The new Slayer album flat out proves Slayer is still on the top of their game. This album is an excellent, energetic mix of Slayer styles with some slow and some shredders of songs. The production is top-notch, and gives a refreshingly modern metal sound. That is not to say this is a nu-metal album at all. Simply put, this is the best sounding Slayer ever. This album rocks hard and you can hear all the instruments.Tom Araya gives an awesome performance vocals-wise, soudning angrier than in any past album. Paul Bostaph once again proves he is a stellar drummer, and possibly one of the best ever. Listening to this album, one of the first things you will notice is the absolutely killer drumming. Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman continue to dish out the sick riffs. As opposed to Diabolus, most of the solos here seem to really fit, and are executed quite nicely.As to the songs themselves, they simply rock hard. Nearly EVERY track is a classic in its own right. A couple of the middle tracks sound like filler (Cast Down, Threshold), but the rest absolutely destroy. My personal favorites include God Send Death, Warzone, Payback, New Faith, Exile, and Disciple. The booklet is really well put together, with the lyrics being mixed in with bible annotations, you have to see it for yourself. As everyone knows, the cover is the white one with crosses to appease the censors, but the real cover(underneath), in all its bloody glory is one of their best covers ever.Dont hesitate to listen to this album a few times to let it really soak into you. It grows on you quite quickly, and I guarantee that hardcore Slayer fans as well as newcomers will not be disappointed.Note that the Limited Edition …DOES NOT include the two bonus tracks Addict and Scarstruck. It is simply packaged in the digi-pak style as opposed to the standard plastic case.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
At the risk of starting off on the wrong foot here, I’d like to get something off my chest: I’ve been a Slayer freak ever since the “Hell Awaits” era, and the fact of the matter is, I don’t feel that this band has delivered an album that approaches anything close to their potential since the “Hell/Reign/South” days of the ’80’s. And I mean that as a compliment. The greatest praise that I feel any fan can give a band is to criticize them when they are underachieving. My rundown of the last 12 years:”SEASONS”: Great album, but padded with filler and occasional awkward, out-of-place vocals (“Expendable Youth” in particular is just plain embarrassing).”DIVINE”: Great album, but too conservative in it’s approach (tries too hard to be “old school” and often ends up sounding old hat)…been there, done that. The lousy snare sound doesn’t help.”DIABOLUS”: Great album, but too liberal in it’s approach (too much flavor-of-the-month recording ethic here) and loaded with filler in it’s second half (the first five songs rule).BUT…I would rather listen to ANY of these albums that almost anything that’s come out since. And let’s face it, the year 2001 was pretty disappointing. A crappy, so-called “comeback” from Megadeth that couldn’t get aroused if Jenna Jameson bent over in front of it, a totally irrelevant Judas Priest album four years in the making that’s completely out of touch with reality, a parasitic infestation of nu-metal bands that each look, talk, act and sound as stupid as the one next to it, further ideological degeneration and rock star tragimentality from the once-admirable Metallica…are you beginning to get the picture?You know what we need to jump start the heavy metal economy? A Slayer album. And not just any Slayer album. A Slayer album to make everyone’s blood boil over and curdle; to make Tipper Gore and Jerry Falwell come out of hiding and declare that this band is out to undermine everyone’s peace, love, and understanding; to make everyone sit up and realize just how screwed up and complacent modern music has made us today……and I’ll be damned if we don’t have just that album.Let me cut through the bovine scatology here and get right to the point: THIS IS SLAYER’S BEST ALBUM SINCE ‘SOUTH OF HEAVEN’. Okay, that’s telling you something. Now, let me tell you why: for the first time in the thirteen years since that disc blessed our pathetic existence, we finally have another album that successfully taps the same raw visceral nerve and channels it’s sheer hateful energy into our psyche…Slayer seem to have a real bone to pick with the whole world and have seen fit to deliver thirteen beautifully misanthropic rants with merciless precision and almost pornographic intensity.Well, actually, make that eleven rants, because “Darkness of Christ” is really just an intro (it sounds kinda like the one on “Ghosts of War”) and, well, “Threshold” is a disgrace and has no place on ANY Slayer