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Seasons in the Abyss

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(10 Reviews)

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  • The title of this review makes a bold statement, but I believe it to be true. After all, Slayer is the fastest and possibly the heaviest band in metal, and this is their best album. Reign In Blood is an extremely close second, but that album sometimes seems like one long song, whereas Seasons In The Abyss is much more diverse. SITA combines all the best elements of Slayer’s previous albums, while trying new ideas as well. The result is powerful thrash metal with an earth-shaking intensity that leaves you stunned. The first song on the album is War Ensemble, which cuts right to the chase with its’ intense heaviness, making it the ultimate war anthem. The second track, Blood Red, is more of a mid-tempo song with a classic-rock riff and lyrics about oppressive rule and genocide. Next comes Spirit In Black, which would fit perfectly on a Metal Blade-era Slayer album, and even includes references to the songs Hell Awaits and Raining Blood. It is a song all about life in Hell. The next song is Expendable Youth, which features lyrics about inner-city violence, along the lines of Iron Maiden’s ‘Gangland’, but with different insight. At the center of the album is Dead Skin Mask, the creepiest song ever written, with an eerie riff and lyrics about Ed Gein, one of America’s first serial killers, notorious for exhuming human corpses and decorating his house with their dead flesh. Toward the end of this song listeners hear a young child’s desperate cries for mercy. Next comes Hallowed Point, which is fast and heavy in the tradition of Reign In Blood, followed by Skeletons Of Society. I can only wonder why Skeletons Of Society is not usually considered a Slayer classic. It has great drumming and intelligent lyrics about anarchy and the downfall of modern civilization, such as “the rich became the beggars and fools became the wise”. This song is followed by Temptation, which features echoing vocals, perhaps meant to be evil voices inside your head tempting you to sin. The song asks the clever question “have you ever wondered why it seems the evil you’re attracted to?”. The second-to-last song on the album is another fast-tempo song called Born Of Fire, about Satan’s son, which is very brutal and leads to the grand finale. The album closes with my second-favorite Slayer song after Angel Of Death, the epic title-track Seasons In The Abyss. This song has lyrics, but the first two-and-a-half minutes are a dark and harrowing instrumental, almost like the soundtrack to descending to Hell after death. The song also has amazing guitar solos, as do all the songs on this great album. Guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King will frequently switch back and forth from each other to create a sort of guitar duel, and the title-track is probably the best example of this on the album. In conclusion, all true heavy metal fans need this album. I highly recommend it if you don’t already have it. Kerrang! magazine chose it as the 1990 Album Of The Year, and it certainly deserves that distinction. Seasons In The Abyss is simply an amazing album.

    Posted on February 7, 2010