A KMA 2-Fer!

Today’s a bit of a dual post, but it all goes together, as you shall see…

Parte The First:

Today was our son’s first day returning for another school year. As you may recall from previous posts in these pages, my way of writing while he was in school last year was to show up early for picking him up at the end of the day. My daughter and I then rocked an album in the car, and I write about it in a notebook. I called this my Office, and it worked great all school year. Well, today’s review is the first from my return to the Office for a new school year.

Greetings from the Office!

IMAG0737

Parte The Second:

Slayer’s 1998 album, Diabolus In Musica, is a monster of an album. The sound is very big, and clear. Can we credit Rubin with this? I seem to recall Kerry King saying somewhere that he was a bit of a hands-off producer… Whatever. It’s pure Slayer – you know that sound: the howled, menacing vocals, and lyrics covering typical Slayer territory. Present are the great riffs and blistering solos, the heavy bottom end and pummeling drums. It’s all here. And speaking of the drums, this is the second album they made with Paul Bostaph on the kit, after Dave Lombardo left. I have zero problem with Bostaph’s playing on this album.

Some detractors said they thought this album was weak, not up to snuff for Slayer’s discography of evil and mayhem. Too nu-metal, some complained, saying Slayer were trying too hard to add new elements to the already-established Slayer sound. Others said it all sounded too same-y. These may be legitimate concerns to some, but I wonder if you probed a bit deeper you’d simply find that some of these complainers are just upset that the band isn’t re-making Reign In Blood over and over again.

For myself, I have no such complaints. I can play this album top to bottom, as I have done again today (for the umpteenth time since I bought it), and I think it’s great. Actually, the first 5 tracks are some of the strongest songs available at that time. Bitter Peace teases with an intro and then just blasts you. They don’t let up through Death’s Head, Stain Of Mind (which I first heard on a CMJ compilation at the time), Overt Enemy and Perversions Of Pain. If that were an EP, it would be a sure-fire metal classic. The rest of the album continues in that vein, all the way through to Point, which is a hulking giant of a tune. Crazy stuff. I like this record a lot.

I did notice one thing: In the song Love To Hate, the song just cuts off at 2:06, right in the middle of the guitar solo. It pops back on after a second or two, but it’s weird. Is this just a problem with my copy, or does everyone’s copy do the same thing? It’s possible that that break is supposed to be there and I’m just not hip enough to recognize its significance.

No matter. This album kicks. SLAYER!!

11 thoughts on “A KMA 2-Fer!

  1. mikeladano says:

    Oh and about Rubin..hands off would be the nice way to put it. I’ve seen loads of documentaries where he “produces” over the phone while the engineer does all the studio work.

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    1. keepsmealive says:

      It’s a wonder he keeps his job, then! Nice work, if you can get it.

      Also good to know, thanks! It would be equally easy to believe King was just being his usual self, on the subject.

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      1. mikeladano says:

        I don’t know if you ever saw the Dixie Chicks movie? He always seemed to be detached from the album, somewhere else. And that Metallica album he did? That DVD that came with it, I’m not sure if Metallica and Rubin were ever in the same room together.

        Like you said, nice work if you can get it! I’m not saying he’s not a brilliant producer because his work speaks for itself, but on some recent albums I gather he was really not there.

        I remember Chris Robinson saying the reason they never worked with Rubin was because “Rick Rubin is interested in promoting Rick Rubin, and I’m interested in promoting the Black Crowes.”

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            1. keepsmealive says:

              Well then I want his job. Seriously. Connect with all the bands, meet all my heroes, have everyone say I’m a genius and farm out all the actual work? Sounds like a great way to live in California and make milions. Assuming, of course, that’s what he does.

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    1. keepsmealive says:

      Yup that’s the Office, dash dust and all! 😉

      Diabolus and God Hates Us All might be good entry albums for you – ome people think the band cahnged their sound a bit to try to be more accessible… I don’t know about that, I mean, it’s frickin’ SLAYER! They still sound like them, but there is a sheen to them that earlier records don’t have. I heartily endorse DiM, if you’re ever feeling that itch for Slayer. Saw it at HMV for $5, can’t go wrong AT ALL!

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  2. Deke says:

    Glad to see the the Office is open for business! For me personally I missed the whole Slayer thing,of course I knew about em but I just could not get into em. Guys I was with in Highschool it was Maiden,Metallica,Slayer. I went with the two M’s but as far as Slayer went I guess I missed the boat on em!
    Having said that now there version of In A Gadda Da Bida off the Less Than Zero soundtrack is wickedly good! I loved that one,so I guess I did own a Slayer tune!…

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    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks Deke, the Office is indeed back until next June. It’s a cool spot to listen. My daughter gets a musical education, and for whatever reason the stock sound system in that car has really, really good sound. It’s like we’re hot-boxing great music! haha.

      I have that LTZ soundtrack! On vinyl! Still in the shrink wrapping (but open)! It’s a cool disc.

      Slayer is indeed an acquired taste. They’re the extreme end of thrash in the big four, But I gotta tell you, sometimes there’s this itch for something crushingly heavy, oozing evil, and jam-packed with great playing and ridiculous energy. Slayer scratches that itch every time.

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