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Christ Illusion

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  • With a Rick Rubin produced new album expected in 2007, the band s first in four years, Metallica churns the waters with its first-ever musicvideo retrospective. Featuring 21 videos and bonus features, spanning the album years 1989 to 2004, from And Justice For All to St. Anger, the collection showcases hard rock s greatest band. Ranked eighth on the list of the biggest selling groups in history, a


The fastest, heaviest and darkest band on earth retakes its unholy throne with Slayer’s first studio album in six years and its first studio effort with the original lineup, including drummer Dave Lombardo, since 1990’s Seasons In The Abyss. Produced by Josh Abraham (Velvet Revolver, Staind), music from the album will be first available on June 6, 2006—that’s right, 6/6/06.

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  • 4.5 Stars out of 5

    Well, this is what any old school thrash fan has waited for. And they have got what they asked for. It’s the first Slayer album with Dave Lombardo since Seasons in the Abyss (1990). Many fans consider this to be their best album since that album. Personally I cxan’t say that cuz I also liked Diabolus and God Hates. Hell, I like every Slayer album (ok, I never really cared for Divine Intervention, to be honest), but a good album it is. And contrary to some morons, this is not nu-metal, and neither GHUA and DIM were. Those 2 albums were not exactly thrash due to the downtuned guitars but real metal they were. The only 2 bad things I can say about those albums are that the lyrics and the vocals were weak. But other than that they were great and unfairly criticized CDs. But on the other hand Chirst Illusion is REAL thrash, not nu-metal in any aspect. I mean, can nu-metal get so intense with a dual guitar shredding and an actual GOOD drummer? Also they classic Slayer lyrics are back, this is a anti-war and anti-christian/islam album, so… not for the easily offended. And it also has the hands down best production since South of Heaven. The bass here is also quite audible. But what really makes this album rule is the guitars. Kerry and Jeff have never played this good since the late 80’s.

    So, why not 5 stars? Well, it’s not completely without flaws. I mainly have 2 complains here; a) For those who have missed the vocals on Hell Awaits, Reign in Blood, South of Heaven and Seasons, they are no different than those on DIM and GHUA (aside from the fact Tom doesn’t use the F-word every 2 seconds), they’re no too bad but I would be happier if they were rawer and angrier. b) The song ‘Catatonic’ is not too good. But besides, a near masterpiece. Everything here is amazing.

    All the songs (except ‘Catatonic’) are good but my favorite is possibly the opener ‘Flesh Storm’ for the speed and solos. ‘Eyes Of The Insane’ is also very creepy. And I also like the 2 fan favorites ‘Cult’ and ‘Jihad’.

    So, it’s not Reign in Blood, Hell Awaits or South of Heaven, but what is? This is one of the best pure thrash albums in years and one of my top 10 of metal in ‘06. Once you buy this, you’ll foget all about the new stuff from Megadeth and Anthrax and don’t get me started about those sellouts who put the middle finger to their old fans in 1991 (I think you know who I’m talking about).


    Posted on January 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I tried to love this CD because it is the return of Dave Lombardo but it just leaves almost NO impression on me. Kerry King has been writing most of the Slayer material for the past decade and quite frankly I think it is dry and uninteresting. Jeff Hanneman was the driving force behind the great days of Slayer and I don’t know if he is just getting bored with the band or if he has lost his magic for writing great songs. Jeff has abondoned most of the song writing leaving King in charge. Sorry Kerry, but you are a subpar song writer at best. Your lyrics are juvenile and your wah guitar leads are annoying. I have a feeling that unless Jeff Hanneman gets inspired to write some new material we are doomed to listen to Kerry King’s C level version of Slayer. JEFF WHERE ARE YOU????

    Posted on January 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • After 1990’s classic “Seasons In The Abyss,” Slayer parted ways with original drummer Dave Lombardo, and then (maybe coincidentally) proceeded to go downhill. 1994’s “Divine Intervention,” 1998’s “Diabolus In Musica,” and 2001’s “God Hates Us All” were all decent enough, but no where near as novel or all around great as their earlier releases, and thus, Slayer lost some fans. Well, Lombardo returned to Slayer’s live act a couple of years ago, and the band entered the studio last year with their original lineup for the first time in fifteen years, making some fans have a rekindled hope and high expectations for Slayer’s tenth studio recording, “Christ Illusion.”

