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

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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.

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