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Maybe I’m a bit “common” in my ideas about this album, but I love it and only few others can match this one in intensity and violence. We must think that this was recorded in 1986 and even now a lot of black or death metal albums are not so evil and brutal.
Since their first album “Show No Mercy” you could hear something “more” in their music, compared to the early Metallica’s one: the violence seemed to be from another world. Then on the “Haunting The Chapel” EP this violence grew with a better production and better musical skills by the group. After the gloomy “Hell Awaits”, it was time to release their third masterpiece and so it has been. The goal has been achieved completely.
I thing that nobody expected an album like this. Well, yes, one year before “Seven Churches” was released and still nowadays is regarded as an inspiration for black/death metal, but the pure THRASH INTENSITY is unmatchable here. Slayer have always had the natural ability to compose extreme thrash metal songs with a good songwriting and refrains that can be “catchy”, and, as time passed by, legendary.
Already from the beginning, history has been made with “Angel Of Death”, the song-manifest of Slayer. The band is incredibly fast and Lombardo has become so vicious at the bass drum. This song is huge, a true piece of musical aggression. From the fast parts to the mid-paced riffs, the band is awesome and the solos here are a trademark. Araya’s vocals are so screamed and schizophrenic, reaching the top in “Jesus Saves” song. Pure violence with that mid-paced riff at the beginning, so easily transformed in an up tempo one, supported by incredibly brutal solos.
Here you cannot find so technical parts or melodies so well done by Metallica and so on…this is pure ignorance thrash attack. The hardcore influences are heavily present in the sound, like in the terrific sequence “Piece by Piece-Necrophobic-Altar Of Sacrifice”. Here the violence is terrific…a train! Neverending up tempo parts, good refrains, fast solos, evil atmosphere…a journey through the most far-from-the-sun zone of hell. The drums intros to “Criminally Insane” and “Epidemic” shows no mercy for the listener.
The two final tracks, “Post Mortem” and “Raining Blood”, are the most obscure, always being so fucking fast. The scary solos, the distorted guitars and the faster and faster drums lead in a horror gallery that ends with a imaginary (but not so much…) blood rain. More or less 30 minutes of neverending violent emotions. A must for every extreme thrash metal fan. Here history has been made.