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signs of the end - 80%

UltraBoris, August 10th, 2002

After releasing the godly South of Heaven, and being disappointed, Slayer decided to make "another Reign in Blood", reportedly. They failed, fortunately. The songs here are faster overall than South of Heaven, but there isn't the sense of incompleteness that RiB featured.

The album starts off with a riff that is pretty reminiscent of Evil Has no Boundaries and Angel of Death, and then the second riff is the one that is instantly memorable. "War Ensemble" overall is a pretty damn good song, as is the next one, "Blood Red". Then, "Spirits in Black" is very catchy, and a thrash demon at the same time. "Expendable Youth" is a bit average, and Dead Skin Mask is, frankly, quite horrible. It's midpaced, it's boring, it's only fun because the little kiddies like to hear about Ed! Who likes to sleep and dance with the DEAD! It's complete shit, and the worst Slayer song ever. (By "ever" I mean of the albums worth giving a fuck about, i.e. the first Lombardo era.)

Then, the album REALLY picks up. Hallowed Point is fast, and also has great riffs. Skeletons of Society is more midpaced, but has a nice catchy chorus, repeated a few times at the end. "Temptation" and "Born of Fire" are probably the most underrated songs on here - both have great catchy riffs that forbid you to do anything but headbang until you puke, especially the middle part of the latter..

The last song is a true classic. "Seasons in the Abyss" is evil, vicious, and has the best guitar solo Slayer had since Crionics. It's pretty much the logical successor to the song "South of Heaven" in terms of atmosphere, and closes the album on a great high note.

Overall, this is quite a good album - a bit sloppy in the beginning, but there is really only one total boner of a song, and quite a few good ones.