (2006) Review by Shadowdoom9 (Andi) for Killing Joke - Hosannas From the Basements of Hell (2006)

Shadowdoom9 (Andi) Shadowdoom9 (Andi) / July 09, 2024 / 0

A punishing force in industrial rock/metal, Killing Joke kept their comeback going since their 2003 self-titled album and 25th anniversary DVD XXV Gathering with another album. The self-titled album was more metallic than their earlier works and had Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters) as the drummer, stirring up brilliant energy. However, fans of the band's mid-80s material wanted more of what they used to have, and vocalist Jaz Coleman wasn't highly satisfied with how that album turned out. He was determined to find the right balance in their next offering...

Fast forward to the recording of Hosannas From the Basements of Hell. The sessions took place in Studio Faust, a studio in an ancient building in Prague, specifically in its deepest darkest basement, aptly named Hell. The band can battle Satan's demon horde, feast on their remains, and reign in the cavernous darkness. The album was recorded using vintage equipment from the time of the band's debut release Turn to Red, giving Hosannas the massive intensity Killing Joke fans want.

"Lift up your spirits!" Coleman shouts to begin "This Tribal Antidote", gathering around "celebrants in a state of merriment", i.e. fans of the band, as we hear the guitars slay. The title track shows Coleman taking on the perspective of one of those fans, even referencing this very band performing, "I walk down the stairs and Killing Joke waits for me". The music and lyrics sound f***ing supernatural in "Invocation". I definitely like the beat. You get to hear some of Paul Raven's last audible bass with the band before his passing the next year, RIP. There's some ominous cello to go along with the strings. It would've been cooler if the beat was more synchronized, but it's still OK.

"Implosion" has the relentless drum-work of Benny Calvert, alongside the guitar riffing of Geordie Walker (also RIP), the vocal melodies of Coleman, and the booming bass of Raven. The out-of-this-world "Majestic" has majestic guitar force. One of the two long epics, "Walking With Gods" has some riffing to remind some of the band's early 80s era.

The other epic, the nearly 10-minute "The Lightbringer" builds a bridge towards the mid-80s. That can be considered a highlight, though the ultimate highlight goes to this next track... "Judas Goat" leads you to the darkest depth of Hell with more technical drumming, guitar rhythms, and singing almost like a mantra. Then you're teleported back home in "Gratitude" as Coleman sincerely thanks you and the gatherers for that journey, "A toast for the man who loves every hour of every day."

Although Hosannas hasn't reached as much success as the 2003 self-titled album, it shows the band having more creative freedom. Almost every track ranges from 5 to 10 minutes, similarly to ZP Theart-era DragonForce albums. The band has tighter focus here than in previous albums. You know who to thank for this music....

Favorites: "Hosannas From the Basements of Hell", "Invocation", "Majestic", "The Lightbringer", "Judas Goat"

Comments (0)