Let me first say that this is probably been the first time
that I've actually picked up an album and was shocked by the
inside artwork. Most hardcore metal bands who use paintings
of demons and the like just come across as cheesy and, well,
un-shocking. The inside of this album's design is like a low-blow
to any religious sensibility that the listener may have. (I
won't describe the inside. I'm just warning you.)
When you finally get to the album, you'll find the traditional
Slayer formula. They don't use heavy-ended bass lines
or fuzzy guitar production to be heavy. They just are. Slayer
is just fast, with crisp guitar lines and an underplayed
bass line that aides in keeping the beat but doesn't interfere
with the guitar play of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. Tom
Araya's vocals don't even bother with harmony. He just spews
forth one dark series of lyrics after another.
Even with the offensiveness of the package and traditionality
of the music, there are a number of really powerful tracks
here. Both Cast Down and Here Comes the Pain actually
hint at groove, while Bloodlines shows hints from South
of Heaven. The use of samples and odd tones in Deviance
and the intro Darkness of Christ show at least
an attempt to progress further with their sound. Traditional
Slayer fans shouldn't fear too much change - both Warzone
and Payback hail back to albums like Reign in
Blood and Divine Intervention.
God Hates Us All encompasses everything that Slayer
has done before without really surpassing it. If you have
ever liked Slayer, then this is well worth your money.
If you don't like them, this album won't change your mind.
It isn't as revolutionary as Reign in Blood or South
of Heaven, but it still presents an excellent batch of