Where Reign In Blood is half an hour of pure madness and Seasons In The Abyss is aggressive in a more gloomy way, South Of Heaven falls somewhere in between the two, both chronologically and approach wise. But let's not dwell more on one of Metal's most notorious bands and get to the actual songs on this, their fourth full-length album.
Staring off with one hell of a track, South Of Heaven
creepingly builds up tension with brilliant raw rhythm guitars and Dave Lombardo's ultra tight drumming. I'm just fascinated by the track's structure and ability to sound so heavy even though it's a more modest Slayer
song tempo wise.
kicks things into fifth gear, the opening drum onslaught and subsequent double bass insanity gets my blood running faster right away.
The first solo by King is intense to the bone and when Hanneman steps in with a cool technical procedure it gives it that cool duelling feeling. A marvellous and totally unruly composition.
has one of the fiercest breaks I have come across, it's like they just couldn't strike it home without releasing some of that world famous unbound aggressiveness.
This song is a good example of the varied side of Slayer
, lots of rhythm changes accompanied by a dynamic bass delivery.
Tom Araya's vocals are a very important aspect in the Slayer
sound and his work on this record is just totally amazing, it's hard to explain but alongside the hardness and soaring screams a melodic vibe coexists. Take the way he sings the first line in Behind The Crocked Cross
, catchy in a very stripped down fashion.
is not my favourite song on the album but it is still a good one, I think it looses some of its momentum in the extensive ending section.
The massive groove it gains from a heavy rhythm section works out well and check out the second solo by Hanneman, incredible stuff.
Ultra fast riffs and a vigorous vocal presentation make up some really strong points in the fantastic Ghost Of War
, "I deal in pain"
is just such a powerful line.
Dave throws on some brilliant fills and overall I'm blown away by his performance, as goes for the rest of the band, this is simply an extremely well played record.
Read Between The Lines
doesn't really have the same strong structure and great ideas as the other songs. I must give credit to the creative drumming but I'm missing a memorable binding element.
Cleanse The Soul
on the other hand jumps right for the throat, high tempo madness performed with great skill. The varied drumming is a pleasure to explore in detail and the solos are stunning.
Sinister acoustic guitar tunes send out an apocalyptic mood of warning before Spill The Blood
slowly unfolds its raw and groovy nature. The experimenting approach gives the album a very varied dimension towards the end; the groovy bass and melodic chorus are working out great too.
Not making this any less enjoyable is the groovy take on the Judas Priest
classic Dissident Aggressor
can with good reason be labelled extreme on both the musical and lyrical front. Hellish scenarios, inner demons, abuse of religion and the horror of war are presented with in a certain outright style, matching the music in a very supportive way. Once in a while we have to deal with the darker sides in life, and Slayer
does a good job in presenting some important issues on this record.
The production is classic in it self, crystal clear, balanced and tight in one heck of a heavy mixture.
The sublime mix of raw heaviness, chunky but melodic hooks and a unique touch of spellbinding intensity makes this so special.
Written by Tommy
Friday, May 6, 2005Show all reviews by TommyRatingsTommy: 8.5/10
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