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I love Slayer. I love everything about Slayer. And I love their 1984 EP "Haunting The Chapel" more than anything in their entire catalogue. "Haunting The Chapel" defines what thrash metal is and what thrash metal should be. Every riff, every beat, and every lyric Slayer spill out of their unholy sound makes "Haunting The Chapel" the quintessential thrash metal release, EP or otherwise.
Musically Slayer has never sounded so solid as they do on this EP. There's more aggression here than on the 1986 classic "Reign In Blood" and that speaks volumes for itself. Every track on this EP has become a staple of Slayer live sets even to this day. The opening riff to Chemical Warfare may be one of the most recognizable riffs in thrash history.
Lyrically "Haunting The Chapel" marks new ground for Slayer. "Show No Mercy" was evil and dark in its own right but with the title track "Haunting The Chapel" Slayer directly attack Christianity, a theme that has continued in thrash and death metal to this day. The lyrics are evil, intense, and graphic but would you expect any less? What’s more is that they are intelligent, well written, lyrics. Some of the lyrics seem to have an actual rhyme scheme and pattern. Amazing considering the cacophony of sound going one while Tom Araya belts out the vocals.
Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman prove again that they are the undisputed thrash gods of guitar. Trading leads and double riffs are a common listen throughout the EP. The riffs presented are edgy, raw, and filled with aggression. A must for thrash.
On the skins we find Dave Lombardo, again showing his prowess for all things thrash. His complex and intense drumming on "Captor Of Sin" and "Haunting The Chapel" in particularly are enough to prove his worth as a drummer of metal music.
It may seem over the top, all this praise about a single four track EP but this is no ordinary EP. This is Slayer. This is true thrash metal.