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Ah man, even my favorite band is guilty of having a dud or two in their discography. God Hates Us All was released on September 11, 2001 (how fitting ay?), and upon release, the press was hyping this record up as a return to form after the snooze-fest otherwise known as Diabolus In Musica was released. Now to me personally, this isn't the worst album in Slayer's discography, but I'd also be lying if it were my favorite Slayer album. In fact, this just BARELY passes Diabolus as far as which album I like the least from this band.
My biggest complaint I have with this album is the production, because HOLY SHIT DOES THIS ALBUM SOUND LIKE ABSOLUTE SHIT! Gone are the great production values we've become accustomed to thanks to albums such as Reign In Blood, South Of Heaven, Seasons In The Abyss, etc. Hell even Divine Intervention sounds better than this album, and that's saying something. I don't know what Slayer were going for when it came time to the mixing, but my god....It's hard to describe but I'll do my best. Imagine Death Magnetic, without the compression and clipping, but THREE TIMES AS LOUD! Seriously, the vocals are pushed to extremely loud volumes which means we're forced to hear every word Tom Araya is singing on this album, which is never a bad thing mind you, but it causes the album to get on your nerves after a while, especially with how little melody is found on this record, as opposed to just loud, in your face screaming. Also, the instrumentation isn't much better, as the drums sound extremely thin, to the point where it feels as though they're not there at times, although that's okay, because somebody had the brilliant idea to push the guitars to loudness war levels at times with this goddamn record. Yes, it's that bad. Don't believe me, listen to Bloodline and Deviance for a good idea for what I'm talking about.
Now the songs themselves aren't bad, but the problem is that a lot of them (including the good ones) aren't anything that stand out as amazing or even memorable (except Disciple, New Faith (but for all the wrong reasons), Exile, and Seven Faces). This is clearly Slayer at the bottom of the barrel as far as material goes, and it really shows in the album's overall sound. This album doesn't know if it wants to be an all out thrasher like Reign In Blood, or continue the path of the groovy br0000tal sound found on Diabolus In Musica. There's a reason the band only really plays Disciple at their live shows, because looking back, it's easy to see that effort was put into these songs, it's just that they don't feel complete, or the instrumentation feels out of place with what the boys were trying to convey through the song's lyrical meaning.
Now I have to address this album's lyrics, I noticed that Kerry King wrote a lot of the lyrics found on here, but I just wanna know, what the fuck were you thinking when you write a line like, "I keep the bible in a pool of blood so that none of it's lies can affect me"? That doesn't sound edgy at all, if anything when you hear it, it makes you really wanna facepalm really hard while cringing. Kerry CAN write good songs, so I really don't know what happened here. Trust me people, it doesn't get much better from here, as the rest of the album has plenty of other cringe worthy lyrics. I'm not gonna bother giving more examples, you just need to read some of the lyrics written on this turd and you'll see what I mean.
Overall, while a big step up from Diabolus In Musica, Slayer still needed to get their heads out of their asses if they wanted to restore what little credibility they had left at this point. Thankfully, since Christ Illusion, the band have focused on writing more material that's worth of praise, rather than material that's worthy of facepalms and a lot of cringes. Oh well, no band is perfect, so at least they learned from their mistakes and didn't continue down on the path they were on.
...makes us stronger, but honestly, I have never felt a new strength after listening to this output. "God Hates Us All" is a fitting title. Nobody can say any longer that he loves us, because exactly 15 years ago, he did not prevent the release of this miserable work that begged for the deceptive love of the zeitgeist. In 2001, self-respect and integrity seemed to be foreign words for Slayer. The musicians kowtowed to people who had never been interested in their first albums. How embarrassing for a band with a once legendary status.
Already the first track after the nonsensical intro points out that Slayer have taken a dangerous route. Instead of returning to the pure form of thrash, the music that made them great and simultaneously the music that they made great, the dudes meander between some old-school riffs, then modern tones and annoying breaks that kill the atmosphere, the power and the coherence of the song. These breaks seem to be an end in itself, but the truth is even worse. They are Slayer's tool in order to gain new customer groups and this blatantly obvious strategy sucks. "God Send Death", actually a good track, implodes completely after two minutes because of a moronic break and the following robot-like vocals. Tracks like "New Faith" share the destiny of "God Send Death". Slayer ruin their own compositions with instinctive certainty.
Of course, everybody has the right to modify the style of his music. Yet it is always an advantage to change your mindset on a step-by-step basis. But Slayer, slightly megalomaniac, do not respect the basics. They behave like a little defiant child who leaves home without knowing what comes next. Another example: "Exile". Its opening riffs remind me of "Chemical Warfare" and I therefore hope to see the light at the end of tunnel. Forgive me for being a fool, the solo section with its strange tones destroys the tune from within. However, to comment the single songs disguises the overall impression. All these staccato parts on the one hand and the groove elements on the other hand shit on the rare old school moments. Not to mention the lameness of flops such as "Deviance". Cool numbness has replaced demonic power. Is this really Slayer or is it another band with Araya on vocals? By the way, it is an extremely monotonous performance of the most Catholic thrash singer of all times. Scientists report that the charisma of his voice was on vacation during the recordings.
No, the album did not come as a bad surprise. Already "Diabolus in Musica" had indicated that Slayer had left its successful course. My only hope was that this album remained an isolated case, an experiment gone wrong. "God Hates Us All" proved the opposite. The continuing downward spiral reached shocking proportions. Only the more or less flawless production does not show signs of weakness and, almost unbelievable, the last track of the album shows the real Slayer. An ironic twist of fate? However, this album deserves a severe judgement. One could write many more lines about the nerve-shattering and torn songs that it holds, but exceptionally I have better things to do. I need a therapeutic treatment. Where is my copy of "Show No Mercy"?
If you were to listen to Slayer fans today, God Hates Us All, released on September 11, 2001, was the real terrorist attack that day, ravaging the twin towers of old-school thrash and new-school groove. And while thousands of people didn’t lose their lives with this release, Slayer fans died on the inside, knowing that their beloved band was on a path to ruin.
But is God Hates Us All all that bad? My personal answer is no. So it’s not Reign in Blood, I’ll grant it that much, but the sheer anger and hatred spewing out of Araya’s mouth and through some of the riffing is ripe enough for me to stand up and acknowledge that there is some ferocity here, and the energy of the music can pump up my inflatable girlfriend. I can understand that this is not for everyone, and I can also see where Slayer fans of old might point an accusing finger at this, since it is in some ways a departure from the pure thrash roots they pioneered many years prior.
For one thing, this is a highly vocal-centric album. Sure, the riffs are there, but the main focus point is Araya’s yelling vocals. They are loud and inescapable. Good thing is that I don’t mind, and his clear diction means I can yell along with him. Everyone knows his proclivity for the F-word, so I find this album in particular a good release of curse words when I’m in that mood and I feel like swearing at my laptop screen. Slayer lyrics have been a mixed bag by critics, and I doubt this one will change that viewpoint. Songs such as “Exile” and, more obviously “Payback” utilise Slayer’s favourite four-letter word, while others like “Deviance” have none, so there’s some kind of balance there, if that makes any difference.
The thrash influence is still there, but they’ve grooved it up. The opening riff of “Cast Down” shows this – half-thrash, half-groove riffs before the mid-paced main riff enters afterwards. God Hates Us All is full of these sorts of riffs, for better or worse. Some cool solos are littered around the place, like in “Disciple” and “Exile.” They’re not mind-blowing, but I think they fit in where they go. As a thrash record, there’s probably not enough for fans to cling on to, which likely contributes to the poor reception God Hates Us All receives. For what it’s worth, the included solos are good and are well placed. Bostaph’s drumming is loud – much louder than the guitars – and overpowers everything except the vocals. It’s a shame due to the fact that some of the riffing here is worthy of centre stage. That might be difficult to comprehend for those that pine for the 80’s material, but personally that would’ve been beneficial here.
