Album of the Day


  • Axl Rosenberg

slayer_-_seasons_in_the_abyss.jpgFull confession: I actually like this album better than Reign in Blood. It completes the Holy Trinity of Slayer discs (Blood and South of Heaven being the other two, of course) and seems like the final chapter of some grand thrash trilogy – the crowning achievement of years of hard work, where all the lessons learned up to this point are put to good use. To wit: the band maintains some of the more mature songwriting skills they developed for Heaven, but pick up the pace, Blood-style, to ensure that they sound positively… unhinged. Like a band about to go off the rails at any moment.

“War Ensemble,” “Dead Skin Mask” (about serial killer Ed Gein, he of Psycho and Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame) and the title track are still staples of the band’s live set, but it’s the little nooks and crannies of the album – “Blood Red,” “Spirit in Black,” the fist pumping “Expendable Youth,” “Skeletons of Society” – that deliver the real pay-offs… and the immortal, thoroughly evil riffs that every American New Wave band is still ripping off seventeen years later. King and Hanneman know when to creep along, sneaking up on their prey, and when to leap from their hiding spot, ripping out the jugular with their bare teeth. And the solos are, of course, face meltingly NUTS. This was the band’s last foray into hell with original drummer Dave Lombardo until last year’s Christ Illusion, which, rather amazingly, picks up exactly where this disc left off; sonically speaking, it took the band that much time to sound this good again.


If for some idiotic reason you don’t already own this album, buy Seasons in the AbyssTHE ALBUM OF THE DAY IS… SLAYER, SEASONS IN THE ABYSS through right fucking NOW.

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