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Average... - 62%

MetalThunder, February 4th, 2003

Slayer, without a doubt, are one of my favorite bands. I credit Slayer with getting me into metal in the first place. Slayer in the 80s and early 90s were the icon of thrash/speed metal, along with the likes of Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. However, God Hates Us All is not reminiscent of the early Slayer, it continues on the road Slayer have taken since releasing their last "true" thrash album, Seasons in the Abyss.

My one major problem with Slayer since Seasons... is the amount of distortion used on Tom's vocals, and much of the guitar work. Tom used to be able to sing and scream with the best of them, but on recent albums, there's been a lot more shouting and distorted vocals - not good.

However, Slayer have certainly not "sold-out" or watered-down their music, you can still identify the music as Slayer's, and the solos are still there. Undoubtedly, the album is full of great riffs and songs, but some of them sound very mono-tone, much like the vocals on a few of the tracks (for example, New Faith is a very annoying track). Araya is definitely a better vocalist than he shows on this album. The best part of this album on the whole is the drumming. Bostaph's drumming quality is nearly to the same standard as Dave Lombardo's.

Overall, the album's songs filter out as follows:

Good: God Send Death, Cast Down, Bloodline, Payback

Average: Darkness of Christ, Exile, Disciple, Seven Faces, Deviance, War Zone, Here Comes The Pain

Shit: New Faith, Threshold

That gives you an idea on the quality of the album. New Faith is in the shit category due to it being so annoying. Threshold is marked as shit because it is the closest you can be to mallcore without actually being mallcore.

Bloodline is one of the only tracks on the album were the vocals are not majorly distorted, and it is a genuinely good track. Payback has a nice thrash riff at the start, though it slows down to about mid-pace in parts on the song. God Send Death is a nice heavy song, but it just isn't a "classic" Slayer song.

So, there you have it. After waiting three years since Slayer's previous release, Diabolus In Musica, God Hates Us All wasn't exactly a huge disappointment, but I expected better.