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A Well-balanced Album - 90%

alteredstate, October 13th, 2004

What can you say about Slayer? They are one of the most aggressive and long-lasting metal bands in the genre. They challenged people with their speed, and in 1988's South of Heaven, they challenged their fans with the amount of melody included in that album. Their 1990 release Seasons in the Abyss is probably their most well-rounded release ever. It takes everything from their previous decade of work and puts it into one album. It has the uncompromising aggression of Reign in Blood yet still keeps the melody on South of Heaven.

This album once again proves Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King to be a guitar-playing force to be reckoned with. The album kicks off with the musical blitzkrieg “War Ensemble” and beats you down from start to finish. Kerry’s solo with the low E finger tapping was very cool, and is a great idea that I haven’t heard from anyone else. Jeff Hanneman plays squealing, frightening, solos on songs like the incredibly fast and brutal “Hallowed Point”. “Dead Skin Mask” is an ode to everyone’s favorite hick/serial killer, Ed Gein and is probably the most eerie Slayer song ever. The riff, the spoken word introduction by singer Tom Araya, and the weird samples of a child screaming at the end put chills up your spine. The album ends with the epic title track, and it is quite atmospheric with the brooding riffs and lyrics. It is one of the best songs on the album.

Slayer’s Seasons in the Abyss was a great way to start the 90s and is one of the band’s best efforts. This is probably their most accessible and one of their most focused albums to date.