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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.