Slayer - Seasons In The Abyss
American Recordings
Thrash/Speed Metal
10 songs (42.23)
Release year: 1990
Slayer, American Recordings
Reviewed by Aleksie
Archive review
In my view its quite pointless to recap anything concerning Slayers meaning and influence to the world of metal. Everything has been said and most of it is nothing but the truth (for those wondering, I don’t consider the ridiculous claims of nazism, satanism and such to hold any water). In its own genre and in all metal, Reign In Blood will always be the classic monster album. But the two follow-ups, which to me round up the ultimate trifecta of Slayer-masterpieces, are awesome albums in their own right. So enter the apocalyptic realms of my favourite of the duo, Seasons In The Abyss.

You don’t get much better with a album opener than War Ensemble. If Im questioned, this is the best track Slayer has ever made (yeah, I dig it even more than Angel or Raining. Its that damn good), a live staple that rips equally on disc and on stage. The manic tempo, furious riffing, Lombardos monstrous drumming and Arayas brutal gruffing about the horrors of war create one hell of a shitstorm. Especially neckbreaking are the dynamic stop-go riffjabs that come before the verses along with the insanely catchy chorus. Fans of more ungodly speed metal can also feast their ears on the turbo-boosted pieces of mayhem like Spirit In Black, Hallowed Point or Born Of Fire. Ye metalheads who shall not feel the twitch of neck muscles and masses of hair with these tunes can cast thy selves away into the fiery pits of oblivion! Hanneman and King solo like madmen with their anti-tasteful but extremely effective and most of all material-suiting styles.

But Seasons isn’t all about pure head-on overdrive. This is also one of Slayers more diverse albums, with lots of more down-tempo stuff that relies as much on creating haunting atmospheres then just simple brutality. The most hard core fans might even call the melodic Dead Skin Mask going soft and selling out, but to me its just a damn good song. Expendable Youth and Skeletons Of Society give some very good, grinding mid-tempo churning, but are no match for the marvellous title track of the album. Sounding even a bit doomy in the beginning and moving from demonic gongs that are like opening the gates of hell to mid-tempo grooves that destroy every time this live regular is ripped through in concert, this tale from the depths of hell holds some damn scary feeling to it and is not recommended listening if one is feeling depressed or in an unstable state of mind. Although the über-catchy chorus could easily bring some aggression boosted spirits up in anyone. The only tune that doesn’t hit me here that much is the fillerish mid-tempo song Blood Red, but that can be accounted to the fact that it comes straight after War Ensemble. It aint too easy to follow a tune like that.

Production values are pretty much a given when the name Rick Rubin is plastered on an album sleeve. This guy can´t produce any weak sounds. They just kill, without mercy. The themes of the songs are very familiar and bleak. Slayers world is still located in the black humour-induced lands of death, destruction, black arts, fire and brimstone. Arayas voice is in murderous form, the tandem of Kerry and Jeff churn out oodles upon oodles of riffs without hesitation and anyone who knows anything about metal drumming (or has ears, now that I think more deeply) needs no info on the skinbashing-abilities of Dave Lombardo. His widely spread nickname, “Human Drum Machine”, tells everything there is necessary to know.

A nearly classic album from the all-time classic unit that is Slayer. A must buy for any fan of more extreme and aggressive metal. Go forth and grab the black magic of 80s Slayer or close your eyes…look deep in your soul…step outside yourself…and let your mind go…frozen eyes stare deep in your mind as you diiieeeeeeeeeeee…

Killing Songs :
ALL of em, except for maybe Blood Red. But its a small defect in this brutal bunch!
Aleksie quoted 95 / 100
Jeff quoted 100 / 100
Other albums by Slayer that we have reviewed:
Slayer - Repentless reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Slayer - Haunting the Chapel reviewed by Tony and quoted no quote
Slayer - World Painted Blood reviewed by Goat and quoted 76 / 100
Slayer - Divine Intervention reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
Slayer - Undisputed Attitude reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
To see all 14 reviews click here
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