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It's not THAT bad - 65%

SufferingOverdue, June 21st, 2003

This album seems to get absolutely slaughtered by most but I think it's better than GHUA by far. The opening track Bitter Peace is one of my favourite ever Slayer songs, it just roars through at a hyper speed. The 2 that follow it, Death's Hand and Stain of Mind are also very good catchy metal songs. Overt Enemy and Perversions of Pain are where things begin to take a nosedive, however these are 2 satisfactory songs. After that we enter the 12 minutes of shit. Love to Hate could be passed off as listenable filler, but Desire and In The Name Of God are both terrible. They're not particularly fast...infact they aren't fast and I'm really not sure what they were trying to achieve with these songs, they sound quite alot like Slipknot worship but I'd hesitate to call them nu metal. Scrum is where things pick back up, a fast paced track that is very welcome after the two abortions before it. Screaming For the Sky is more listenable filler, Wicked is just too long and is very boring, and the final track on the album, Point, is fast and aggressive, just like Slayer SHOULD be.

Overall this album is pretty much Slayer's worst album in many people's eyes, but personally I think a fair bit of it ranges from good (Death's Hand, Overt Enemy) to GREAT (Bitter Peace, Point). Basically if they took off Desire, In The Name Of God and Wicked it'd make the album a fair bit better. Love to Hate and Screaming From The Sky are basically 2 filler songs, but they sound good enough to keep the mood of the album.

Musically Slayer all play pretty well. Tom Araya does sound alot more of a hardcore vocalist these days, but Paul puts out one fantastic drum performance when the pace picks up. The riffs are great, groove driven mostly, and Hannemann handles them well. Kerry King's solos, as ever, sound like a dial up modem and he really adds nothing to the band. Overall though, this is a decent album, I'd recommend buying it if you see it used for cheap purely because the first 3 and the last track are very good indeed.