Their schtick here is anger, groove, and mid-paced thrash. The frustrating thing is that it works sometimes, and other times it doesn’t. “God Send Death” is much too slow. It’s slightly meandering and needed some more speed to it. Perhaps the fact that it’s sandwiched between two much better tracks doesn’t help its cause, but I feel if it was faster, I would’ve enjoyed it more. “Bloodline” is the weakest song here, due to, again, how slow it is, the weak lyrics, and the lazy riffs. It relinquishes the energy created by a bunch of songs created before it. “Deviance” continues this sort of blasé song writing. The vocals are not as menacing, the clean guitars in the background don’t particularly fit, and the song is overall too tiring.
On the other hand, the same formula works when the vocals are pissed and the music is even just slightly sped up. Everything from “New Faith” to “Exile” are great songs. They might not be thrashy, but the power is in Araya’s lyrics and vocals. “War Zone” is the fastest song on offer here and I can’t help but scream “WAR ZOOOONE! WAR ZOOOONE!” when it pummels me. Similarly, “Payback” might be the least ambiguous song of the lot, but it’s a really fun song to listen to, especially when I’m pissed off. The Slayer formula with these songs absolutely works, and for these reasons does not deserve its unrelenting scorn.
It does deserve some criticism, though. The first half is ultimately superior; only “God Send Death” is weak in the first seven tracks, but after that only “War Zone” and “Payback” are really worth it. There’s many good points here, deserving much more praise than given, but there’s other parts where the same formula misses. Ultimately, though, God Hates Us All is a vocally-based album with less importance on the riffs themselves, and more upon the emotion evoked through the music as a whole (mostly anger, obviously). Not for everyone, but I can get behind some of the hate here.
Payback’s a bitch, motherfucker!
Do you like Show No Mercy? Hell Awaits? Reign In Blood? Are you a die-hard fan of the early and more evil side of Slayer that was pretty much just straight forward thrash metal that also bordered on the lines of speed metal? Do small changes in a band's sound for an album or two irk you? If all of your answers to those questions were "yes", then God Hates Us All might not be for you. From what I've noticed, this album seems to be one of those "Love it or hate it" affairs. One could love it for how angry/raw the music sounds and just how heavy everything overall is, or one could hate it for those exact reasons because maybe one didn't expect Slayer from the early 80's to descend into groove metal territory and writing lyrics as simplistic and arguably juvenile in songs like Payback and Exile. I can understand the hate side, but as a huge Slayer fan, I've come to appreciate all of their albums (Yes, even Diabolus In Musica) for different reasons.
I love early Slayer for their stripped down approach to dark thrash. The riffs were killer, the music was fast as hell, and Tom's screams were enough to make a grown man shiver. With God Hates Us All, Slayer has mostly stripped away the fast music that we heard in their first 3 albums, although there are some speedy songs here and there. Instead of straight forward thrash, we have more of a groovy thrash record. Some songs go straight for thrash (Payback, War Zone), some go for groove (Here Comes The Pain, Bloodline), and others manage to mix them together (God Send Death, New Faith). It reminds me of Pantera's Vulgar Display Of Power in how both genres are thrown in, and also just how raw everything sounds. I can understand people wanting evil Slayer over angry Slayer, but I really do dig the vibes on this album. I personally really dig the groovy riffage, as they make the songs more catchy and memorable as opposed to just being fast as hell, which can be fun to listen to but it can get a little tiring after a while. I see it as a breath of fresh air for the band, but that's just me.
Now if you're just in it for heavy music and you're not nit-picky about genres, then I can assure you that you will probably really dig this record, for I think it's definitely Slayer's heaviest outing. The distortion of the guitars is what really lends this album the rawness that makes it so distinguishable, and Tom's shouted vocals, which also seems to split fans, make the music sound just downright pissed off. The lyrics, for better or worse, are pretty damn mad at times but you could argue that other bands have done it better. Songs like Payback and War Zone, although are damn solid for me, aren't very creative in the lyrics department and just seem to be angry for the sake of being angry. Then again, when you have an album titled God Hates Us All, you shouldn't really expect brilliant lyricism.
While God Hates Us All isn't the strongest piece of music that Slayer has done, I don't think it's bad at all. Even as someone who isn't into groove metal, I can really dig the riffs and playing on this album. It's a different kind of Slayer, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It's not like they decided to become less heavy, so props to the band for doing something different but also keeping their legacy of making aggressive music intact. Aside from Deviance being a somewhat forgettable song, everything else ranges from good to very memorable for me. The collector's edition is also worth checking out for the bonus tracks.
Some people always compare the new Slayer to the old and are then upset if the new album sounds nothing like Reign In Blood. But if Slayer would have recorded Reign In Blood over and over again, people would be complaining that they do not evolve their sound. So I try to see "God Hates Us All" independent from the old Slayer records.
First off, the album is not too bad. There are those angry-as-fuck vocals by Tom Araya, who screams on the top of his lungs. His tone can get a little annoying over time because there is little variation, but if you've heard other 2000s Slayer, you know what to expect. The drumming is one of the high points of the album. Paul Bostaph isn't quite as creative and powerful as Dave, but he throws in more than most others do in thrash metal. His drumming is tight with fluid fills and lots of short double bass accents. So you could say he is doing the most he could do while staying in the restrictions of regular thrash metal. Unfortunately, the album lacks the probably most important aspect of a thrash recording: riffs. Yes, there are a lot of different riffs, but most of them are simply not memorable at all. They just fly by leaving me unimpressed. Lots of expressionless chugging, some badly composed and uneffectful melodies, many notes for nothing. Though, the few good riffs are capable of creating a nice "fuck yeah"-atmosphere you can perfectly bang your head to. Examples: Exile and Payback
The solo work is just 'as usual' regarding Slayer. Kerry's solos are mostly noisy and not very appealing to me, while Jeff's solos maintain some melody and point to them. You won't find his greatest works here, but as there are very few solos anyway, I'm not bothering too much.
The compositions itself are, just like the riffs, quite uninspired. Most songs start with a rather mediocre groovy thrash riff, then the other instruments join, then the vocals... you know it. It's nothing we haven't heard somewhere else yet. Probably the most exotic composition is Seven Faces. From the thin and spacey guitar intro over the groovy chugging riff to the powerful chorus with the slow riffs in contrast to the double bass drumming underneath, the song manages to be one of the very few outbreaks from the pattern. Tom sounds really insane in some parts (not insane as in insanely good but just really twisted).
The lyrics are about aggression, religion, murders, etc., quite generic and those kind of lyrics that aren't painfully bad but not nearly interesting enough to read them twice or even memorize them. Similar is the production: Compressed, loud, aggressive but somehow shallow. The bass guitar is inaudible as so often, the guitars are heavily distorted but have little grip to them. A typical 'modern' sound that isn't offensively bad, but also has little character and distinction to it.
So "God Hates Us All" isn't terrible, but it's not good either. Uninspired riffs and compositions on the one hand, well executed drumming and a pissed off and "moshable" atmosphere on the other hand. If you are a big Slayer fan or like modern thrash/groove metal (that's what I would call it), then enjoy this very angry Slayer record. But to all the other metal-heads: You don't need this. This has probably been done better by other bands.
