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Short, but sweet - 82%

LordThurisaz, February 24th, 2013

This review is going to be short as well. With only 4 songs (I'm reviewing the re-issue) this ep is only 17 minutes of thirst-quenching Slayer. If you've read my recent Show No Mercy review, I mentioned that it has everything minus the 6-7 minute songs like on Hell Awaits and that's where this comes in. Chemical Warfare, which is still played to this day, clocks in at 6:02 and like Show No Mercy has none of the "half songs" of Reign in Blood. It also has Captor of Sin, Haunting the Chapel, and Aggressive Perfector, which I think has been added to just about every reissued Slayer album. Of course I'm joking, but it's been used on reissues multiple times. This version is a little slower and has different vocals in the chorus.

The songwriting is a little less NWOBHM-influenced than Show No Mercy and is a nice bridge between Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits. It's also a little more mature lyrically, as Chemical Warfare is about war as opposed to the slightly juvenile, but well done cult and Satanic references on songs like The Antichrist and Black Magic. That said, it's not totally gone as Captor of Sin and Haunting the Chapel have quite a few references to Satan. Captor of Sin's first two lines are pretty funny: "Harlots of hell spread your wings // as I penetrate your soul // Feel the fire shoot through your body // As I slip into your throne". Funny, right? The production and mixing on this ep is slightly better as are the guitar tones. The playing is also somewhat better, most likely due to the fact of touring in support of Show No Mercy.

In closing, if you like Slayer and love Show No Mercy, getting Haunting the Chapel is a must. All four tracks are enjoyable examples of thrash metal and most of what I said about Show No Mercy is applicable here, since they are pretty similar. If you're a fan of early Slayer, it's an absolute must just like all other early Slayer releases, though I would skip Live Undead and get Decade of Aggression.

Recommended Tracks:
Captor of Sin
Chemical Warfare