    “Christ Illusion” isn’t a timeless classic like, say, 1986’s “Reign In Blood,” and it in no way reinvents the band or the genre. But it is, hands down, the fastest, most inspired, most powerful, and all around best Slayer release since the aforementioned “Seasons In The Abyss.” Guitarist Kerry King (who wrote most of the album) could use a few new song ideas, but bare in mind that he has a reputation to live up to, so he can’t drift too far from his famous subject matter.

    The guitar shredding (done by Jeff Hanneman and the above mentioned Kerry King) is, as expected, fantastic. The riffs are smoking, the leads are lightning fast, and the solos are careening. Another area in which “CI” succeeds is in the vocal department, because frontman Tom Araya has improved his performance. His yelling is still kind of grating at times, but for the most part, Araya sounds more committed, a little more diverse, and all around much more listenable than he did on “God Hates Us All.”

    “Flesh Storm” and “Catalyst” blow the album’s door open, and are about the fastest songs Slayer have written since the umpteen year old “War Ensemble.” Both of these songs blindside the listener with brutal, blistering, insanely fast, dual guitar leads and two solos. Track three, “Eyes Of The Insane,” slows down the album’s pace significantly for a few tracks, but things pick up again for song number six, “Consfearacy,” which is another blinding guitar onslaught.

    “Skeleton Christ” is backed by punching, cascading riffs and a catchy, rhythmic drum beat, and “Catatonic” boasts crunchy, churning, lumbering power chords. But the album’s best two songs are probably “Black Serenade” and “Cult.” The former song effortlessly changes speeds as it segues from thunderous, pounding riffs to buzzsaw leads to wild, off-the-map solos. And the latter, “Cult,” is another scorcher with stellar, remarkably fast drumming by Lombardo. It’s also highlighted by some of Kerry King’s most blunt and openly blasphemous lyrics to date (such as “Religion is hate/religion is war” and “I’ve made my choice…six six six!”) These lyrics will undoubtedly get tattooed to your brain, whether you want them to or not, after just one listen. And finally, the set closer, “Supremist,” is also of note because it features the first ever blast beats in a Slayer song.

    Slayer are probably not going to make another indisputable masterpiece like their discs from the 1980’s, but this album shows that they definitely still have some life left. If you gave up on Slayer in the early Nineties, it’s doubtful that “Christ Illusion” will change your mind, but it will surely put a huge smile on every fan’s face.

    Posted on January 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • In a move almost no one expected, Slayer has released arguably the best metal record of 2006 in Christ Illusion. There is going to be a lot of people who will hear the VERY recognizable elements of Slayer on this and will quickly dismiss this as more “same old, same old”, and in doing so will miss out on what is the best songwriting package Slayer has delivered since “Seasons In The Abyss” 16 years ago.

    This record is the prototypical modern era Slayer record. It has all of the elements that make Slayer, well, Slayer.. the speed, the thrash, the aggression. However, Slayer’s core sound has continually expanded as they evolve with the metal scene. There are some black metal influences here, some Nile-like guitar riffing, even some metalcore influences in the heavy double bass beat patterns all over the record. Still, Slayer makes all of these elements their own and successfully incorporates them into their own style – without comprising anything that makes Slayer Slayer. The most important element here is the songwriting.

    A key factor is the return of original drummer Dave Lombardo. Since Dave left, he has continued to grow and evolve as a drummer in the many projects he was involved in, and this diversity and experience really comes through here. Dave delivers, in my opinion, his most inspiring and interesting drum performance on Christ Illusion. Paul Bostaph, most agree, is a better pure technical metal drummer. A true machine. Lombardo’s style however is KEY to Slayer’s sound and his return highlights that. Has his feet ever sounded faster than on “Supremist”? Is that an actual blastbeat I hear? YES!

