For 25 years now UK band Killing Joke has been an influential force in the music scene. Ranging from post-punk rock to heavy metal to a modern mix of metal/new wave they have released over ten albums during their eminent career. With each album possessing stylistically different qualities than the previous, Killing Joke have once again proven their ability for diversity with their latest offering Hosannas From the Basements of HELL.


Hosannas is a 9-track growl-fest with all tracks bar one lasting over the 5-minute mark. This actually gives the listener the opportunity to enjoy some rather skillful instrumental work that encompasses the not so enjoyable vocal work. I have never been a big fan of the deep-throated growling that has made its way into this style of music and that is why I can say that I only really found a few tracks enjoyable on this album.


The tracks 'Invocation' and 'Gratitude' are sung in such a way as to imply chanting. I found this chant-like style of singing to be quite interesting and in the case of 'Invocation', the addition of a strings arrangement and tribal sounding drumbeats made it a very interesting song to listen to. In fact I guess you could say it was the standout track on the album for me.


When a certain aspect of a song or album doesn't appeal to your senses it allows you to either give up on listening to it or view the music from another angle. (I like to be fair and try to find some good in all albums I review – God knows I couldn't do any better). I have always been one to notice and appreciate vocals first and foremost and in this case I chose to tune out the vocals and concentrate more on the instruments. To be honest vocals do not make up a huge portion of these tracks anyway. It seems the epic length tracks are only lightly interspersed with vocals and that they take a back seat to the music.


This album is a mélange of heavily distorted guitars, drums ranging from medium paced to fast (almost dance-like) paced beats, strings, heavy bass, keyboards and synthesizers. I actually quite liked most of the music on this album and I even got a smile from track 5 'Majestic' with its Pommy vocals that stick out like dog's…well you know.

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