Album Reviews of the 80s

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Slayer, "Hell Awaits" / 1986 Review by: Johnson
When it was released in 1986, Slayer's second album Hell Awaits was a nearly inpenetrable cacophony of sound; however, what may have seemed like pure noise then, only proved to be ahead of its time. Songs like the title track, "At Dawn They Sleep" and "Hardening of the Arteries" show a more technical side of the band rarely seen before (or since), featuring complex arrangements and time changes, but without compromising any speed. And though buried in distortion, the more straightforward thrash of "Kill Again" and "Necrophiliac" are just as enticing. Ultimately, this was Slayer's first important record and influenced an entire generation of bands, as well as setting the stage for their masterpiece of 1987's Reign in Blood.

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