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What I can't seem to understand from all these supposed Slayer fans is why they might dismiss an album of punk cover songs, when thrash metal's meaning really begins to blur when you consider punk movement spearheaded such sub-genres as: crossover thrash/punk metal and thrashcore. What has to be addressed is that this album is actually thrashcore because it takes hardcore punk classics and speeds them up; even one of the bands covered, D.R.I., is considered to be a thrashcore band by some. Whatever the case maybe, Slayer was influenced by metal more, or by punk bands, or speed metal in the early days the most (obviously the influences are varied), Slayer felt they owed these bands a tribute, or at the very least that they wanted to test these waters. What resulted was undeniably Slayer at their fastest, and in my opinion some of their most aggressive.
Another aspect that really makes this album that much more of a Slayer classic is the sound; MY GOD, the sound! Araya's vocals are at their best, simply stated. He doesn't sound hoarse or forced, it's as if this refueled the band with a sense of purpose and as a result finds slayer at their best. Songs like "disintegration/free money", "verbal abuse/leeches", "abolish government", "cant stand you", and "mr. freeze" are absolutely mind-blowing (i.e. hard, fast and antagonistic). Listen to a song like Mr. Freeze and tell me the lyrics and that opening riff isn't slayer at some of their most pissed off, aggressive, and in-your-fucking-face. THIS is what Slayer was meant to do, it's hard to see how Slayer themselves can't see it.
My theory on the matter is that they spent their last decent creative spiritual urge (currency) making a masterpiece as this, and afterwards knew they could never top it (or perhaps write better tracks of similar ilk on their own). But again, I stress the importance of the way the album actually sounds. Araya's vocals, TOP NOTCH yelling styled, never stretched too far or sounding uninspired. The guitars have a great mid-tone tune, as to be just enough mix of metal without sounding sludged down, and enough punk without being spread too thin. Drums are fantastic, perhaps styled a little more like Lombardo with nice judicious use of bass without trying to outdo the music, as such it's well supported.
This is more than likely the last slayer album that will ever mean shit to me. Divine Intervention was fantastically evil and the final album to really build on everything they had achieved until that point (No Mercy - Seasons...). Just about every album in that old era had something good about it in it's own time too. That said, Undisputed Attitude should have ushered in a new era for Slayer as thrashcore emperors. Instead it was their last crowning achievement signaling a bygone era of Slayer's reign as evilest, hardest band on the planet. I mean if after Undisputed Attitude they couldn't continue on that same path, or alternatively go back and conquer Divine Intervention by building on their fundamentals, they should have just disbanded. Only time will tell if Slayer has one last ace up their sleeve before disbanding, but listening to Gemini Killer... it just feels like the final nail in their coffin.
[ Had to take 2 points off for Slayer not knowing when to move on to new things or knowing when to just move on! ]