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Gentleman, we can modify it. We have the technology. Faster, meaner, more riffs than ever before. Complete and pure thrash metal! After their wicked NWOBHM-inspired debut album "Show No Mercy", Slayer really kicked it into high gear with this bloodcurdling EP. "Haunting The Chapel" is a 3-song masterpiece that truly bent thrash metal into what we know it has today; it's THAT important. "Haunting The Chapel" is oft overlooked by a number of fans for merley being a 3-song EP, but that would be a major mistake. Anyone looking for how true thrash really got going should look here.
The band's abilities really amped up after their already pretty solid performances on the debut. Tom Araya sounds really, really mean here, shouting, spitting and growling his way through lyrics of hell, war and evil. His bass is probably good, but as is often the deal with Slayer, the bass likes to take a fucking vacation while everyone else works their asses off. Like Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman for example. Their guitars rule, soloing and slicing up a storm of riffs, though often at times it basically works as this: "Let's wank the rhythm guitar for a while, then let the lead squeal for 40 seconds." At the least the guitars sound truly wicked, the lead a bigger, more deranged take on the lead from the last album, while the rhythm sounds like a fucking weed-wacker possessed by a deadite. Then we gave the all-consuming drumming of Dave Lombardo. Frankly though, I liked his work better on "Show No Mercy", even if his work on both were pretty similar. Much like King and Hanneman he'd improve nicely on the next album.
Let's get the weaker songs out of the way first. Well, most versions of "Haunting The Chapel" you'll get anymore will come with the bonus track "Aggressive Perfector", originally from the "Metal Massacre 3" compilation. It's an okay song, not terrible but nothing special. It's basically your typical speed metal number with a few cool riffs and some nice Araya shrieking. The title track is also just okay, though the intro riffage is really great and the lead in the solo is pretty great too. But the other two songs...oh fuck me sideways this is BRUTAL! "Chemical Warfare" has my vote as Slayer's best song. That's right, forget your "Angel of Death", your "War Ensemble", your "Hell Awaits"; it's all about "Multi-death from chemicals!" The intricate, massive solo is evil perfection, Araya's vocals melt faces and the amount of riffs is just crushing. Listen or DIE!!! Then we have the half as long "Captor of Sin". It's not as technical or intricate as "Chemical Warfare", but almost as awesome. This song is just pure chaos, a speedy, mean little riff-fest with killer drums and wild guitars. Behold, captor of sin!
Overall, this is a damn fine little set of songs to have. Slayer has gotten stronger here, and while two songs are okay, the other two are fucking massively awesome! Don't forget "Haunting The Chapel"; it hasn't forgotten you, or where you live...