album. Uh, guys, I know you said you were influenced by Slipknot, but come on…what were you thinking here?! I’m gonna give ‘em the benefit of the doubt that this was intended as a send-up, but it’s gonna be one forever destined to taste the “track skip” button.But the rest of the disc much more than makes up for it. Tracks like “Disciple”, “Exile”, and “Warzone” are straight to the head old-school Slaytanic thrash delivered with some of the most over-the-top hateful sounding vocals Tom has EVER delivered…like “Undisputed Attiude” on PCP. And the lyrics? Sheesh. Tom spews out more venom here (enhanced by a newfound love for excessive use of the F-word) than Sam Kinison at a gay pride march. Check out some of these lines:”You make me wanna slit my own (BLEEP)ing throat/just to be rid of you!!!!” -”Exile”"I reject this (BLEEP)ing race!!!!!!/I despise this (BLEEP)ing place!!!!!!” -”Disciple”"I’m gonna rip your (BLEEP)ing eyes out/tear your (BLEEP)ing flesh off/beat you ’til you’re just a (BLEEP)ing lifeless carcass!!!” – “Payback”Oh, did I not mention “Payback”, which happens to be one of the fastest Slayer songs ever made? It’s right up there with “Dittohead” and “Necrophobic”…only angrier!!! I’m not even gonna try to describe it, you just gotta hear it for yourself…Elsewhere, there’s the excellent “God Send Death’, which sounds like one of the faster numbers from ‘South of Heaven’, “New Faith” which is a groove-oriented mid pacer that represents the best of the ‘Diabolus’ concept (“I stick the bible in a pool of blood/so that none of it’s lies can infect me!!!!”), the filthy heroin-addicted street scum of “Cast Down”…dudes, I could go on and on about every song here, but suffice to say, this is just, as a whole, simply incredible.By the way, one more thing before I close: Tom has finally got it through his thick head that he can’t sing, and on this album he attempts to do so exactly ZERO times. Tom, we love ya, man, but we also love Ozzy and Brian Johnson, and they can’t sing either! Keep stickin’ to yelling, screaming, and cursing like you did here, and you’ll do just fine in my book…:)Absolutely, positively the biggest “up yours” that any band has ever proclaimed in the form of a major metal release. Buy it for that reason alone.
I agree with that guys review. Slayer has changed but its not the music at all, its Tom’s voice. He cant scream like he use to, just listen to some concerts of the past few years. If this cd was released back after Reign in Blood, this would probably be the greatest thrash metal ever. This cd has amazing lyrics, the guitars are very heavy, Tom’s voice is a little changed but its still an amazing cd. Id recommend this cd to all the people who think Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, and those types of bands are heavy and violent-this guys dont go soft, they just get more pissed off. I saw them in concert, and that was the first time they used the raining blood effect. Lets just say that changed my life forever, and my view on metal bands. Slayer releases album after album of great, heavy, violent music and very disturbing, imaginative lyrics. Long live the greatest metal band of all time , SLAYER
GHUA is not only one of the most extreme metal albums released in 2001, it is a jewel in Slayer’s crown of brutality.Top notch riffing, melody and an exhausting vocal performance from Tom Araya combine with sharp production and result in an almost perfect thrash album. Once again, Slayer’s lyrics strike the perfect balance between morbid humour and seriousness. Thematically, GHUA examines the pain and suffering a person goes through in their life and the question over whether life is worth living at all. God is presented as the ultimate sadist and the album touches on the hopelessness and helplessness everyone feels at onetime or another. I only have one complaint. The first four and last three songs are so good that the middle almost suffers in comparison. Now a song by song breakdown.1.Darkness of Christ- An excellent intro track to the album. The words suggest that the world spins on a mantra of ’survival of the fittest’. N/A2.Disciple- The first track is also the best. Paul’s drumming is brutal and fast with enough rhythym changes in percussion and guitars to keep an audience interested after several spins.10/103.God Send Death- The opening is a melodic throwback to South of Heaven that twists into a straight out thrasher.9/104.New Faith- The grooviest track on the album and a welcome dose of comic relief comes about halfway through. Let the words ‘I keep the Bible in a pool of blood’ ring through the ages.9/105.Cast Down- A serious song about the despair of homelessness. The jilted drum part will throw you of balance while the guitars pull you in.9/106.Threshold- One of the weakest songs on the album, it should have been better. The guitar riff is cool but it never picks up any complexity. It feels like a half a song.7/107.Exile- Same problems as Threshold. Gets better as you listen to it more. 7/108.Seven Faces- The melodius beginning falls away to reveal a hideous scream and one of the best structured songs on the album. ‘I live for the things that keep me hollow’.8/10 9.Bloodline- A lot of fun, South of Heaven style, and a good track for people new to Slayer. 