From the Depths Of Hell To The Gates Of Heaven
Released: 2010, Independent
Leo Biollo is a Canadian musician, and by the results of his first solo album, a proficient one at that! See, Biollo plays all the instruments on FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL TO THE GATES OF HEAVEN, right down to sequencing the drums. Playing everything yourself is typical of those misanthropic, basement-dwelling black metal acts, but it’s not often you get a one-man band doing what Biollo does – play heavy progressive thrash with a massive dose of ‘80s traditional metal.
As the album begins, it’s clear that Biollo is, musically, a child of the ‘80s – you won’t hear any influences on here newer than say, 1988. In fact, Biollo is quite obvious about wearing his influences on his sleeve – you’ll hear heaping doses of Megadeth’s earlier thrash style, some Metallica, and some creepy vocals and song structures that you would have heard on King Diamond’s ‘80s albums. At times, it’s almost too much, like the intro to “Return of Will” the openly apes Megadeth’s “In My Darkest Hour”. Lyrically, Biollo’s tale of seduction and redemption brings nothing new, but it’s serviceable.
Get past the influences though, and you will hear an album that is immensely enjoyable. Musically Biollo shines as he packs each of the seven songs chock full of riffy goodness. His guitar work is flawless, proven by as aggressive thrashers like “Desire to Rise” and “Killing the Demon”. Vocally, Biollo is nothing to write home about, but his gruff but clear vocals fit the dirty tone of his music. The finale, “The Gates of Heaven” throws everything into the mix over its 11+ minutes, really letting Biollo show off his soloing talents.
All in all, this is a great debut for Leo Biollo and shows a ton of future promise. His influences might be a bit too obvious, but so is his talent, and no matter what, FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL TO THE GATES OF HEAVEN is a damn fine thrash album. Recommended.