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Music Review: Slayer – Christ Illusion

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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?

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About alfred

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Well, Mr. Joe, I welcome the origianl, creative review but Slayer’s new release hasn’t gone undetected here on BC(BC is hurting in the metal dept.). I can tell ya that… Unfortunately,here in America,Capitalism ruins the music scene but there are still some killer bands from other countries,so,who needs MTV and the rest of these ignorant f*cks?? Oops, I forgot Defiance is releasing a new CD & DVD in December 2006
    *BTW* Try Gory Blister from Italy… They f*cking rock especially if you like the band Death at all.

    Anyways, Nice Review!!

  • duane

    Dear Berkeley,

    I have gotten into the habit of asking the same question over and over again, but the only kind of reply I’ve gotten is “I hate you” and “You suck” kinda things.

    Here’s the question(s):

    With lyrics like these:

    “Your repulsiveness reminds me of dead flesh
    Rotting corpse the smell of your putrid fucking soul
    Petrified that I decide the moment of your death
    Belongs to me the taste is sweet it so unreal
    Your God weeps, it bleeds, begging for mercy
    God is letting you recover.”

    shouldn’t we just dismiss the lyrics and overall theme of Slayer entirely? It’s all about the music, right?

    This stuff doesn’t offend me. That’s not it. It just reminds me of being a kid in a wannabe rock band scribbling down scary sounding lyrics and trying to write some power chords to back them.

    Isn’t this just kid stuff? Don’t you think that the Slayer guys write these inane lyrics down and start cracking up about it, knowing that a bunch of 16-year old boys who think they hate their parents will lap it up?

    It’s just so contrived. Who can take it seriously?

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    daune… I think you “get it”.

  • It’s nice to see someone not taking Slayer’s imagery so seriously for once. I don’t know how it could possibly offend – it’s so ridiculous, as Duane points out, that it seems crafted to provoke outrage. That would be annoying if the music wasn’t so damned good.

  • Dear Duane,

    You picked the only specifically horror-themed track on the entire record, and the most gruesome lyrics it contains.

    What about the other more provacative ones such as “Flesh Storm”? :

    My vision’s not obscure
    For war there is no cure
    So here the only law
    Is men killing men
    For someone else’s cause
    It’s all just psychotic devotion
    Manipulated with no discretion
    Relentless War

    Slayer drew my attention to mind control, genocides which weren’t in my textbooks, and also the real nature of organized religion (not just the C word), and the reality of existing in a world of domesticated apes. They sum it up nicely in Human Disease from the Bride of Chucky Soundtrack.