Don’t you love Christmas? It’s the most joyous holiday of the year, a great feast of colorful lights and hymnal singing and everything else that is completely the opposite of what Heavy Metal is about. As a metal fan, though, it is my duty to spread my own perverse version of the Christmas cheer by exorcising my demons. And what better way to do that than by reviewing the pile of hardcore fucking swill that is Slayer’s God Hates Us All?
I checked this out during a Slayer binge, thinking ‘no, it can’t be THAT bad! I like Slayer’s formula of angry, scribbled-lines-on-paper Thrash!’ Well, fuck, I’m wrong again, and that’s why I’m paying the price. God Hates Us All is a painfully enervated, lifeless release, especially in the ironic context of the fact that the band are clearly trying so hard to create something angry and full of emotion. They didn’t. What is there to gain from this? A bucketload of misanthropy with some teenage religious doubts on the side? That sounds like fun to me, note the sarcasm.
So yeah, this album is just full of wonderfully un-metal riffs, one-dimensional vocal diarrhea and that awful modern rhythmic fuzz that makes it sound so…contemporary. There’s nothing on here that even slightly resembles entertainment or metal. The guitars are laughably restrained, as even Kerry King’s paint-splatter solos are not quite as outrageous as usual, and the riffs are all hardcore bullshit without any real power to them. Tom Araya’s vocals are strained and shouty as he constipates his way through about fourteen tracks of monotonous, dicrectionless nu-metal irrelevancy without any shame. Truly, the songs on here are the antithesis of entertainment, with their overly serious, macho posturing – how can anyone take this seriously at all? Lyrics are laughable too, mostly just juvenile raving and ranting that you’d expect more readily from an online blog or the mind of a twenty seven year old living with his parents trying to be ‘dark.’ Pfft, I’m more intimidated by the fact that there are people actually defending this album!
The songs range from boring, try-hard bursts of immature aggression like “Cast Down,” the awful “Threshold” and the annoying “War Zone” to faux-catchy nu-metal stinkbombs like “Seven Faces” and the atrocious distorted layering of “Deviance.” “Here Comes the Pain” has riffs that resemble the rumbling of a hungry stomach, and “Payback” has swearing like Tom just stubbed his toe and burned his hand on a hot stove…at the same time.
I would usually come up with something a little cleverer, but this isn’t that kind of album. God Hates Us All is an album that renders itself unmemorable and weak by a lack of any kind of aggression or drive. The songs here are just too vocal-centered; that’s what it is. I mean, what the hell kind of asshole ever wanted to hear a Slayer album with no metal riffs that just focused on the vocals? That’s probably the worst idea I’ve heard in a while. Pure comedic flop. And that goes double for this album as a whole. What a load of coal droppings.
There are two kinds of jokes in this world, ones that inspire laughter and ones the cause either a sigh or a very awkward silence. The latter can occur through either a really poor delivery, by touching upon a really offensive topic and not handling it with any level of grace or intrigue, or by trying to guise incoherence as humor. I’d say that “God Hates Us All” is unique that it actually does all 3 in varying degrees, making it among the more auspicious failures that buried the Big 4 in the mid 90s to early 2000s like a mountain of decrepit crud.
Unlike Anthrax, who still maintained some semblance of traditional heavy metal within the abject inferiority of their groove metal releases, Slayer has basically embraced the popular concept of nu-metal/mallcore here and attempted to merge it with some remnants of their older Thrash style. The result is an oversized collection of confused songs that somehow manage to be both boring and completely unpredictable at the same time. About the only thing positive I can say about this is that the drumming is pretty well done, which leaves basically everything else on here at varying altitudes within the rotten modern music shitter.
It’s tough to say which is more annoying on here, the slightly more restrained variant on Phil Anselmo’s “Vulgar Display Of Power”, pseudo-tough guy shouts with a hint of rap influences, or the stagnant guitar lines that wander back and forth between tired early 90s thrash clichés and 2 note groove bloopers. This sort of stylistic cognitive dissonance infects most of the better songs on here like “Disciple” and “God Send Death”, which attempt to kick into a thrash break at points yet only succeed at being a faster version of the Pantera worship going on during the groove sections. By even the most primitive of speed/thrash standards, these songs are extremely redundant, not to mention loaded with uninteresting and unmemorable ideas.
Often any semblance of trying to fake the Thrash style is absent and the most disturbingly awful of mid-tempo, 3 note chug-a-chug-chugging ensues like an army of mask toting nu-metal drag queens. “Threshold” and “Here Comes The Pain” could well go down in history as the most ridiculously groovy and boring songs ever to be put out by a formerly respectable band, mimicking various ideas that you’d sooner hear out of The Deftones or Limp Bizkit than any serious metal band. If the lack of interesting riffs and the really sludgy and sloppy sounding guitar tone don’t immediately drive you away, Araya’s stupid rhythmic vocal antics will probably homeboy you to death in a single listening.
God and Satan have finally found something that they can agree on, they hate this album, as should any self-respecting fan of this band who loved the pioneering thrash staples that were “Show No Mercy” and “Hell Awaits”. I can see some nu-metal scene kids lapping this up like crazy and bragging to their friends about how many guitar solos there are on here, but other than that this doesn’t have any sort of intended audience. I’m sort of stuck between whether I should sigh at this or just silently go about my business as if it doesn’t exist whenever someone mentions this album in a conversation, but unlike Jehovah and Lucifer, I have more important things to do than spending my days hating this album, not to mention that unlike them I don’t have an eternity of time to waste on such things.
Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on May 2, 2009.
Let's pretend this never happened, shall we? We'll pretend this was a bad dream and we'll put Hell Awaits on repeat like the good well intentioned metalheads we are.
Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. God Hates Us All is real, and nothing screams "SLIPKNOT RIP" quite like this. For starters, the name of the album is a ripoff of how Slipknot fans call themselves maggots; i.e., hated ones. Of course it's all pretentious, since we all know the oodles of spondulicks both bands make would suggest otherwise. Sure, GHUA puts on a veneer of violence and intimidation, much like a random middle finger thrown by a bunch of joyriding teens at the crossing guard. Intended to display a rude statement of anger, but falling quite short.
Music that's meant to intimidate never did well in my books, because we all know that the stereotypical metalhead can't be intimidated. I don't mind swearing in music, but swearing for swearing's sake as is done on songs like Exile and Payback comes off as fake as a plastic grille on a cheap mid-80's oldsmobile or plastic sunglasses at a ZZ top concert. Fake, fake, fake, fake. Sure, there are a couple passable songs here, like God Send Death, but nothing even close to the greatness of their early 80's work. The halfway distorted vocals sound mallcore as hell, as well. There's a way to do distorted vocals right (listen to Burzum's Filosofem) and there's a wrong way to do them. God Hates Us All qualifies as the wrong way of doing them.
Everybody knows metal doesn't quite take itself seriously, and it's laughable when metal bands try to get people to take them seriously, as is done here. Making threats to your listeners via the lyrics will always sound silly and ridiculous. We all know you're not gonna smash our heads in, so why the pretentiousness?
Of course you can't completely condemn an album based off of the vocals/lyrics alone. For a "metal" album to suck (I use the term loosely here) you need terrible guitar riffs, and God Hates Us All has no dearth of terrible riffs. For instance, the main riff of Bloodline is the kind of shit that guitarists in their first few months of playing come up with. Shit like 0-0-0-0-3-3-3-3-2-2-2-2-1-1-1-1 is pure mallcore tripe, no matter how you phrase it, and the fact that GHUA is all slowed down "groove" abominations of riffs as opposed to the swift material of yesteryear doesn't help this one bit. Hanneman and co. must have been suffering from a severe lack of inspiration, because I am completely confounded as to how you can come up with worse shit than this. It's all restrained, low-intensity material here. Nothing like the real necksnappers on their first few albums.
