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Slayer is one of those bands you either love or hate. I happen to be someone who loves Slayer, I honestly can't say anything bad about them, even their album Undisputed Attitude is actually one I sometimes just jam out to. This is no exception. The main point around this album though is Slayer with a new drummer, Paul Bostaph, who honestly is much like the new drummer for Decapitated, but I'll get into that in a moment.
From a critical stand point, Slayer has always been considered the fastest in their field (at least of the Big 4 [Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer]). They still hold that honour in this album, but everything has become more extreme with riffing. Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman really out do themselves with their dual soloing and complex riffing. Tom Araya is still top notch with his bass work and vocals, though the constant screaming (particularly from Angel of Death) while on tour is just starting to show as he just seems more into barking than screaming. And Paul Bostaph, while a good drummer, he's nothing like Dave Lombardo. Paul Bostaph is like Krimh of Decapitated, where Vitek had style and could actually control a great beat, Krimh just shoves all that aside and blast beats. Same can be said for Paul, he tries to pull off Dave’s style but just can't seem to keep himself from just playing fast and not actually try to be good.
The songs on the album itself vary in style. A majority are thrash oriented, like Fictional Reality and Serenity in Murder. Some are a throw back to the old school punk that influenced Slayer like Circle of Beliefs and Sex. Murder. Art. And you can also feel a bit of groove in there as well, 213 and Divine Intervention being the two main ones that stick out here. Kerry King was good friends with Dimebag Darrell by this point, so it doesn't surprise me.
As said before, the guitar seems more technical now. Songs like Fictional Reality, Serenity in Murder and Mind Control just seem to be trying Kerry and Jeff's endurance a little too much, but it still pays off beautifully.
And as much as I rag on Paul Bostaph, he actually has a good piece of drumming going for him on Killing Fields, which actually has a good technical feel to it, kind of like Richard Christy.
And back to Tom. As said before, Tom's vocals still tear up ear drums with hate filled lyrics and he all around does a great job here. He also goes for easy going vocals in some songs, like Serenity in Murder, where he has a very foreboding sound to himself, sounding down right creepy and deranged. But in the end, it just starts to feel like he's straining a bit too hard on his voice.
All around, Divine Intervention still holds up strong and is absolutely awesome. I honestly can say that it's one of my top albums, right after Seasons in the Abyss, but that's another album. If you're a big fan of Slayer and don't own this album, well, then you are a complete idiot. Now go get it!