This is the album I never thought I'd hear - a Slayer album which sucks (Ok, Diabolous In Musica was before this one and sucked as well but at least it tried something new). Without getting too melodramatic, it was a heartbreaking experience seeing as they've been one of my favourite bands ever since first hearing Seasons In the Abyss as an impressionable 15 year old. I soon got all their albums and considered them - for a time - as not only the best band of all time but the HEAVIEST. Indeed, I became *that* type of metaller who couldn't say "Slayer" without saying it as "SLAYERRRRRRRR!!!" and flashing the \M/ like an idiot. I think my Slayer pinnacle was seeing the original line-up at Ozzfest 2002. I have no idea what the set-list was as I was somewhat refreshed but neverless, I had a great time!
Having said that, after a while I started to move away from Slayer, especially after the album which preceeded this (Christ Illusion) because I was looking for new things, although I still held them in the highest regard, like metal royalty. Then, I started getting a severe attack of hindsight which gave me doubts that this album confirmed - Slayer have only released THREE QUALITY ALBUMS (Reign In Blood, South Of Heaven, Seasons In The Abyss) and one or two albums which are good but nowhere near the quality of their A-material (It's up for debate what these albums are although Divine Intervention is surely a contender). And in a career that spans 32 years, that's shocking, especially for a band of Slayer's reputation. This album is the usual retread though songs about war, Satan and serial killers whilst providing the usual blitz of fast-paced guitars and cyclone drums.
It's stuff we'll have heard many, many times before. The musicianship cannot be faulted as the band are competent players but there is just no urgency or passion in the music, like the band had one eye on the clock and just went through the motions - sleepwalked it - before calling it a day and heading down to Pizza Hut for a feed. The whole album is just rubbish, one-dimensional, feeding on past glories and evidence that Slayer should call it a day before they tarnish their reputation any further. There are bands out there who have basically made the same record throughout their careers (AC/DC and Iron Maiden especially) and whereas it's true that if a formula isn't broken then there is no need to fix it (Again, AC/DC and Iron Maiden) but at least these other bands ACTUALLY SOUND LIKE THEY CARE! Anyhow, I'm wrapping up now. Slayer are done, over, past it...
1/10 - You really are touching the bottom of the barrel
You can buy this album off Amazon. It's not actually on iTunes.
It is not on Spotify either folks - probably for the best