What's really sad here is that Slayer were never really that great. Their supposed milestone, Reign In Blood, was merely a streamlined commercial approach to the more violent approaches to thrash, yet God Hates Us All makes Reign In Blood seem like the greatest thrash masterpiece ever by comparison. Yes, God Hates Us All is really that terrible. And the repeated Slipknot comparisons that have been made are not unfounded at all; Kerry King has stated repeatedly that he likes Slipknot and views them as a modern-day influence. Of course, King has backed off from making such statements as of late because it is no longer popular to be a $lipknot ripoff.
So let's pretend this was a bad dream that never happened, shall we? I'm willing to forgive Slayer, only if they completely abandon this direction. A miscarriage of the highest degree, a real faux paus of metal, and an utter abomination, God Hates Us All will be forever remembered as Slayer's legendary false step, a permanent dent in their credibility.
I can't believe this is the same band that recorded "Raining Blood," one of the greatest metal songs of all time. I'd heard this album was bad, but I bought it anyway, because after all - it's Slayer, how bad can it be? Well, really bad, actually. It's not St. Anger bad, but it's pretty damn close.
What really kills me is that it actually starts fairly promisingly. The intro is completely worthless (I don't mind intros if they're done right, but this one definitely is not), but then comes "Disciple," which actually serves up a healthy dose of ass-kickery. The opening riff is catchy, and the others in the song are pretty good as well, especially the one at about 1:29, immediately after the solo. Tom Araya's distorted vocals sound pretty shitty, but they're tolerable in the context of the rest of the song.
"Disciple" annihilates everything in its path until the 2:50 mark. Then, without warning, it stops. You hear feedback. At this point, I think, Slayer decided to leave the studio. They hired a handful of bums off the street to play the instruments, and brought in the guy from Slipknot to do vocals (they figured no one would notice because Tom had done such a good job of sounding like him up to this point). During those few seconds of feedback, the band handed off their instruments and went on vacation, figuring that they'd let the bums and the guy with the mask finish the album and then come back to collect royalties.
That's the only way I can account for how much the rest of this album sucks. After the transition, "Disciple" goes on for about another 45 seconds, but at a much slower pace, driven by a single riff that sounds absolutely nothing like the rest of the song. After that, it just gets worse. Not a single song is memorable, none of the riffs are good, and all we're left with is shitty musicianship, shitty songwriting, shitty vocals, and shitty lyrics. Seriously, not only did they apparently bring in the Slipknot guy to do vocals, it seems they also let him write the lyrics. And if that's not the case, explain this: "I need to vent - let me tell you why/I'm suicidal, maniacal, self-destructive /You leave me no hope, no life /Nothing worth living for."
You need to vent? Nobody cares. Kill yourself.
Anyway, there are actually 11 more songs after "Disciple," but it feels like one long one. It's just sound. Chugga-chugga "I hate my life" chug-clunk. Weak solo. Chug. "I hate you and I hate everything." On. And on. And on. And on. By the time you get to the fifth track, you just want to put them out of their misery. By the tenth, you want someone to put you out of YOUR misery. If you can make it all the way through the album, all you're left with is the realization that you could have spent the last 40 minutes beating your head against a wall and enjoyed it a lot more.
Bottom line: don't do this to yourself. It's not good, it's not even catchy. Slayer's subsequent album, while mediocre by their standards, is much better than this pile of refuse. Download "Disciple" and leave it at that, because there's absolutely nothing else on this album worth hearing. If you doubt me and think you might want to try the whole album, listen to that last 45 seconds of "Disciple" and try to imagine an entire album of that. If the very idea doesn't make you nauseous, you might actually enjoy this album - in which case there's probably something wrong with you.
Well I’ve been to hell and back with this recording. Though it wasn’t the first true metal recording I ever bought, it was the first recording I ever bought by a true metal band, and at the time, I loved it, as it would do to wean me off the Coal Chamber and Skinlab that was making up the bulk of my CD collection. Then I went to the next stage of metal and attempted to hate it, to try and be true and grim and a sheep to be accepted by the metal community. But after taking what I feel is a maturer look at metal, I felt a need to review this because of some opinions that I see, which I feel are way too unkind to the album, because a prelude to St. Anger, this is not. Let’s also get out of the way, the fact that I won’t compare this to “Diabolus in Musica”, on account of not having actually listened to the album.
I believe that most of the loathing towards this album is because people can’t accept that Slayer changed on this album. In addition to this, the fact that Tom Araya is a Catholic seems to have only kicked up a fuss since an interview, we all know he said “God doesn’t hate, he loves all, but GHUA is a cool title” – let it go guys! The first sign of the band branching out from their tried and true style was what we heard on “Divine Intervention” seven years earlier, when the music was still thrashy as hell, but the lyrics were almost ripped straight out of a punk album. Yes, admittedly in spite of the positive change, there is some absolute equine faeces which should have never made it onto the album, such as “War Zone”, riddled with filler riffs, irritating vocals, and all the rest. Much anger and hatred is on the album, and it’s no secret that Kerry King, who wrote a fair proportion of the music and lyrics to “God Hates Us All”, was inspired by Slipknot and Chaimara at the time. But looking deeper, the lyrics in particular are, for the most part, a lot less juvenile than they are given credit for, and the riffs are much more technical and better thought out than the 1-finger chords, but I’ll get more into that later.
Another major difference is that gone are the days of “thrash from beginning to end”. Mid paced and slower parts are scattered throughout the CD. An example of this is “Seven Faces”, which kicks off with an intro reminiscent of the quite spooky verses from Divine Intervention’s “Serenity In Murder”. Said song has some quite well written lyrics too.
Tom’s vocals sound as good as ever. His tone is excellent, very high-pitched and as full sounding as they ever were, with no cracks or squeaks or anything close to signs of wear and tear on the old man. His lung capacity is also great, even more so for somebody of his age – have a listen to “Payback”, one of the faster efforts on the album. Although the lyrics themselves aren’t great, the vocal patterns are as complex as hell, and just you try singing along to it – see if you don’t skip lines to draw breath.
Drums also. Whatever you say about Paul Bostaph, the harsh reality is that he actually kicks Dave Lombardo’s arse in every aspect of technicality and competence. The difference is that he is sometimes too technical for his own good, and some of the fills and such, though extremely hard to pull off I imagine, just seem a little bit overdone for the music, when on occasions, something simpler would have sufficed. Still, it’s better to have too much than too little, and the occasions where Lombardo simply could not have been physically able to keep up and Bostaph pulls off with precision, outweights the bad.
“God Hates Us All” has a production job that’s extremely different to previous efforts. The treble is mixed very high on the album, which is a little odd considering the string section tuned down to lower notes than the traditional D# (including as low as A# on a couple of songs). Although the treble stands out most and thus, is what catches your ear, the bottom end is still fairly well done and provides enough heaviness to satisfy.
A sad downside to the recording is that there is a fairly tragic lack of guitar solos on the album. And when there are some, they are pretty much what we dislike about Kirk Hammett – just an excuse to noodle around on the wah pedal, wasting the evident shredding capacity of two great guitarists, even if they think by a “scale”, that means the thing you weigh yourself upon. The hatred of scales and arpeggios is how we always liked Slayer, and unlike something where a solo wouldn’t fit the style of music, I can imagine solos, or in some cases, much better solos, really suiting the music here.
So it’s a different Slayer, rather than a bad one, that churned out God Hates Us All. This is not for thrash purists, nor for somebody looking to get into the cream of the crop of what the group is famous for. This is for somebody that doesn’t mind trying different things, and can listen to music with an open mind. If you think you fall into either of the latter categories, give this a try and don’t expect some feeble attempt at dragging thrash into the 21st century. It’s the songs that branch out and stray far from the traditional ad well-known style of the band, like “Seven Faces” and “Bloodline”, that bring the album home.
