Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Slayer’s South of Heaven Enters the Decibel Hall of Fame!
Before there were blogs there were these things called magazines, and the only metal magazine we still get excited about reading every month is Decibel. Here’s managing editor Andrew Bonazelli…
Decibel’s 100 issue was a BFD (no shit, quoth relentlessly bombarded MetalSucks reader), hence the ideal venue to bestow a long-overdue second Hall of Fame upon an influential artist—in that case, Sepultura’s Beneath the Remains joining Roots. While that was an editorial corrective to giving Roots the honor first—I mean, for fuck’s sake, Jonathan Davis and DJ Lethal were on the thing—it also opened the can of worms as to what band most deserved two long-form tongue baths next. Now there’s a whole new, even more convoluted pecking order. This month, we went with the most obvious means of circumventing future bitching and picked Slayer.
South of Heaven joins Reign in Blood in the pantheon, completing an almost perfect through-line of Decibel’s existence. Longtime readers surely remember that Reign was our first-ever HOF, appearing in issue 2, our first of what I am told will be 48,000 Converge covers. The South of Heaven HOF is an improvement—not because the album itself is better (although I’m sure some of you natural born contrarians are well-prepared to make that argument), but because the piece is longer and more thorough. We’ve gotten a little better at organizing and articulating these oral histories, and lo and behold, Slayer did their part too; they were even funnier, bawdier and more revealing about Heaven’s conception. There is a little more red meat here, as far as Slayer lore is concerned, of course: newlywed Kerry King was not a major part of the creative process, Tom Araya started experimenting with cleaner vocals, and the mutually beneficial Rick Rubin era came to a somewhat contentious end. Plenty of cool shit to take in while we brainstorm the third most deserving artist of a second HOF. Gotta be Metallica, amirite?
The March 2013 issue of Decibel also features Voivod, Soilwork, and an awesome Cathedral flexi disc, and can be ordered here. But why not just get a full subscription to ensure that you never miss an issue?