Written by Alex Stojanovic
To Hell & Back
Don't Get Mad...Get Even
Free Us All
Heavy Is The Crown
Walk With Me Forever
The Mark Of Cain
In The Hall Of The Hanging Serpents
Guilherme Miranda - Guitars & vocals
David Ellefson - Bass
Michal Lysejko - Drums
Since Ellefson is attached to the band, many expectations would be flying for it to sound like Megadeth, but it doesn't, which is a good thing to be honest. It's fresh territory for him, and it gives him the opportunity to let out his frustrations surrounding Dave Mustaine and his treatment of him. The first thing is people will notice (and probably won't be surprised by) is that just by some of the song titles, some of the lyrics are taking potshots at Mustaine and how he treated Ellefson, and it's quite clear on tracks like "Don't Get Mad...Get Even" and "Heavy Is The Crown". Another standout track in the first half is "Wicked Disdain". Guilherme's monstrous vocals combined with the thrashy riffs is a recipe for some headbanging goodness. The vocals give off a bit of a Deicide vibe. If you were blind-sided, you would almost think it was Glen Benton at the microphone.
While a super brutal record with tons of thrash and death metal grooves and riffs flying in every direction, the one track that takes a completely different path is "Walk With Me Forever", the album's sole ballad, which is also Ellefson's debut lead vocal performance on an album. For someone who was always known as the back-ups guy in the bands he's played with, it's quite surprising how good he is at leads. Some may say that a track like this on an album that is pretty brutal all the way through would stick out like a sore thumb and feel out of place, but to me, it's perfectly placed in the middle of the album because it acts like an intermission after the first round of brutality before the second round comes in. The second half also has its share of strong moments. "Mark Of Cain" delivers on the fronts of combining death metal and groove, while closer "Severance" is basically the intro of "To Hell & Back" with drums added.
Hearing David Ellefson in more of a death metal band of his own is something nobody really thought would've been possible, but here we are. To Hell & Back is a deliciously heavy and groovy listen with tons of muscle, even if some of the lyrics come across as kind of cheesy (i.e: "Don't Get Mad...Get Even").