Before I can review this album, I believe it is necessary to give you some background on how I came to listen to this album. The year was 2004 and I was just stopping to listen to mallcore. At the time a band which was receiving much kudos was Slayer. I had listened to a few songs and thought they were OK. I then decided I'd ask my friend if I could burrow a Slayer album, to see if I liked them or not. He gave me this...
...and does it blow or what? In its entirety, the album has one and a half good songs. That's right one and a half. The good song is Disciple. This song is an awesome thrash song which features blood curdling screams, fast and aggressive riffing and fast and interesting drumming. Needless to say, it is easily the best song on the album.
New Faith is a song which is the song which is half good and half total shit. For the first minute and a half, the song seems like it's going to be good, but then the music stops and Araya starts screaming. When the music starts up again Araya's voice starts to strain and the vocals REALLY start to become annoying. The drumming becomes boring and slow and the riffs become shitty and boring, in vein with bands such as Slipknot.
As for the rest of the album, it just flat out sucks. Araya's vocals are straining (perhaps he was getting a little bit too old for this sort of thing...) the drumming is really boring and there is no flares of skill which might captivate the listener. The guitars also suck, as implied before, the riffs throughout the most part of the album sound as if a member from a mallcore band decided to compose the riffs and as we all know, mallcore sucks by default. So it's not surprising that the riffs bored the shit out of me.
I think the lyrics are easily the lamest part of the album. I mean c,mon how sad and lame are lyrics like:
Isolation rapes you everyday
Face down taste the dust, digging deeper in your grave
Haven't found a reason
Haven't found a thing to fucking live for
Godless he doesn't care
How you choose to destroy yourself
In a world that feeds on hate
You're left here just to waste away
In your cardboard prison, asphalt wasteland "
"Pessimist, Terrorist targeting the next mark
Global chaos feeding on hysteria
Cut throat, slit your wrist, shoot you in the back fair game
Drug abuse, self abuse searching for the next high
Sounds a lot like hell is spreading all the time
I'm waiting for the day the whole world fucking dies"
...OK...That sort of puts me in the mind frame of when you get into an argument with a little kid and just to bombard you with insults, so in the end it really is just a slur and furry of cussing. Again this is similar to mallcore.
All in all this album sucks. The only redeeming factor on this album was Disciple and even then the lyrics were incredibly lame and stupid. So if you can get past that then you might be interested in downloading that song. While this album is not as bad as St Anger, it's not far off it. Don't waste your money or time with it.
Heavy songs with good production...
...but what's the point if the majority of the songs suck?
LAME mallcore lyrics
Horrible song writing for the most part
Strained and sometimes even annoying vocals
Because it sounds as though they were the ones who made it. That’s right, folks. Slayer have really gone down the deep end with this one. I thought Diabolus In Musica was pretty mediocre but this one manages to be even worse! This time, there’s only a couple of good songs and only one of them really stands out.
The first song, Disciple, is by far the best song on here. It's got the album's best riffs and Tom Araya actually manages to sound alright on this one. The same can't be said for later songs but we'll get to that in due course. The main problem I have with this album starts to become apparent here. The lyrics. Sure, Slayer have never had truly amazing lyrics but they are capable of doing better than this! The worst thing is the use of excessive swearing. Slayer have used swearing before on previous album but here it's just overkill! It seems like they're using it just to fill in the blanks for lyrics (Payback is the worst offender).
The second song, God Send Death is also fairly good. The lyrics are probably the best on the album and it definitely has the best solo section. Good stuff. After this however, you might as well stop listening to the CD because you've heard the best this has to offer. The only other decent song on here is Bloodline. Tom Araya put in his best vocal performance of the album and his voice doesn't have the annoying distortion that plagues many of the songs on here. He sounds pretty tired on this album for the most part. And he really should stop trying to do high pitched screams because he clearly can't do that well anymore. Seven Faces is proof of that.
Aside from the songs I mentioned earlier, this album has some very nu-metal sounding riffs. Threshold is the most nu-metal song on here. It's not quite the worst thing on here though. That honour would go to such boring songs as Cast Down and Deviance. This is some of the most awful material in the band's entire catalogue. Payback sounds like Slipknot's attempt to cover something from Reign In Blood. If it was played in standard tuning and had different lyrics, it might have not been so bad. As it stands, it's a pretty weak ending to the album.
Don’t bother buying this album. This is the only studio album of theirs which really is not worth having. Diabolus In Musica isn’t much better but at least it has decent lyrics and a few more good songs. Just download Disciple, God Send Death and maybe Bloodline and forget about the rest.
SLAYER – GOD HATES US ALL 25%
Lame lame lame! This album is a frustrating listen. The nayslayers who believed the band is washed up are actually true! The production is a lot crispier and crunchier compared to the polished, Rick Rubin style. However, Tom Araya’s voice becomes more annoying, not that they were good even before he started singing them. Gone are the blood-curdling screams that gives metal boys a boner every time they hear them (“Angel of Death”, “Necrophobic”, “Aggressor Perfector”). Although I appreciate that Mr. Araya attempts the high-pitched scream, particularly on “God Send Death”, it just doesn’t feel right anyway. And “Seven Faces”. Especially “Seven Faces”. His ear-raping introductory scream sounds like he just lost the winner lotto ticket. Just horrible.
Music-wise, I’ll start with the positive. “Discipline” is a decent thrash attack track that gets the album off well enough to get others to listen the next track, “God Send Death”, which is also good in a way. Both track also reintroduces the frenetic soloing sorely lacking on the previous release. “New Faith” is fine, although straightforward track, which contains the cheesy line, ‘I keep the Bible in a pool of blood so that none of its lies can affect me’. I just don’t know why people go apeshit with that line.
Now, on with the bad, which is pretty much everything else. It seems that the songs are made in an attempt to make Slayer relevant in the current times, where bands like Slipknot, Mudvayne, and other groove-laden rock outfit tailor their music into prepackaged, commercially angst-ridden music. But just like ‘Diabolus In Musica’, ‘God Hates Us All’ gained little fans from that target market, but lost a lot a followers from the metal scene. This is simply not the Slayer that everybody loved. Everybody blames Kerry King for writing crappy song, but I feel everybody in the band should take the brunt as well for having released the song at their consent. Not that they are expected to release the same material from the past, but at least they could have made it better! ‘Threshold’ just sounds disinterested in coming up with more than three riffs for the whole song. ‘Bloodline’ is bored out of its skull, and the sinister effect of the song just doesn’t cut it. ‘Exile’ is actually Pantera-Shattered, although mildly interesting, is just as disjointed, along with ‘Cast Down’.
Everybody still respects Slayer, to an extent, especially with what they have accomplished in the past. But they’re turning out to be the next Metallica. A lot of hopefuls still believe they can return to past glory, but hoping just deepens the wounds, because it looks like they’re not going in that direction. Ultimately disappointing.
Slayer is aggression, but the problem is everytime they change they're trying to improve their music, the fans get pissed off. People were pissed off with South of Heaven (now considered as a masterpiece), now people are pissed off with god hates us all.
This is certainly not the best slayer album, but it is aggressive, thrashy (thrash-core), good lyrics, slayer solo's and off course hate and blasphemy. The reason why it sounds more hardcore is because of Araya's voice. The man is getting older, and when he tries to scream Halford-alike like on Angel of death intro-scream, he sounds like a chicken getting fucked in the ass. It's for the best he changed his voice, or it would have been emberassing.
