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Essential early brutal thrash - 95%

TableofHELL, February 13th, 2005

This short EP followup to Slayer's debut album shows the band compromising nothing. They left most of the melody behind, as well as dumping the in key solos, in favor for a faster, more brutal approach. The solos are wilder, the vocals feature more shouting, the riffs and drumming are faster and the production is much rawer.

Chemical Warfare opens up with some of the fastest Slayer material written. Though Reign in Blood was faster, there wasn't a single song on the album that was this epic. This song easily could have fit on Hell Awaits. Captor of Sin has some very mosh worthy riffs, while Haunting the Chapel boasts one absoloutley insane guitar solo. This type of solo would become a typical Slayer moment, of which many countless bands would copy and use as their own. My copy came with the bonus track Aggressive Perfector, which was off Metal Massacre 3. I'm guessing Metal Blade thought it would be cool to tack this song at the end as a bonus track to show where Slayer came from. If I didnt know better, I would have guessed it was a Venom song, though not nearly as sloppy or poorly produced.

After this, Slayer would continue to increase the quality of their albums with perfect release after perfect release, until the short downfall on Divine Intervention and the plummet to mediocre music after that. But for its time, this was probably the heaviest, fastest slab of vinyl on the planet. Their only competition were death metal kings Possessed, and later on, Kreator and Death.

In short, this is an essential Slayer nugget that belongs in any fan's collection.