9/1010.Deviance- Same lack of depth that plagues Threshold and Exile. Could have been a classic with a little more work, but oh well. 7/1011.War Zone- Ah, here we go. One of the fastest and hardest songs Slayer has ever made. If the brutality of war were ever captured and purified into a heavy metal thrash band, it would be SLAYER.9/1012.Here Comes the Pain-This one challenges Disciple for title of best track on the album. Heavy Metal at its best. 10/1013.Payback-A brutal closer. It doesn’t have the staying power of some of the others but carries the classicly absurd chorus: ‘Payback’s a b*tch, motherf*cker!’. Beautiful.Overall this is one of Slayer’s best and heaviest. Each album Slayer has released has kept getting better, and they were damn good from the start.Overall- 9/10
O.K., so maybe Slayer aren’t as good as they once were (purely because they’re not as fast as they once were), but come on people. This C.D. is not bad. “God Hates Us All” is more brutal than their past few releases (probably Slayer’s most brutal album since “Reign in Blood”), and the songs are longer, too.
Now, there is no denying the songs are slower than the Slayer that we knew in the ’80’s; but times change. Slayer can’t keep making the same record again and again, or else they’d be criticized for doing that (just like some fans were dissapointed with “Divine Intervention,” because they thought it was a “Reign in Blood” rehash.) Slayer needed to evolve and tweak their sound a little bit. But this is still Slayer: most of the songs here are still blindingly fast. The riffs just fly by, still as fast, if not faster than any other band, and ten times faster than any nu-metal band. Plus (if you think this album was influenced by nu-metal bands or other music that was popular at the time), I don’t know any Korn or Linkin Park album that has guitar solos!
There’s no denying the vocals have changed, too. Tom Araya’s voice almost never changes throughout this album, and it can be, at times, a bit grating. But what else is he supposed to do? With music this loud, he can’t switch to calm singing or metal crooning. Also, his voice is slower, but is that a bad thing? On this album (opposed to some of Slayer’s previous albums) you can actually tell what he’s saying most of the time. And even if Tom’s voice does get irritating, there’s enough ceiling shaking guitar work to make up for it.
Finally, can a band be fast and loud but not inspired? Yes, “God Hates Us All” is very loud. While playing this C.D., I couldn’t hear anything else in the room until the last song ended; and then I could have sworn there was almost a ringing in my ears. But these songs are also very intense. To anyone who thinks this album is uninspired, I say listen to such tracks as “Disciple” and “Exile.”
“Disciple” has a driving bassline and, at it’s pinnacle, is almost deafening. It’s so fast, the twin guitar assault sometimes sounds like a cacophonous blur.
“New Faith”, “Cast Down” and “Threshold” all start out with one guitarist playing a “chug-chug” riff, which is only audible in one headphone at first. Then, the second guitarist comes on and plays the same riff in the other headphone. “Cast Down” has a a section which has a bobbing beat and staccato vocals and I enjoy how “Threshold” chugs fast, pauses briefly, then chugs some more.
“Exile” begins with two lumbering riffs (one from each guitarist), in the middle has a guitar solo that goes up and down, and ends with crashing “boom-boom” sound. But this song is a personal favorite mostly because of the viscious lyrics. Tom, who is insanely and genuinely mad, yells phrases like: “Take a good look in these eyes, know that I’m the one that’s gonna tear your f*ckin’ heart out!”
“Seven Faces” and “Bloodline” are the only two really slow songs, but even they are faster than most songs in music today.
“War Zone” begins with machine gun/jackhammer riffs and drums.
“Payback” is one of the fastest songs on the record, but it’s quite short.
Even though I like this album a lot, I can understand why old school Slayer fans would hate it (as it is not a good representation of the band). So if you’re new to the band, check out this album first (AND LISTEN WITH AN OPEN MIND), then explore their earlier works. Try to enjoy the Slayer albums seperately, don’t compare them. Also, love this album or hate it, you need to own it if you’re a Slayer completist.