It's been a long long time since I've heard a metal album that's really impressed me. Somewhere after 1995 it seemed as though metal lost it's way and actually became too commercial for it's own good. Even death metal became commercialized and mainstream. As a result I lost faith in the genre, simply because it became a cliche of itself. Thankfully, not everyone who was around 15 years ago lost faith in the scene. Canadian Leo Biollo is one of those people who remembered how good the underground metal scene was back in the day and was determined to pay it tribute. As fate would have it, he's done just that with his debut album, From the Depths of Hell To The Gates of Heaven.
An autobiographical concept album, From the Depths of Hell To The Gates of Heavenis the best thrash album that was never recorded in 1990. This is an album that takes all the best elements of Iron Maiden, Testament, old Megadeth, Possessed, Exodus and throws them into the most violent mosh pit ever. From the Depths of Hell To The Gates of Heaven is a churning brutal album of riffs that roar like a freight train, blast beats that explode out of your speakers, and a heaviness that is only matched by a Terex truck. This is metal the way metal should be...brutal, heavy, and rich on imagery. From the Depths of Hell To The Gates of Heaven simply put, is one of the best metal album I've heard in years.
Telling the personal tale of Biollo from a metaphorical perspective the album is loaded with religious symbolism, good vs. evil, battles, mayhem, and chaos. Somehow it all relates back to its creator. It's truly impressive that Biollo, through it all, hangs on to his faith while still managing to write music that sounds like the hounds of hell escaping from the fires beneath. Biollo is an astonishing guitarist of all types and when you throw into the mix his songwriting skills you have one heck of a combination. The guy clearly knows his metal, knows his guitars, and knows how to write bone crunching songs. The proof is all over From the Depths of Hell To The Gates of Heaven as the album is a frantic, mind-blowing display of this guy's talent.
I can't really state how good this record is. If you've ever considered yourself a headbanger you will find this album 100% essential. This is the sound of the underground when it was still underground and Leo Biollo has paid it a tribute worthy of the scene that bore it.
Paul Zimmerman - First Coast News
In some cases, hailing an album as a return to the 80s might be something of a threat. Hailing a metal album as digging into the genre’s root years might also be taken as fighting words from some.
After all, the ‘80s had tons of bad pop, hair metal, glam ... the whole shebang that makes some people ashamed of the record collections they had 20 and 30 years ago.
Fear not, though, Biollo taps into the better side of ‘80s metal. In fact, listening to his self-described “progressive thrash metal,” one can’t help but summon thoughts of old Metallica and the glory days of Megadeth.
The music is fast and furious — heavy — but also melodic. The vocals are, technically, sung, but there’s a helluva snarl packed in Biollo’s pipes. Think Dave Mustaine only what Mustaine might have sounded like if his voice had a bit more balls and wasn’t as annoying (though Mustaine’s voice mostly worked for what he was doing — the guitar was the star of the show).
Biollo’s “From the Depths of Hell to the Gates of Heaven” is a one-man affair, with Biollo performing all vox, guitars and bass, as well as doing the sequenced drum beats.
Now, don’t run ... I’m sure I’ve given you plenty of reason to be gun shy. I mention a return to 80s and now I’m talking sequenced drums.
Well, I knew going into this CD that the drums were sequenced and I experienced a bit of trepidation, to be honest. I also was a bit worried about the whole aesthetic time travel thing (though secretly hopeful that it would, as it does, draw from the non-tainted well of 80s metallic styles).
My worries were unfounded, and so are yours.
Biollo delivers some muscular but sleek thrash metal in what seems to be a concept album that chronicles a spiritual journey from the dark to the light.
Yes, I think Biollo is a Christian metal artist. While even as a Christian I will agree that a lot of Christian music veers into triteness but the bulk of any triteness you’ll discover here is what you’d expect to find as part and parcel of metal’s conceits.
The spiritual imagery — if you don’t care to take the Christian imagery seriously or literally — can easily be appreciated symbolically, or even ignored if you simply wish to dig on the great metal work Biollo pulls off here.
Kristofer Upjohn - Pine Bluff Commercial
I just heard the AVGN cover and read around your site and stuff ...
THOU ART GAWD! You pretty much represent everything I'd wish to be. Talented, thinking music needs to be back at the roots where it actually meant something, to even musical influences. Dude, if I see your album in stores here one day, I swear I'll buy it like that. I freaking salute you.
T3HM3T4L - A Fan (Apr 8, 2009)
Youd be a fool not to love Leo's music. It come from within and released with pure intent. Love it man. Keep It Up!!!
Darren RibbiT Gladue - A Fan (Apr 8, 2009)
The time of great music has risen again.
ALL HAIL KING LEO!
Simon - A Fan (Oct 10, 2009)
You, Sir, are now my hero!! I have been a big fan of early 80s Thrash for
a while now, and I'm greatly disappointed with most of the "metal" music out today. However, when I ran across your cover of the AVGN Theme I was speechless. I don't think I blinked for several minutes after listening
to the pure awesome that was contained in that tribute video. I must have
replayed it a dozen times or so before finally checking out the link in
the video's description to your website. I then commenced the download of your cover and after that I listened to a few of your original pieces. I
was simply amazed at how 80s the music sounded. I'm very impressed with
the quality of your music and I wish you the greatest of luck in your
music career. Leo Biollo, you are a true musical hero!
Mike Ray - A Fan (Oct 11, 2009)
Great album.....A must have!
Steve Gladu - A Fan (Oct 18, 2009)