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Most people criticize this album for its Nu-Metal influences…that’s not the problem. The problem is those Slayerisms, which I will get to. This album has more of an industrial metal vibe to it like Fear Factory and Godflesh with trash elements then Nu-Metal. I do give the band credit for trying something new, god forbid that Slayer will ever experiment. The album’s overall tone is very dark and eerie. The artwork is messed up, in a good way. But here are the problems….
Jeff and Kerry’s solos, they have been playing the same dam solo since 1986. Does Slayer believe that melody is gay or something? Look at other extreme metal acts like Entombed, Dismember, & (old) Sepultura…they all have melodic solos in their songs. Is this some type of American thing? An acoustic guitar can actually sound pretty creepy when used right.
Tom’s vocals sound like Jerry the “King” Lawler from the WWE. Since 1994 Tom has performed in a rather comical high pitched scream, which sounds like you are watching a WWE match, with Jeff and Kerry going at it in the ring. I’m not a fan of vocal effects but that is one of the highlights of this album. Look at “In the Name of God,” the effects in the middle of the song fit the music better, than Tom’s normal vocals. The vocal effects on “Screaming from The Sky” give the album that industrial feel I was referring to. Songs like “Point” are ruined by the vocals. This song has so much potential before Tom starts singing. This album could have used some spoken word sections or audio clips to add to the atmosphere of the album.
The slower pace of this album is a highlight. Some of the heaviest metal albums come from slower paces. Ex, “Bitter Peace” is the best Slayer opening ever; it’s heavy and grabs your attention with a slow build up on guitars and drums. Nice drums fills and bass lingering in the back ground as the guitars drone off for a bit. This is only the first 1:32 seconds of the song…then goes into Slayer mode.
This album is downloadable at best. If you want a good Slayer album buy Show No Mercy or South of Heaven.