I think it’s safe to say that, unlike many of their… well, I was going to call them brethren, but let’s say contemporaries… Slayer has NOT mellowed with age. Not that anyone ever thought they would, but even the hardest basilisk loses just a smidgen of its ice cold stare when it gets time to bust out a cane to head down to the pantry, right?
Well, not these guys. When there’s a picture of Jesus with an eye patch and his hand chopped off on your album cover surrounded by the dead and tortured, a certain presumption can be made that a sellout to the highest bidder and MTV slurpitude has not transpired. And thank Allah that’s not the case, because the depressing trend of slip sliding away to the tune of dollah bills y’all, and I won’t even bust out the laundry list, because comparison is not warranted, take my word or my intimation for it, well, it tends to force myself to question whether any substance lies beneath the surface of man besides looking around the corner to the next chance to dance a jig.
Great album, by the way. Heavy, fast, speed metal in a controlled environment. Like when your car spins out of control but you still paradoxically feel a sense of safety as you expertly maneuver the steering wheel through a complicated series of seemingly nonsensical motions to ensure you don’t slam into that wall or off that cliff as your tires water-ski across the skimming reflecting surface, forcing yourself to look into your inner eye as you face both your fears and your strong points, coming to the conclusion that the eye of the abyss might not be such a bad thing after all, and may actually serve to present a side of both the ego and the outer chasm of the cosmos that you never really noticed and, although dark and scary and possibly quite dangerous, the greater peril lies in continued ignorance of said entities.
Slayer goes deep into some serious religious issues and animosity within these confines, and that might bother some, but within their rantings and ravings, as is often the case with even the most seemingly mouth-foaming street corner prophets, there are layers upon layers of truth. Religion has killed more people, destroyed more lives, caused more war, more animosity between those that may have been friends, than any other concept most freethinking people could possibly ponder. Once you’ve freed yourself up from the fear of commenting on it in a scathingly critical way, a lot can be scratched away from the underlayer of that particular scab.
Satan is, after all, the antithesis of God/Christ (is there a theologian in the house?) and we all know (or maybe we don’t) the rigamarole about how Satan worship isn’t necessarily the worship of some quote unquote “devil” (heavy Luciferic imagery throughout Slayer’s catalog notwithstanding) but rather the fondness for the opposite of organized religion, chaos theory in essence, and I don’t know if this is true, per se, or that it isn’t just a misdirection from a nation of underground satanic goat bleeders trying to keep our eye on the birdie while they reincarnate Beelzebub in our backyard, but hey, what can ya do, it’s just music, it can’t brainwash me, right? Right.
So I say enjoy, and give the noggin a spin while your bangin' that head, who knows what you’ll bump into, literally, metaphysically, bloodily?