Album Reviews of the 80s

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Slayer, "Diabolus in Musica" / 1999 Review by: Johnson
Diabolus in Musica sounds like no other piece of work from Slayer, which makes for a bit of a queasy and uncomfortable experience at first. Undisputed Attitude's "Gemini" is the definite precursor to Slayer's newer, hardcore-driven sound. Sort of a speed-metal Machine Head at times, one can easily be discouraged from the first few songs, but album closer "Point" reaffirms faith in the band. It also opens the idea that in the rapidly expanding metal scene, a veteran band such as Slayer has to expand outward, not inward, in order to retain its throne. This is precisely what Slayer has done, and instead of the Reign-rehash of Divine Intervention or career-risking punk escapades, Slayer has thrashed their way out of the metal niche from which they were almost trapped. Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman tap their hardcore roots to create a speedy, bass-driven chug which pummels the senses in a whole new devilish way. "Death's Head," "Perversions of Pain," "In the Name of God," "Scrum," and "Bitter Peace" usher in a crisp new era of Slayer aggression. Thankfully the lyrics have not traveled the route of "Ain't My Bitch"; instead they stick to familiar topics such as religion, death, war, and serial killers. This album smokes and it is recommended to all fans of metal, even if that first listen is a bit of a shock. The greatest albums are those that take several daunting listens in order to become just that, a great album. Just think where Slayer would be if all those speed junkies had turned their backs on South of Heaven after only one or two listens.

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