News & Views » Detroit News

The Metal Files: A review of Axe Ripper's 'Hell is Real'



Axe Ripper
Hell is Real
Hell City Records

Somewhere between the sounds of Metallica and Sabbath, you’ll find the guitar-shredding guttural sounds of local thrash and heavy metal band Axe Ripper. Last month, the Detroit natives released a brand new full-length album, Hell is Real, and trust me when I say that this album is more addicting than a can of Red Bull.
The five-member thrash and heavy metal crossover band formed back in 2010, and has released one other full-length album, Welcome to Detroit Destruction, back in 2012 and one other split album with Lockgnar last year, according to the Metal Archives.
The 10-song album starts off with the instrumental “Prelude” with an unmistakably heavy sound, but once lead vocalist Kenny Kiser kicks in with harsh vocals the tempo speeds up and the unmistakably heavy sounds turns distinctively thrash.
Honestly, at first listen it sounds like a one-and-done hit-it-and-quit-it album, but there’s something about it that will have you going back to it over and over.
These guys clearly know their shit because the quick riffs and intense beat coupled with the dark but totally relatable lyrical content, of the “fucked home life” in “Rot Into Eternity” or being “… the embodiment of everything that I despise” in “Art of Misery,” create a headbangable and pit-worthy sound.
Take that, and add a dash of the original in-house artwork on the cover by guitarist and vocalist Kyle Whitefoot, and there isn’t a chance that most metalheads won’t find this album visually attractive and aurally assaulting.
In addition, the production of the album was also pretty good, despite the fact that the drums are heavily outweighed by the guitar.
Otherwise, these guys are truly yet another example on why Detroit is the “rock city.” We expect to see a lot out of these up-and-coming thrashers.
Our only real complaint is that it’s over too soon.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.