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Required for Thrash fans - 87%

langstondrive, September 24th, 2003

After releasing the "much-slower-then-Reign In Blood" South of Heaven, Slayer knew that people wanted the speed back into Slayer. Suffice to say, they delivered on their 1990 effort. Fast guitars all over, the solo's are not as insane but are more precise than RIB and the songs are of a greater variety. Tom Araya sounds more adult and Lombardo has calmed down a bit in terms of sheer speed and using one beat for the whole album.

War Ensemble is an amazing song, a killer verse riff that changes directions halfway through the song after Araya screams "WWWWWAAAARRRRR!!!!", it starts to move more slowly. Blood Red is decent, a bit of a let down after War Ensemble, but very fast and still good in it's own right. A typical Slayer song. Spirit in Black opens with a nice riff and it turns out to be a slower song than most but still keeps the aggression during the wicked chorus. Expendable Youth is probably my least favourite song on here. Nothing really special from Slayer, this song and its monotone riffs get boring pretty quick. Dead Skin Mask opens with the typical Slayer riff (ex. South of Heaven, Raining Blood) but turns into a great headbanger of a song with some cool riffs. Also, it is written about Ed Gein, so how can it not be great! Hallowed Point is another just "blah" song, easily forgettable but quite cool in parts. Skeletons of Society starts off with a fucking cool beat that sounds really damn evil. Also the easiest song to sing to on the cd. Slower than the others. Temptation and Born of Fire are both fairly quick and kinda forgettable, although they will get your head banging. Seasons in the Abyss is the best known song on here and also closes the album. A melodic, evil 2 minute intro turns into a great thrash epic. Pretty slow, but still one of the best Slayer song. My favourite on the album. Recommended, but get Reign in Blood and Hell Awaits first.

War Ensemble - 9.5/10
Blood Red - 8/10
Spirit in Black - 9/10
Expendable Youth - 6.5/10
Dead Skin Mask - 9.5/10
Hallowed Point - 8/10
Skeletons of Society - 9/10
Temptation - 8.5/10
Born of Fire - 8/10
Seasons in the Abyss - 10/10