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Re-Review: Slayer – Reign In Blood #0wordchallenge

I hereby accept Mike‘s #0wordchallenge.

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Slayer – Decade Of Aggression

SLAYER!!

What do you want to know about this 1991 double live album that you can’t already guess for yourself? It’s fucking SLAYER! playing a lot of their biggest songs at top volume, with full aggression and power, at 100mph, and playing them flawlessly.

It’s nuts, I mean, Araya has to ask the crowd to watch out for each other, and they’re only two tracks into the gig. There’s one woman who screams joyfully whenever a song is announced, and her voice cuts through everything. The whole thing is so in your face, so friggin’ LOUD… whoa.

King and Hanneman’s solos are insane, and Lombardo is a monster on his kit. Araya delivers, as always. Was there ever a doubt? Hahaha no.

In Sum:

SLAYER!!!!  \m/  \m/

 

Notes For The Info Junkies Among Us:

These recordings represent three different dates on their Clash Of The Titans tour (see indicators, below), but Wiki says Rick Rubin made it sound like all one show. The CD1 is all from one show, and CD 2 collects tracks from two other gigs.

CD1^: Hell Awaits / The Anti-Christ / War Ensemble / South Of Heaven / Raining Blood / Altar Of Sacrifice / Jesus Saves / Dead Skin Mask / Seasons In The Abyss / Mandatory Suicide / Angel Of Death

CD2: Hallowed Point~ / Blood Red~ / Die By The Sword* / Black Magic* / Captors Of Sin* / Born Of Fire* / Post Mortem~ / Spirit In Black* / Expendable Youth* / Chemical Warfare*

^ all of CD1 was recorded 1991-07-13 at Lakeland Coliseum in Lakeland, Florida.
~ recorded 1990-10-14 at Wembley Arena, London, England.
* recorded 1991-03-08 at Orange Pavilion, San Bernardino, California.

Slayer – God Hates Us All

Yesterday I gave the excellent Diabolus In Musica a spin. Today, God Hates Us All.

Typical of Slayer, this album title was sure to create a bit of controversy. Kerry King even got the words of the title tattooed (in big letters) all the way down his arm. The album’s cover was also controversial. My used copy came with the white cover, but when I pulled the booklet out, the white cover was just a single page slip-in to mask the original cover. Apparently this was done to please retail outlets. Go figure.

No matter. This album is incredibly heavy. Of course it is, it’s Slayer. It’s the last (so far) made with Paul Bostaph on the drums and, once again, I had absolutely no problem with his contributions to this heaving monster of a record.

Darkness Of Christ is a swirling, quasi-musical talking thing, a disappointing waste of 1.5 minutes of intro time. Fortunately, Disciple steps up and blasts you right in the solar plexus, and we’re off to the races from there. The rest of the album chugs along with great anger and menace, with a lot of mid-tempo sections that I actually found more impressive than their typical ultra-fast parts.

Of course, with an album title like that (which is the chorus of Disciple), religion is one of the big tickets here. With song titles like God Send Death, New Faith, and Cast Down, you’re assured of some interesting lyrics. But there’s lots more, with serial killers and murder and hate and revenge and… well, you get the picture.

It’s fucking intense. Seriously. I listened to this top to bottom and I came away completely drained. Which is, I think, the point of every Slayer record. Slayer does nothing by halves, and this record is absolutely no exception.

Interesting Trivia: The band certainly had no possible way of knowing what else would happen on that day, and make of this album’s contents with what we now know as you will, but this album’s release date was September 11, 2001.

In Sum:

God Hates Us All is a brutal, relentless and superb Slayer record. I just loved it, even while it was kicking my ass. Especially while it kicked my ass.

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!!

Finally! Some new shit!

Yes, it’s been a pathetically long time since my last appearance here. But remember, it’s like John Lennon said, “life is what happens when you’re busy making plans,” and man, I have been busy making plans to post here for WAY too long. So here’s some of the shit I’ve been listening to. More to come, ‘cos I’ve filled my iPod with all kinds of stuffs. Wahoo!

Terrible Hostess, Volume 2

Hooray for our friends at Mint Records! As you all know, Carolyn Mark and NQ Arbuckle have just released a tasty new disc of excellent music called Let’s Just Stay Here. Talk about making our year! So, in honour of this release, our great friends at Mint sent us some really sweet swag… buttons and stickers (love the airline ‘Fragile’ stickers with Air Carolyn on them!), a Carolyn and NQ luggage tag, and a blood red dish towel to go with a beautiful copy of Carolyn’s Terrible Hostess: Recipes For Disaster, Volume 2 cookbook! Some of the recipes look downright tasty and I can’t wait to try them (with recommended music playing and recommended drink in hand).

Slayer – World Painted Blood

Business-as-usual chaos as only Slayer can muster it. Play this as loud as your player can go. SLAYER!

Slipknot – Slipknot 10th Anniversary Edition

The CD’s the real draw in this set, with all the brutal honesty and aggression intact… and bonus tracks! Sweet.

Hawksley Workman – We’ll Make Time (Even When There Ain’t No Time)

New Hawksley is coming! Get ready! James found this radio broadcast world premiere. It’s a one-idea slow build with enough lyrics to make anyone run out of breath, crashing full-on into rock-out bliss. Ah, Hawksley.

