21 September 2013

Slayer - Decade Of Aggression

Ah, one of the live albums from our live album blog run down (cleverly linked here) that was nominated by Chris Jermyn.  Back in 1991 when this was recorded, Slayer was in the middle of the infamous Clash of The Titians tour with Megadeth and Anthrax (as well as Suicidal Tendencies, Testament and Alice In Chains).  Slayer had just dropped the album 'Seasons In The Abyss' (which formed part of their classic trilogy of albums with 'Reign In Blood' and 'South Of Heaven') and were basically on fire.  They were tearing up venues around the world and this album documents that time.  Tracks were taken from three different gigs - most of the tracks are from a recording at Lakeland Coliseum in Lakeland, Florida on July 13, 1991, whilst the rest come from a recording in at the Orange Pavilion, San Bernardino, California, March 8, 1991 and from the Wembley Arena, London, England, October 14, 1990. 

Without wanting to get all nostalgic or anything, this formed a giant chunk of my youth, it was basically a Slayer's greatest hits and it was them at their finest.  The performances of "Jesus Saves", "Angel Of Death", "War Ensemble"... in fact the whole of disc one is quite possibly one of the finest live recordings I have ever heard.  It is all the choice cuts from their early discography and it was all done on one night.  Even though I was not there and have only seen Slayer once, I still remember having this on loud whilst discovering metal and annoying pretty much everyone I could.  The second side is more of a mix bag with recordings of "Die By The Sword", "Chemical Warfare", "Blood Red" and "Expendable Youth" to name but a few of the tracks.

Now whilst the old adage of "You had to have been there" usually rings true for a lot of live albums, this is not one of them.  Whilst I was doing my own voting for the live album blog, this was only beaten by Led Zeppelin - and if you’re going to be beaten by an album, there is no shame in losing to that one.  Indeed, this is a quality production from Rick Rubin (when he wasn't destroying legacies such as Black Sabbath) and the band was on top of their game on all recordings. Whilst I cannot see this going much further than the metal audience, it is a recording that has not aged at all and sounds as fresh in 2013 as to when the notes were first played in 1991.  The word classic was made for works such as this.

10 out of ten - This is proof there is a god (even if Slayer don't agree with him)

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can visit the Slayer website here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

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