It’s been a long, agonizing wait but finally ‘God Hates Us All’ is with us. The first Slayer record in three years and it takes all of about thirty seconds of first track proper, ‘Disciple’, before you start thanking the God’s above (or below) for the return of the heaviest band on planet Earth.
Let’s be honest with each other here, 98’s ‘Diabolus in Musica’ was a let down akin to England’s performance against Albania. It was just a turgid, half-arsed attempt after so many great things had gone before it. Fast-forward to 2001 and Slayer are well and truly visiting the glory days of the past. More metal than ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ and certainly more consistent than ‘Divine Intervention’, this is Slayer at there all out best. Fast chugging guitar lines, fat, thumping drums and all without a trace of melody in sight.
While the band will never be able to step out of the shadow of 1986’s ‘Reign in Blood’ masterpiece, this is probably the best thing they’ve stamped there name on outside of the said classic. ‘Disciple’ is the real masterpiece on show, blasting away like a machine gun with all changing tempo’s and trademark brutality while ‘God Send Death’ is the musical equivalent of watching a phoenix rise from the flames, ascending to a violent climax of guitars and massacre. Formerly on the ‘Dracula 2000’ soundtrack, ‘Bloodline’ is yet another example of how mind-blowing Slayer can be in full flight, Tom Araya’s chilling ‘I’ll kill you and your dreams tonight’ refrain letting every drip of blood inside you body run cold and your heart stop with sheer excitement. ‘Warzone’ is a clear cut example of intensity at it’s finest, letting the temperature rise with a repeated ,spiralling riff that shows off Slayer’s rhythmic ability to make the heaviest sounds around. If you want to re-live the speed metal that made Kerry King and co. the force they are today, then ‘Payback’ is a damn fine example of Slayer at there head-crushingly accurate best, it’s just three minutes and twelve seconds of unadulterated madness. Just how we love ‘em.
If there is a young Slipknot fan out there reading this who has never heard Slayer, buy this record and you’ll see where your heroes got everything they know. For the old die-hards that were put off by ‘Diabolus…’, give ‘God Hates Us All’ a chance and on one listen, you’ll be glad you did. Slayer are one of the very few bands that are able to stay true to their heavy roots and still naturally progress, even after all these years. This is without a shadow of a doubt the greatest Slayer release for many years. ‘God Hates Us All’ but he likes us enough to give us this record. Amen to that.
10Terry Bezer's Score