Guided By Sloan

Just noticed that in the liner notes for Sloan’s Navy Blues, Guided By Voices is listed as having shared the stage. Imagine THAT show! I think I’d pass out with bliss…

Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love

Spent the whole time listening to this recognizing all of the influences that have given them their sound (U2, Oasis, Coldplay and tiresomely beyond). Shame they haven’t found their own sound out of the list.

Cage The Elephant – Cage The Elephant

This would sound great live. Kind of reminds me of the Trews although, if they meant what they said in the first track, they don’t give a shit what comparisons I can make. Just a great, fun rawk record.

Wild Beasts – Limbo, Panto

Oddly compelling, with weird party music and falsetto vocals. Could almost be the soundtrack to a 60’s stage show musical. Are we sure this isn’t a Darkness side project?

Yim Yames – A Tribute To

My Morning Jacket dude’s tribute to George Harrison. Stripped-down renditions show the strength of the originals and let the covers shine too.

Miranda Lambert – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

New country meets the moxy of the classic country ladies of days gone by, with a few dud tracks thrown in. This lady can sing, that’s for sure. One foot in a bold new direction, the other stuck in the same old schtick.

Iggy Pop – Preliminaires

Man, Iggy rules. Only this particular wild man could foist such a collection of jazzy. bluesy, rock-ish and Parisian-sounding stuff on our ears and get away with it. And without ridicule, too. Strangely compulsive, and not just because it’s Iggy (and therefore we must love it). A welcome diversion, so long as it’s not an admission that he’s finally slowing down for good.

Harry Connick, Jr. – Blue Light, Red Light

This takes me back to high school .Yes, I was THAT guy back then. Still am now, I’ll have you know. Great swing, astounding arrangements in the best of this style’s traditions. Could be the soundtrack to a grainy-colour 60’s musical, and that’s a very, very good thing.

Flight Of The Conchords – I Told You I Was Freaky

We all love these guys by now, with their quirky humour that’s laugh-out-loud funny. Even if you set aside the images from the TV show in your mind, this is still an hilariously danceable record. These guys are really onto something.

Slayer – Reign In Blood

Ah, Slayer.

Sorry… SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!

What can I say about this record by now, 23 years after its crushing arrival? How long have I even owned a copy of this record? A long time.

This is completely essential listening. It is intricate, immediate, stunningly conceived, and completely aggressive. Other, weaker metal bands everywhere suddenly forget their silly posturing and scurry to hide under furniture when this record appears on the horizon.

It is a short, sharp shock to your pathetic complacency. It is hardcore at its finest. It is the only thing that can scratch that itch. It will eat you for lunch and spit your bloody bones into the street.

You must own Reign In Blood, and pay it tribute regularly. You are incomplete without it.

Track Listing:
01 Angel Of Death
02 Piece By Piece
03 Necrophobic
04 Altar Of Sacrifice
05 Jesus Saves
06 Criminally Insane
07 Reborn
08 Epidemic
09 Postmortem
10 Raining Blood

At some point, my original copy grew legs and went off somewhere to wreak havoc in new places, so for the past while I’ve owned the Expanded Edition, which has two splendid bonus tracks on it:

11 Aggressive Perfector
12 Criminally Insane (remix)

Slayer – Undisputed Attitude

Whatever you think of Slayer, I’ll bet it’s a strong opinion.

Me? I love ‘em. 

And man, I love this CD of (mostly) cover tunes. Slayer can’t ever sit still, and every track comes through at a level of punishing aggression that makes the listener want to break many, many things. Better yet, their song choices here are excellent.

But I am clearly not in the majority with this opinion. Many so-called Slayer purists dislike this record, even going so far as to call it unworthy of the band’s discography. You know, those holier-than-thou metal heads really get on my nuts. OK, yes, Reign In Blood is great, blah blah blah. We all know this. Just shut the fuck up and turn it up, already. Go wank pretentiously on your own time. Undisputed Attitude rocks and it sucks to be you if you can’t get to it.

I remember the first time I heard these tracks. I was in a record shop in Montreal, with our buddy Geordie. This CD was playing on the in-store sound system, and Geordie immediately recognized Richard Hung Himself. He bought it right from their player. I heard the whole thing later on and loved it.

I’ve gone back to this record many times over the years, and find it hard to believe that it was released 12 years ago already. Man. That would make me think that I was getting old if this record didn’t make me feel younger and full of energy every time I hear it.

Completely recommended (despite what those idiot wankers tell you).
 

Track Listing: (original artist)
01 Disintegration / Free Money (Verbal Abuse)
02 Verbal Abuse / Leeches (Verbal Abuse)
03 Abolish Government / Superficial Love (T.S.O.L.)
04 Can’t Stand You (Pap Smear)
05 Ddamm (Pap Smear)
06 Guilty Of Being White (Minor Threat)
07 I Hate You (Verbal Abuse)
08 Filler / I Don’t Want To Hear It (Minor Threat)
09 Spiritual Law (D.I.)
10 Mr. Freeze (Dr. Know)
11 Violent Pacification (D.R.I.)
12 Richard Hung Himself (D.I.)
13 I’m Gonna Be Your God (Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog)
14 Gemini (Slayer)

P.S. Turns out Europe and Japan got bonus tracks, which I’d love to hear someday:

Europe: Sick Boy (G.B.H.)
Japan: Sick Boy (G.B.H.) and Memories Of Tomorrow (Suicidal Tendencies)

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