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A crazy band and a gallery of freaks - 78%

Mortido, July 30th, 2003

So, is this DVD concert the closest thing to actually seeing Slayer live? Well, probably, but listening to the live CD Decade of Aggression is still more fun.

There's a pretty good list of songs on this concert, but still could have been better: I was kinda disappointed that the twins, Altar of Sacrifice and Jesus Saves, with those magic riffs, weren't there. And some typical 80's sing-along classics like The Antichrist and Blood Red would have been nice, too. They could have left out shit like that Mr. Bean's disco-beat Stain of Mind from the Assholus in Shittus album (thank GOD they only played one song). And instead of playing so many songs from God Hates Us All, they could have played more from Divine Intervention. But I guess this is a God Hates Us All tour, yeah. Most of their other best songs are there, although there are no 80's era songs which didn't already appear on Decade of Aggression. They sure gave a good run on the songs from the album God Hates Us All.

The performance is nowhere near as great as Decade of Aggression. They have changed the structure and pace of some songs for the worse, and there's a bit too much bass in the guitar sounds; they don't sound so trashy and shredding anymore; they just sound very heavy. But the worst part... sorry Tom, you're the man, but you've had much better days. I don't know if he's been smoking, drinking, doing blowjobs for crack or yelling too much on God Hates Us All, but he sure sounds here like old Jasper from The Simpsons. When he yells, his voice is much growlier and less "screamy" (less "puberty breaks") than back in the 90's live CD - I'm not into the girl screaming he did on the first album, Show No Mercy, but I his normal screaming sounded better before; it sounded easier for him. I don't think he can scream like he screamed on Show No Mercy anymore, since he can't even get the legendary Angel of Death scream right; instead of a high pitched scream, it sound like he's trying to do an impression on Cannibal Corpse. It sounds like he's either getting too old or getting a cold. Some of the songs are not as good without this old screaming, but the newer songs and the growlier songs like Dead Skin Mask and Seasons in the Abyss don't suffer much from this.

I'll name the biggest problem in the whole concert. I'm so relieved they didn't forget to play my personal fucking favorite, War Ensemble! Some sections are slower, but that didn't bother me much, as the riffs are so goddamn delicious, and fortunately they neither forgot how to play the solos. But... TOM FORGOT TO SING PARTS OF THE CHORUS!!!!!! You know, where he goes "Sport the war!!! War support!!!", EXCEPT the first time the chorus is played, he forgets to sing the "Sport the war" part, and the other two times he forgets to sing the "War support" part. I feel like something is missing from my favorite song! I was also disappointed about Seasons in the Abyss, because the long almost-2-minute intro is missing, and the way it sounds, it always brings a very welcome variation to the hard and mercyless trashing. Well at least my real favorite song, Raining Blood is nearly flawless.

The performance I was most satisfied with, must be the kick-ass Die By the Sword. The new songs, such as Bloodline and Disciple, sound great, and other good performances were Postmortem, Hell Awaits and Captor of Sin. Angel of Death doesn't disappoint me, except for the missing "AAANGEL OF DEEEAAATH..." scream in the beginning and that unsuccessful "AAAAA..." scream. They solos in the concert are excecuted well, although once Hanneman goes like "I don't really remember how this went... so I'll fucking finish it off quickly!"

What you see is just the band playing and moshing like hell. There's pentagrams and devils, but there's no bullshit on the stage like the fucking naked gargoyle man or the vampiressess in Cradle of Filth's DVD, although I otherwise loved that concert.

There's not a shitload of extras on this DVD: a very short photogallery, the Bloodline music video, and the 50-minute documentary, which is great and will make you laugh the shit out of yourself. The fuckumentary has interesting interviews with Araya, Hanneman and King, and they're all really funny guys; Araya has some great jokes, King just looks and has always hilarious, and Hanneman seems to be most interested of beer and boobs, and we even get some chit-chat from Metallica's Kirk Hammet and Anthrax's ridiculous vocalist. There are many interviews with uh... "fans", and it's really funny but also worrying - well in fact it's shocking, to see how stupid people there really can exist. There's not a single smart one among the 20-30 fans they interview - they're all so fucked up in the head I feel sorry for them. They all think satanism is cool, some of them like nazis, and they claim they would mutilate themselves if Tom Araya told them to. One poor sucker says he would not be alive anymore without Slayer since he has nothing else to live for, another idiot goes on screaming "SLAYEEERR!!! SLAYEEERRR!!!" like a lunatic, a father who brings his 11-year old son to a Slayer concert and raises him to sport satanism and nazism, and then there's this guy who talks and looks like he escaped from a mental institution or something. So if you thought Limp Bizkit fans were fucked up, then these people are one hundred times more fucked up in the head! It's better than the Ricki Lake Show! Fucking hilarious stuff!

This isn't apparently even close to the best Slayer concert, but if you wanna SEE Slayer then this is a must-have, plus the few extras which are very entertaining. This was the first chance for me to actually see Slayer, since I regretfully never have been to a Slayer concert.