    This is the first record since Seasons in which I can honestly say that I like every track. The previous few Slayer records “God Hates Us All”, “Diabolus in Musica” and “Divine Intervention” all had their good moments and their forgettable moments. Christ Illusion is really a strong record as a whole without any glowing weaknesses.

    If there is a weaker track, for me its probably, ironically, the much hyped lead track “Cult”. This has more to do with the over-the-top lyrical content. It’s not that I’m offended in the least, it just comes across so overtly as to approach parody. Jesus Christ this Jesus Christ that, “I’ve made my choice! 666!”. I just feel it detracts slightly from the song. A great song to scare the parents with though.

    A note on Slayer lyrical content: Art has a responsibility for each age to document things that don’t go into a history book. People’s fears, their desires, the mood of the times, the lifestyle, the beliefs, the ugliness, the beauty. This is reflected through song, through sculpture, through paintings, through books. Slayer is a reflection of the darkness of modern society. Violence, warfare, destruction, murder, corruption, genocide, betrayal, slavery, control, fear, punishment, religion. Whether it’s recounting the horrors of the Jewish holocaust in “Angel of Death” or viewing the 9/11 event through the eyes of a terrorist on “Jihad”, Slayer touch upon the dark realities of life that people don’t like to think about. They do this without glorifying, without judgment or even condemnation – they merely reflect what “Is”, music being their canvas. If the world ever ends, Slayer will play the soundtrack. Having said that, sometimes Slayer try a bit too hard to be “Satanic”. While no one in the band is a Satanist (vocalist Araya is in fact a practicing Catholic), the lyrics are just Kerry King’s way of rejecting organized religion (King writes most Slayer lyrics and music), it can still become near comical if it’s used too much. An example is “Cult”. A minor point.

    While I genuinely enjoy every song on the record, a few highlights:

    “Flesh Storm” – A great Slayer album opener. Very catchy chorus, the break down near the end has a heavy groove and is classic Slayer.

    “Jihad” – definitely one of Slayer’s most controversial songs, lyrically, and musically one of their most unique. Doesn’t sound like any other Slayer song and shows off impressive tempo changes and dynamic shifts. Really creepy monologue delivered by Araya at the end.

    “Skeleton Christ” – a medium tempo crushing song. A song that wouldn’t seem too out of place on a Chimaira record. Heavy, pounding, mid tempo behemoth of a song. Great Chorus.

    “Supremist” – could be Slayer’s fastest song. A true blazer, heavy and relentless. The slow ending with Araya reciting “Must maintain control of the weak / must contain the minds of the free” is a picture perfect example of a Slayer moment to send a shiver down your spine.

    Slayer has returned, and in returning they have ascended back to their throne, and retaken their dominion over all that is metal.

    Posted on January 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • SLAYER – Christ Illusion
    Within seconds of `Flesh Storm’ it was clear that Lombardo was back behind the kit and not only as competent as his last studio album with Slayer (Seasons in the Abyss) but had actually raised the bar.
    Truthfully I loved Bostaph… I was sold from the `Killing Fields’ intro and was quite sad to hear of his departure from the band. With all the hype of Lombardo coming back I was thinking this album would just be another `standard’ modern Slayer album… Boy was I wrong! Lombardo used his time away from Slayer to become better grounded and gained much more `groove’ in addition to his fantastic speed/thrash abilities. Playing with such greats as Fantomas (With Mike Patton), John Zorn and even Apocalyptica.

    Christ Illusion is easily the most consistent album since `Seasons…’ with not one bad song to be heard. Though Slayer may never again rival the Reign / South / Season Trilogy that does not make this a bad album by any means and to be putting out music this good (And this heavy!) after almost 25 years is a grand achievement by all rights.

    In addition to the fantastic drumming of Lombardo, there is the skillful guitar work of King and Hanneman whose performances are amazing as always. Araya’s voice is holding out quite well for a man his age and his Bass playing tight as hell!

    Favorite Songs: Cult, Jihad, Supremist and Consfearacy
    -4.5 Stars

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    Posted on January 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now