Disciple is a tremendous song, a bid hardcore, lots of thrash and totally slayer.
hate heals you should try it sometime
strive for peace with acts of war
the beauty of death we all adore
i have no faith, distracting me,
i know why your prayers will never be answered
god hates us all'
'Wake the fuck up cant ignore what i say
i got my own philosphy
i hate everyone equally
you cant tear that out of me
no segregation, seperation
just me in my world of enemies'
are excellent lyrics.
God Send Death and New Faith are good songs, with good solos. Threshold has brilliant parts and has slipknot parts, but exile is the worst slayer song ever. It just sounds too slipknot.
Then the sound changes again: seven faces sounds very good, with an agressive doom-riff (remembers me of gates of slumber). Bloodline is a typical song on this album, then the next 3 songs are pure agression and hate, Deviance, war zone and Here comes the pain. These are very good songs, especially here comes the pain, which represents the new slayer (thrashcore)sound the best. The last song, payback, tries to be old school slayer, but it is just a bad copy from Angel of Death.
I hope the next slayer album will be more thrashy, sounding like reign in blood or seasons in the abyss, but this is an owkay album! Remove Exile and Payback and it is even excellent!
Well, this album is very controversial, loved by some, hated by the others. Let's see what Slayer offers on it.
After a little intro that was not essential we come into the first song: "Disciple". The riffs are good, the lyrics too, justifying the title of the album. It's well play and the first thing that comes to mind is that Tom yells like a madman, the voice is too distorted. Catchy end in that particular song.
Then the second song: Cool intro with some cool effect by Jeff I think, after that all we hear is recycled old Slayer riffs, well played, with good lyrics, but recycled riffs. After that song all begins to fall, but falling very deep. The third song "New Faith" begins with a cool riff, which reminds me a lot of "Symptom of The Universe" of Black Sabbath with some good very fast thrash breaks, but we have heard these riffs before again guys! The problem comes with the chorus, I can't tell what is played, it's just three chord repeated with Bostaph massacring his toms, with Tom yelling more and more with a lot of distortion, especially in the part "I keep the bible in a pool of blood". After that the song seems to be very disorganized, only carried by Toms vocals.
The next song, "Cast Down" is very boring, I always skip this one, it sounds like a slow hardcore song, with a little mallcore influence and no solos.
Then the song "Threshold": the first time I heard it I couldn't believe it was Slayer, it was a brutal version of bands like Disturbed etc... Good drums by Bostaph and then Tom who seems to try (and fortunately fails) to sing like a hip hop singer (or maybe he tries to imitate the Disturbed singer, I don't know), it's maybe catchy but the lyrics are very silly and again there are no solos.
Then "Exile", a fast song, but again ruined by silly lyrics, with all these "fucks" . What did you smoke Kerry? It's strange but it's catchy in spite of the lyrics.
Then "Seven Faces", a simple intro with a lot of effect which give a dark and evil atmosphere, but ruined by Tom's scream: a very distorted growl with a lot of effects at the end. Why do you continue to try to scream Tom? It's been a long time that you're no more able to do your crazy screams like the one on Angel Of Death... After that intro, good vocals and better lyrics but an hardcore riff, slow and boring all along. This song is just a filler.
Then "Bloodline", good song, but the intro riffs sounds a lot like some riffs of Seasons in the Abyss, it's again made of recycled riffs with some good thrash rythm during the verses and chorus. The lyrics are better.
After "Bloodline" we come into "Deviance" which sounds a lot like "Seven Faces", with recycled riffs taken of South Of Heaven, mixed with slow hardcore riffs. Without Tom's yelling you'll certainly sleep while hearing it...
Maybe to try to wake us after the sleepy Deviance, they come into a fast song called War Zone. It begins with thrash riffs played very very fast that we've (again) already heard before, and during the verse it's made like a technical version of a Slipknot song with (again) Tom yelling.... Horrible but that works well, strange no?!
After this one they want to make you sleep again before the end with Here Comes The Pain, after a boring intro with Jeff and Kerry taking fun on their wah pedals we come into a song which really looks like a slow Hatebreed's song with Tom yelling at the chorus. Then we come into recycled riffs from South Of Heaven for the last verse and solo and come back to the Hatebreed's song.
The last song is a very fast one, all made with recycled riffs but played on a down tuned guitar, like a Slipknot's song. If you thought that you've found the worst lyrics with Threshold and Exile you were wrong. The lyrics here are just "fuck, fuck, fuck, motherfucker" but strangely it's very catchy. I think because Kerry was very influenced by shitty lyrics of the mallcore band Slipknot.
So I give a 55 because it's well played (especially the drums) but that the album is really Anger and Hate, Slayer really hates us all, it's Slayer after all. But I have to tell some things to Kerry, Jeff and Tom:
First Kerry stop sucking Slipknot's ass and you're lyrics we'll be better, don't put to much hardcore influences and Kerry and Jeff, don't recyclate so much your past riffs, we want real new stuffs. And Tom don't yell all the time, and don't try to scream anymore, if you took care of your voice you wouldn't have all these problems with it....
This is one mixed bag of a record. While being HIGHLY well produced (much better than the awful sound on the last record) and interesting on the ears, the song writing cannot decide on a consistent idea OR a consistent level of qaulity. Slayer have managed to catch up in terms of production to the almighty new days but some of the songs seem sloppy. It's almost as if Slayer is wanting to charge somewhere as quicky and devastatingly as possible but somehow got distracted along the way. (The flow of the album is that stunted sadly...a new song order could have helped!)
The band cinches in with its now typical thrash attack on such songs as “God Send Death” and “Bloodline” while others such as “Threshold” and “Seven Faces” try new styles before evolving into useless toxic crud. Other high spots are the descending "Cast Down", the smashing "New Faith" and the thrashy speed of "Exile". All these songs have strong points and should not be overlooked by any Slayer fans. (Sadly tracks like "Here Comes the Pain" and "Seven Faces" offer the fan little to crow about at all.)
Pick it up if you like the newer sounds Slayer have been pumping out such as "Divine Intervention".
If they release this sort of feces, that is.
This is a pretty bad album, even by punk rock standards. There's hardly any metal to be found here - a riff here and there, but for the most part, this is bad modern punk, which has as little to do with the Ramones as it does with classic Slayer.
The production is absolutely terrible. Tom Araya's vocals appear as though they have completely gone down the shitter (not true, he is still halfway decent live, but I think after listening to that distortion for a few minutes, even my hair turned orange and even my pants baggified themselves!), and the songwriting is a disaster. The riffs are far simpler and more repetitive than ever before, and the guitar tone is pretty terrible too. The lyrics have gone from frightening (Hell Awaits era) to just plain stupid - it's clear to see that this band is desperately running out of ideas. (Then again, anyone that admits to being influenced by Slipknot is a few ideas short of a creativity consulting firm to begin with!)
There is the occasional decent moment, but even that is just a shadow of even Divine Intervention. Take the opening track, Disciple, which really gets going with the under-verse riffage, and then goes "pfftt!" with that fecal chorus. Yes, I know god hates at least some of us, but could you please shut the fuck up now? Oh yeah, and this has just about the WORST thrash break ever in the history of the world. I didn't think it to be possible, but they fucked up a thrash break, turning it into more idiotic Hatebreed-styled screaming. Raining Blood called. It wants to have been written by a different band.
The moments then get even fewer and even farther between from here... God Send Death starts off cool, and is even okay when it gets fast, other than the complete neutering done by the production... the vocals suck so goddamn hard, and the guitars lack any aggression whatsoever. Remember when they had that monstrous effect going on in songs like Born of Fire? Well, not any more... this album is strung together by vocal passages, with the guitars playing an incidental role only.
