If you’re looking for a Slayer album that rivals all-time classics like Reign in Blood or Seasons in the Abyss, this ain’t it. At the same time, let’s be realistic. This is Slayer 20+ years later. All in all, I think this is a rather good effort.
*The songs are pretty good. Some are better than others, but I’m not compelled to skip any tracks. From start to finish, this is a solid, consistent recording.
*It sounds more like pure, classic Slayer than Christ Illusion (though I enjoyed Christ Illusion too, BTW). If you didn’t like Christ Illusion, you’ll like this better but don’t expect to be blown away.
*It’s Slayer. It sounds like Slayer. It’s good.
*The production is a mixed bag. Tom’s vocals sound good. Dave’s drums are heavy. The rhythm guitars sound terrible. They’re thin and weak. Producer Greg Fidelman needs to find a new career. He’s worthless.
*The riffs, while generally good, aren’t particularly complex. On a technical level, everything can be played with one guitar. I wonder if this is a product of Jeff and Kerry writing songs separately these days. Neither seem to write song with dual-riffing in mind anymore.
*Even when Jeff and Kerry play the same riff simultaneously, it still sounds like one guitar due to the weak production. Did I mention that Greg Fidelman’s worthless?
Overall, this is a good album by Slayer circa 2009. Any Slayer fan with reasonable expectations will enjoy it. Can it live up to the band’s classic releases? Of course not! The Slayer of today can’t possibly play with the strength and power of the Slayer of twenty years ago. That said, Slayer can still deliver the goods. Just don’t expect the goods to be as in good condition as they were 20 years ago.