Kerry King // Celestial Sanctuary // Live Review // The Electric Ballroom // London

When it comes to the Mount Rushmore of thrash metal guitarists Kerry King is well & truly up there. With the unfortunate final tour of Slayer’s career in 2019 we were all waiting with bated breath to see what KK would do next. With no hesitation he went straight into the studio to record his first solo album “From Hell I Rise”, now taking the album on tour with the very best of classic thrashers to complete his ultimate bass ass lineup.

Paul Bostaph (SLAYER), bassist Kyle Sanders (HELLYEAH), guitarist Phil Demmel (formerly of MACHINE HEAD) and Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL) round out KK’s live lineup, now with that list of musicians tonight’s gonna be one hell (awaits) of a night.

Opening tonight’s show is one of the best UK modern death metal bands Celestial Sanctuary. Coming off the back of their explosive set opening Downloads Dogtooth stage a few bands before these guys are firing on all cylinders.

Smashing out setlist staples such as “Rid the Gormless” plays nicely into the thrash metal crowd but being a tight, punishing death metal band it gave the audience a nice heavier attitude to bite into. As soon as their set started frontman & guitarist Thomas Cronin was already demanding a circle pit. Engaging the crowd that early on really shows the calibre of this phenomenal band & their ability to make any first-time listener or spectator a fan right from the first few minutes of the set.

Closing with one of their newest & might I say their most putrid track to date “Visions of Stagnant Blood” is pure chaos. Blastbeats a plenty from drummer James Burke who is an unstoppable machine & one of the fastest right hands in UK death metal Matt Adnett is really giving it 110% on this last one.  Celestial Sanctuary is really taking over the UK metal scene & I can’t wait to see what’s in store for these guys for the rest of the year!


Now for the main man Kerry F’ING King

Opening the set with the album’s intro “Diablo” really gets the crowd riddled up before smashing into “Where I Reign”. Where I personally enjoyed KKs album for its songwriting but felt the production let it down slightly, tonight’s live sound was fantastic & really packed a jaw breaking punch.

Mark Osegueda’s superb vocals are pitch perfect & cut through the heavy live sound & drummer Paul Bostaph is flawless as expected.

Toxic” brings the energy with this anthem style track, A huge chorus sees the crowd pumping their fist & singing along. It’s great to see that this quickly the band have been able to grab the audience with these new tracks. The solo section between King & Phil Demmel is utterly shredvile & is the icing on that classic trashy cake.

The first Slayer track of the evening “Repentless” fits perfectly within the newer material & just how much of a banger of a track it is. Even having me singing along with this one it’s great the band can do Slayers legacy justice. “Two Fists” is also a nice little break up of the setlist, a more punk hardcore track that would fit perfectly in the Black Flag catalogue gives the set a nice little tonal shift which a move only the real pros know how to pull off!

Getting to hear “At Dawn They Sleep” was a great surprise. A nice deeper cut from the early Slayer albums which is one of my favourites. Pulling no punches this track still has the balls & weight it did from when it was first written & hearing played by such seasoned musicians was a once in a lifetime experience.

Closing out the set with a “Raining Blood” & “Black Magic” medley before giving the fans one last new track “From Hell I Rise” was a nice way to celebrate KK’s past & still driving forward future. Alot of solo projects can fall flat but tonight Kerry showed that the legacy of over 40 years of hard work & helping to create the thing we know as thrash metal still burns inside him until the day he dies!

Review: Joseph Mitchell

Photography: Artur Tarczewski



26.06.2024 ES Viveiro – Resurrection Fest

27.06.2024 FR Clisson – Hellfest

28.06.2024 FI Helsinki – Tuska

29.06.2024 PT Lisbon – Evil Live Festival, Altice Arena



SLAYER’s co-founding guitarist, KERRY KING, is one of the most instantly recognizable and well-respected musicians in thrash/punk/metal, and over the past nearly-40-years, has pioneered some of the most brutal and revolutionary music ever created.  KING wrote or co-wrote some of SLAYER’s most beloved songs, including ‘Mandatory Suicide,’ ‘Repentless,’ ‘Hell Awaits,’ ‘Disciple’ and ‘Raining Blood.’  Known for his allegiance to the Raiders, his love of snakes and his taste for Jagermeister, KING is outspoken, opinionated and authentic to the core.  Metal flows in KING’s veins; he knows how to write what he writes and has no interest in changing that.  In perpetuity, KERRY KING is a self-proclaimed “metal kid.”

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