It has taken a while to get around to writing this particular album review. Mostly because I wanted to make sure I give an honest view and make sure I listen to the album before I write this. Some albums I know instantly what to write. Sometimes I need to listen to them. This one deserved time. My last album review was published on 25 December last year so it’s been a while.
Every song on this album is great. They all have moments of glory and should be listened to the world over.
Pretty much all the albums reviews have been written leading to this point where I quote the lyrics from a verse of South Of Heaven:
“Bastard sons beget your cunting daughters, Promiscuous mothers with your incestuous fathers. Engreat souls condemned for all eternity, Sustained by immoral observance a domineering deity.”
Look at it. Amazing. Who writes this stuff for songs?
I don’t think I can write a review of each song because they will all use the same words. A wordsmith I am not. You should have realised that by now. Shout outs belong to South Of Heaven, Mandatory Suicide, Behind The Crooked Cross for the chugging intro – I love it.
It’s been too long since I last wrote a review on this topic, I’d actually forgotten I had done some of the “S” albums. To have Seasons In The Abyss as a resumption of service is great. This album is absolutely fantastic. It’s hard, heavy, powerful and will smash you apart. I’m not a megafan of Slayer I have seen them twice I think and I enjoyed the shows. They are one of the big four and so deserve their place in history. Every now and then the music of Slayer is a requirement because it’s just right. Make no mistake this is thrash metal and a perfect example.
War Ensemble – fast, powerful, lasting lyrics, what’s not to like? I remember Slayer at the Clash Of The Titans concert in Wembley arena announcing that they were going to record the music video to this song and were going to play along to a backing track – that did not go down well with the crowd – so they played it live.
Expendable Youth – Very good song. I do like some heavy cymbal use.
Dead Skin Mask – creepy and scary. This song messed me up the first time I heard it. I bought this album on music cassette [tape] and was playing it while walking from the record shop. Towards the end of this song a girl’s voice comes on asking for help. I hadn’t realised it was part of the song and thought it was someone behind me asking. Pooped myself.
Hallowed Point – see below lyrics, need I say more?
High velocity bullet at close range Can damage the mind Shattering the skull shredding the brain Severing the spine
Slayer – Hallowed Point
Seasons In The Abyss – a tour-de-force of a song. Absolutely amazing. Calming, heavy, spooky. All of that.
I know I haven’t written about every song and there are times when I do. I think the biggest endorsement I can give this album is that I don’t skip any of the songs and love the whole thing. It’s a well rounded collection of songs.
So, I bought this album quite a while after getting Decade Of Aggression which is possibly the only Slayer album you need. I can imagine how, back in the eighties, this album would’ve scared the shit out of adults. It’s heavy, gross, disgusting and amazing.
Angel Of Death – a song about Mengele and the shit he did during the second world war. Look, the whole point of metal is to shock and make you think. This song is gross but amazing at the same time. It doesn’t celebrate gore it brings that knowledge to a wider world. This song creates pacifists.
Altar Of Sacrifice – Amazing and heavy.
Jesus Saves – that opening riff is heavy as hell.
Criminally Insane – more heavy stuff and a great opening.
Postmortem – amazing. Such a heavy riff and masterfully blends into the next song.
Raining Blood – awesome. Can you see what they did with the title of the album and the name of this song? Clever eh?
If you want to seriously damage all your body then get this album playing at full volume and let it assault you.
I bought this on the back of Slayer’s earlier music from the 80s and although I play this now and then there isn’t a track on it that I can remember. It all rather mushes into one song by the end. Sorry.
I first got this album on double music cassette in about 1992. I had seen Slayer as part of the “Clash of the Titans” tour at Wembley Arena and really liked them. They recorded the video to “War Ensemble” at that particular concert. I think that some of the songs on this album were recorded at that exact gig that I saw. The tape version has since been supplemented by a CD version and finally an MP3 version on the NAS drive.
This is an AWESOME album.
If you only buy one thrash metal album then it had better be this one and then in all honesty you only need to play the first song as it covers all needs of guitar based turn-on.
My favourite songs on this album are (and I don’t apologise for the length of the list):
South of Heaven
Dead Skin Mask
Seasons in the Abyss
Angel of Death
The atmosphere conveyed by these disks is brilliant. You can only find one better live album out there (Live After Death). This puts all others to shame. Get it. Play it. LOUD.
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