Slayer - Christ Illusion review
|Release date:||August 2006|
01. Flesh Storm
03. Skeleton Christ
04. Eyes Of The Insane
08. Black Serenade
11. Final Six [Re-release bonus]
+ Slayer On Tour '07 [Re-release bonus]
Well, this is really one of those reviews where you just don't know where to start, even though you clearly have a lot to say about the work and everyone wants you to discuss every single characteristic, impression and detail of it. Slayer needs no introduction, their career and influence is well known and respected, so much that sometimes I almost feel intimidated for stating my opinion on their entire discography. In any case, I think it's important. A lot has been said before about the post-"Seasons In The Abyss" era, how the following releases followed undesirable modern tendencies or how they are inconsistent and pretentious. I agree. As you may understand I didn't have high expectations for "Christ Illusion."
Due to the lack of good releases in the summer of this year of 2006, I felt compelled, at some point, to start an extensive search for something that could make some of my disappointment go away. There's nothing more depressing than being depressed during summer, and surely Metal wouldn't do that to me. It was during this despairing quest that I decided to try the new Slayer. And I'm glad I did it, because it is definitely their best album in years.
In the beginning I thought I was going to get a "God Hates Us All" copy, the openers in both albums seem to want to impress from the beginning with constant breakdowns, but "Flesh Storm," unlike "Disciple," actually gets somewhere, good chorus and solos. It was only with "Skeleton Christ" and "Catatonic" that I got some of the bad taste of that album, but it didn't bother me much, because they're well compensated by the rest. Songs like "Catalyst" or "Consfearacy" own a lot to the rhythmic section and the pace is excellent. The album gets interesting as "Eyes Of The Insane," "Jihad" or "Cult" come up, because they have something different to show, be it a different introduction or groovy mid-tempo solos. "Supremist" is probably the most violent and raw track.
I think the song writing level is not the most complex Slayer has developed, but I was surprised with the range of this album. Despite its major flaws, I think "God Hates Us All" was Slayer aiming to be effective and aggressive, but not constantly chaotic and fast, and "Christ Illusion" works a bit in the same way. The welcomed differences are that you don't have that awful distortion on Tom Araya's voice, you have Lombardo back with his classic style, the bass is not downtuned to a point of ridiculousness and the guitars sound more Thrash Metal than anything else, powerful riffs and probably some of the best solos King and Hannemann have come up with in recent years, particularly in songs like "Flesh Storm," "Catalyst" and "Consfearacy."
I read somewhere, months before this was released, that Jeff Hannemann considered this to be some kind of a cross between "Seasons In The Abyss" and "God Hates Us All." It's not a bad description, although, thankfully "Christ Illusion" is more than that. What I can't guarantee you is that you'll find this to be in the same level as their first 5 albums. I don't. What I can guarantee you is that this is Slayer's most solid effort since 1990, and most likely to be their least controversial in terms of style, even in terms of production this album is successful, it sounds fresh but not overly polished. At the very least give it a try.
|Five long years we waited for this latest chapter of the Slayer story. Dave Lombardo was back after a hiatus lasting more than a decade and prior to its release the media hailed this album as a great return to form. I finally got my hands on this disc, put it in my CD player, turned the volume up to the maximum, sat back and waited to be blown away. Forty minutes later and I was still waiting. Thinking that it may grow on me I put it straight back on and… nothing. There is not a single track on this album which catches my attention. Of course they are all very Slayer-esque, there are some catchy riffs which emerge every now and again and some good thrash guitar solos. Drumming is top-notch as we all expected. Vocals are angry, like always. So where did this album go wrong? Well, where do I begin?
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