New Faith would be a cool song, as it's got a pretty catchy chorus for once, except under it, the guitars are complete noise and it is the vocals that carry the rhythm and the melody (especially in that "I see the bible in the pool of blood" section). And throw in another pretty pathetic thrash break. I mean this song has more riffs than the rest of the album combined, but fucken A, what sort of genius came up with screaming "yargh, new faith" a few times at the ... end? Thrash breaks are supposed to be good, and in the middle. Riiiiight. Back to the drawing boards. Oh, and Kerry, take Slipknot's cock out of your mouth and put on Hell Awaits again.
This is a really, really painful listen. The occasional okay riff comes through for literally three seconds, and then is forgotten again. The rest of the songs aren't even worth mentioning, really. Cast Down is misplaced mallcore worship, with that completely fucking awful vocal delivery. But hey, at least they throw in that two-note Raining Blood riff. For one second. Threshold? What the fucking christ?
Exile? Ehh?? Bloodline??? Cunting fuck, those terrorists really won on 9/11 - they took down our buildings, and allowed this album to be released.
I got a free copy of this once. I gave it to my Slipknot loving friend. He dug the fuck out of it. Enough said.
Ok, I've been listening to this album alot now, and I'm getting tired of it. I would say Slayer passed their undeniably lowest point in that terrible Diabolus in Musica, and even though this is no great album, it's a masterpiece in comparison to Diabolus. Most old Slayer songs sound pretty same, and because of that, I think it's right that Slayer keep looking for a new sound, and I think they have already created an interesting rusty scrap metal sound. Thus, in the process of trying something new, they are now unfortunately producing lots of shitty songs.
This CD's got much better songs than Diabolus. Disciple, War Zone and Bloodline are highlights of this current maximum-yelling sound they are trying out. Disciple is catchy and the screaming sounds angrier than anything I've heard, and it's not repetitive like some people say; the chorus (which is great) only comes around 2 times and new riffs are introduced, so if you want repetitive, you should listen to Maiden's Brave New World - that's fucking repetitive. There's excessory use of the word "fuck"; Kerry King he said he wanted to write the lyrics on this in the way people talk normally; in some songs it sounds straight-to-the-point, but in others like Payback it sounds like they use the word as a substitute for having to make up more lyrics. But lyrics have never been very important to Slayer. War Zone is short and direct, no bullshit; it's heavy and has an interesting rusty sound, which Metallica tried but failed to create on St. Anger. Bloodline is like a sequel to the song "Seasons in the Abyss", and it's like Empire Strikes Back - good sequel.
God Send Death is OK but about as just repetitive as The Wicker Man and no more, and I didn't like New Faith before, but after listening to it 10 times, I found it to be somewhat interesting. Here Comes the Pain is trashier than anything on St. Anger, interesting but no work of genius. Listening to this album straight through is pretty monotonous, though, and some of the most monotonous and weak song to me are Threshold which sounds Korny, Seven Faces which has boring riffs, and Deviance is slow and numbing, and the rest of the songs are quite forgettable.
The sound is heavier than Slayer have ever sounded and certainly 10 times heavier than St. Anger, although it's not nearly as speedy and "melodic" as Reign in Blood. Tom Araya's vocals are violent screaming all the time; yeah, sometimes there's too much screaming and you can't listen to them if you have a headache, but I kinda rather like the screaming than some of the his "singing" on Seasons in the Abyss (the album). The guitars don't sound too crisp, but still, listening to Slayer from studio albums has always sucked compared to the live wargasm. I really don't know many other bands which have had shittier production on studio albums than Slayer.
And for your information, I don't hate "mallcore"... just as long as Slayer doesn't sound like Limp Bizkit, I'm relieved. God Hates Us All doesn't sound much "mallcore" like you claim, with the exception of a couple of songs - much less "mallcore" than Metallica's riffless St. Anger piece of shit.
But still, here you have an album with the amount of good songs of an average 90's Maiden album. A couple of good ones, and many songs which sound kinda "lazy".
After the quite embarrassing effort they put in Diabolus in Musica, the pressure was turned up for Slayer to produce something worth spending time and money on. A statement from Kerry King underlined that they were still searching for a new style, but also trying to get back to the roots. To an album more in the vein of Reign in blood, but with new touch. Sounds like a super-deal, we could end up with another South of Heaven. Oh well, back to reality. The truth is that Slayers last great album was made thirteen years ago and was named “Seasons in the Abyss”. 4 more records were made, no one that made any real significance. The downward spiral is obvious, but you can’t ever take anything for granted in the music-industry. As earlier stated I don’t expect Slayer to do another Reign in blood or another South of heaven, but I do expect them to rise up with their heads high.
Back to this album, number ten in the row. Is it the trash-revolution the people so eagerly need? To end the cries fast, no it is not. But it sure is better than Diabolus in Musica. Kicks off with an intro named Darkness of Christ. Kickass riffs and sampled voice makes this a fucking awesome way to start the album. Araya kicks in at 1:06 screaming the hell out of himself. Only problem is that the vocals-effects uses voice-distortion. Waaaaay too much. The lyrics are pretty interesting, but speaks highly of fascism, which in my eyes, don’t give any fucking extra credits what so ever. “All men are not created equal, only the strong will prosper; only the strong will conquer.” I remember reading similarities in the infamous “Mein Kampf” written by Adolf Hitler. Oh well, since the distortion on the vocals is so fucking messed up you don’t get to hear much anyways. Fades out with the words “God hates us all”
screamed by Araya.
Next batter up is Disciple and this is easily the best full-length tune on this album. Tons of great riffs and this I call a resurgence of trash. Paul Bostaph makes his life performance in this song, beating the skin with a technical precision not many can produce. The chorus is catchy as fuck, “God Hates Us All!” After the first chorus comes a solo. A good solo. Yes, I said good, can it be possible? Apparently yes, since this solo fucking owns. Fast, precise and pure Hanneman-style! After the solo a riff enters, a riff with such intensity, it will blow you away. Same intensity like that unforgettable opening riff of Angel of Death! Yep, it’s good. Lots of riffs, lots of headbanging.
After Disciple it turns into a downward spiral. God Send Death is not especially good, the riffs aren’t there the lyrics are sub-decent and the solos forgettable. Cool effects at 1:58 do not help it. Desperate need of riffs. New Faith and Cast Down after God Send Death aren’t better either. Too much mallcore influence over them. The riffs are boring; the song are meant to sound fast and angry but sounds pretty slow and boring. Paul Bostaph is a competent drummer but he cannot lift these songs. Cast Down has some catchy rhythm at 0:39 but the “trash”-break after the riff are sleepy, uninspiring and annoying. Repetitive and boring. A really don’t need to review threshold any closer since it suffers from the same syndromes that Cast Down and New Faith has. Repetitive, mallcore-influence, boring.
Next up is Wicked. Distorted guitar picks a bit on the strings, making an intro, rest of the instruments kick in at 0:20. Boring riff. Is it even a riff? Slow song, a bit atmospheric but not enough. You just want to skip it. What about Seven Faces? Distorted guitar for an intro. Where have I heard that one before? Long Araya-scream. No high tones thou, too bad. Slow riffing, uninspiring and boring. The Nu-Slayer syndrome.
Bloodline. Soundtrack for the movie Dracula 2001, which had a competent manuscript but sucked over the top anyway. Decent song, nothing too orgasmic thou, but still not as boring and uninspired as the previous five songs. The video is pretty cool. Third best song so far.
