The album title refers to the location of the album recording. The band recorded the album in "Hell", the darkest basement studio at Studio Faust Records run by Richard "Faust" Mader in Prague, Czech Republic. They made extensive use of Faust's vintage recording equipment from the late 1970s to achieve the atmosphere of the album.
This was Killing Joke's last studio album to feature bassist Paul Raven, who died in October 2007.
The cover artwork is taken from a painting by Russian artist Victor Safonkin entitled "Inhuman rearing". The artwork featured in the inside booklet is taken from "Society of Good Inventions and Hidden Aims" by the same painter.
The track "Hosannas from the Basements of Hell" was released as the album's first single, and reached umber 72 in the UK Singles Chart. The tracks "Invocation" and "Implosion" were also released as singles, both receiving radio air time, and were released on a promo single CD-R. Along with "Hosannas from the Basements of Hell", the single was labelled by Cooking Vinyl.
Hosannas from the Basements of Hell received near universal acclaim upon release. David Jeffries of AllMusic said "the Joke sound absolutely free and grand here, allowing songs to stretch well past the five-minute mark and just begging the detractors to have at it by sitting firm on their classic delivery", adding that "newcomers may find this all too much to take in, while old fans can cherish the band's most personal album as another victory." Adrien Begrand of PopMatters called the album "everything we’d ever want from a Killing Joke record" and "their finest album in well over a decade".
Keith Bergman, writer for Blabbermouth.net, described the album as "perfect post-millennial music, the sound of a world merrily driving itself off the deep end. Killing Joke are a primal scream of humanity drowning in a tsunami of man-made disorder, headed straight to Hell and laughing the whole way down, like Slim Pickens riding the A-bomb at the end of Dr. Strangelove. You won't find a more blown-out, wild-eyed freakout on the record store shelves any time soon."
Paul Brannigan, editor for Kerrang! magazine, argued "Out of step with the world they might well be, but Killing Joke's righteous frenzy still feels horribly necessary."