Slayer God Hates Us All
Grade C+
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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 new tracks.

- - Kinderfeld

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