Deviance starts of with a cool intro, the cops radio and scream over the cool guitar intro. Too bad the riffs sucks and it sounds just like Wicked or whatever. A bit of undistorted vocals are here to be found. Very welcome. A boring solo is to be found and its boring, I can tell you. Double bass-druming on War Zone, haven’t heard it since Disciple. To bad the riffs are boring and the screaming is horrid. Here comes the pain sucks and Payback sucks. Sucks might be a hard-to-define word. But Slayer can do better than this. Far better.
Disciple and Darkness of Christ kicks ass. Bloodline is decent. The rest is forgettable. No one expects Slayer to do another ultra-mega-trash-masterpiece but as earlier stated we DO expect them to go out with grace.
For those paying attention, the musical direction of Slayer seemed a little dubious back in 1997. They were putting out Diabolus in Musica which had various hints of nu-metal in it and was a little less murderous than one might expect from Slayer. Not to say it was bad, but it certainly could not hold up to the classics.
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on which side you're on), the naysayers, the pessimistic bitches who predicted Slayer's demise have had their asses kicked in a fashion so brutal words cannot describe it. The demonic riff-factory have created an album more vicious than anything before. This is one of the heaviest, scariest, most evil, church-burning, bible-bashing, Christian-raping albums of all time.
Consider the vocals. Tom Araya's pained scream has been augmented by new production causing him to sound even more tortured and hateful. The sound replaces the bright, happy tone found on Diabolus. It's quite welcome. Such a horrifying sound accents the endlessly bleak lyrics about how the human race has been forsaken by God and we should all kill each other.
Riffs and songwriting have not been this good since Reign In Blood. Chugging power chords are played at lightning speeds while Paul Bostaph creates fearsome techinical drumbeats with mechanical precision. The riffs are incredibly powerful. I'm not sure what goes on in Kerry King's shiny bald head to so consistently come up with this kind of genius. All the while King and Hanneman crank out their usual shrieking atonal solos for which this band is known.
If there is any complaint to be lodged here, it would be about the absence of the evil harmonies Slayer made famous in the 80s. There is no reason a couple of these songs, perhaps "Disciple" or "Bloodline" could not have them. They would be far more chilling in effect with such fifths in use.
There are some people out there, however, who do not like God Hates Us All. Even more disturbing, these people have made some of the world's most assinine accusations of it. They have referred to it as nu-metal. Last I checked, nu-metal does not have fast guitar solos, blastbeats, and the pure heaviness of a Swedish death metal band. The people who do not like this album are the same people who don't believe Slayer existed after 1991. They are the same people who drive Camaros to work and marry their sisters, hiding their mullets in ponytails under NASCAR caps. Fuck these people.
If you like heavy, brutal, uncompromising thrash metal, this is an absolute must-have. It is so well executed and pure in concept that it is essential. Buy it or be damned to eternal cock-sucking.
Well, this is definitively not Slayer's best we have heard but surely it isn't the worst. Ok...once more, and I start to find this hilarious, not pathetic anymore because I can only laugh with such lack of musical comprehension by some... I find it very difficult that most bands (except for those losers called Manowar...) manage to keep playing the same shit years after years after years, without giving a turning point in their sound. Well, all bands eventually do that with time, some of them taking longer than others, but they always manage to progress a little bit. That's what music is all about...progression, evolution and the attempt to discover a new direction. We can't expect that most bands that have so much influential musicians, always learning new stuff every day and progressing towards a new direction, keep playing the same shit twenty years in a row just to please their fans...Open your ears, stop being puritanical, and accept the reality that music, like everything in life needs a breath of fresh air, live and deal with it, or even try to enjoy the new styles...
Slayer have evolved in the last years, always managing to give us some good and new experiences in the area of metal, yet being able to stay faithful to their style and fans. "Reign in Blood" was good, but it's a dead era now, accept it, and welcome the new "God Hates us All" Slayer.
This is a different Slayer, with a really deep and hard style and a new sense of production, that ended up as being beneficial to their sound, managing to stay apart from the raw and brutal style of "Diabolus in Musica", evolving towards a more sharped sonority.
It's great because I’ve never heard Jeff and Kerry strike those guitars in such a heavy low tone, and this is probably one of the most heavy guitar sounds ever heard in a Slayer record. Paul Bostaph was always competent doing his task of destroying completely his drum kit and buying some new skins and cymbals every day (he had to, with the intensity he stroke the drums they should have been destroyed by the end of the day...). Good and effective drumming.
The only low point (but almost insignificant one...) is that singing by Tom Araya, or should I say screaming, that although not being bad, it could be better on those songs with one of the "Seasons" or "South" vocal work. And finally...yes...finally we start to hear some bass by Slayer, as Araya really proved his point on this record...after almost fifteen years, it starts to have its presence...better late than never.
Slayer turning into pussies or being commercial or even (my god...) beginning to turn into some sell-outs???? Well, hear songs like "Disciple", "God Send Death", "Exile", "War Zone" or even the brutal "Payback" to see if that is a possibility to occur in the future...This is really some of their best stuff!!!!
"Cast Down", "Seven Faces", "Bloodline" or even "Here Comes the Pain" are also some nice experiences and what I could say that is a little bit at average standards is "Threshold", "Deviance" and "New Faith".
The lyrical work is all practically the same thing in the whole record: I HATE GOD, GOD HATES ME, I HATE YOU ALL, GOD HATES US ALL, I HATE, GOD HATES, I HATE, GOD HATES, I HATE MY NEIGHBOUR, GOD HATES MY DOG...basically all of what dwelled in Kerry King( and this guy has to be a hell of a catholic person to speak like this...)'s mind. For me the lyrics are the only weak point of this record, and although some of the things being really relevant, others are pure crap...
Well, if you are open minded, I think you'll like this and it's a good item, especially with the original "butchered bible" cd package, to get. Puritanical fanatics...I will not even try…it does not worth it...do what you want to do, buy it or not… it's your choice...
Slayer, without a doubt, are one of my favorite bands. I credit Slayer with getting me into metal in the first place. Slayer in the 80s and early 90s were the icon of thrash/speed metal, along with the likes of Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. However, God Hates Us All is not reminiscent of the early Slayer, it continues on the road Slayer have taken since releasing their last "true" thrash album, Seasons in the Abyss.
My one major problem with Slayer since Seasons... is the amount of distortion used on Tom's vocals, and much of the guitar work. Tom used to be able to sing and scream with the best of them, but on recent albums, there's been a lot more shouting and distorted vocals - not good.
However, Slayer have certainly not "sold-out" or watered-down their music, you can still identify the music as Slayer's, and the solos are still there. Undoubtedly, the album is full of great riffs and songs, but some of them sound very mono-tone, much like the vocals on a few of the tracks (for example, New Faith is a very annoying track). Araya is definitely a better vocalist than he shows on this album. The best part of this album on the whole is the drumming. Bostaph's drumming quality is nearly to the same standard as Dave Lombardo's.
Overall, the album's songs filter out as follows:
Good: God Send Death, Cast Down, Bloodline, Payback
Average: Darkness of Christ, Exile, Disciple, Seven Faces, Deviance, War Zone, Here Comes The Pain
Shit: New Faith, Threshold
That gives you an idea on the quality of the album. New Faith is in the shit category due to it being so annoying. Threshold is marked as shit because it is the closest you can be to mallcore without actually being mallcore.
Bloodline is one of the only tracks on the album were the vocals are not majorly distorted, and it is a genuinely good track. Payback has a nice thrash riff at the start, though it slows down to about mid-pace in parts on the song. God Send Death is a nice heavy song, but it just isn't a "classic" Slayer song.
So, there you have it. After waiting three years since Slayer's previous release, Diabolus In Musica, God Hates Us All wasn't exactly a huge disappointment, but I expected better.