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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.