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Slayer reveals track list for box set

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The complete track list for Slayer’s new box set Soundtrack to the Apocalypse can be found here. I was really excited about this box set when it was announced, but it seems to me the finished product isn’t nearly as impressive as it could be. Yes, there are some nice points to it, but if this box set is intended to be a gift to the band’s longtime fans, I think a little more work could have gone into it.

The biggest problem I have is that there are so many plain old album tracks included in the set. Slayer is not the kind of band that has hit singles. No one ever requested “Dead Skin Mask” on Total Request Live. Casey Kasem never sang the praises of “Mandatory Suicide”. Slayer is not the sort of band that has casual listeners. You either love the band and own all their albums, or you just don’t like them at all. There’s not a lot of middle ground. Therefore, what is the point of including tracks that every Slayer fan already owns anyway? Do they really believe there are metalheads out there without a copy of “Angel of Death”?

The first CD is comprised of easily available material any fan worth is salt already has. About half of the second CD is as well. On the plus side, the second CD also contains some rarities, but they did leave some tracks out. Their covers of “Born to be Wild” and G.B.H.’s “Sick Boy” are not included, which I think is a bad idea. If they want people to buy a box set, then why wouldn’t they want to include as many hard to find tracks as possible?

The third CD is an improvement because it contains unreleased live tracks, but again, there are problems. The pre-Show No Mercy track “Ice Titan” is included, but I know for a fact there are several other unreleased Slayer tracks from their early days floating around out there. Where’s “Assassin”, “Simple Aggression”, or “Night Rider”? There are also alternate version of “Crionics” and “Evil Has no Boundaries” out there as well. You’d think the band would want to put those tracks on CD so they can make some money off of them instead of the bootleggers.

The DVD is nice owing to the fact it also contains unreleased material, but I was extremely surprised to learn it did not contain their music videos. Considering they’ve never released them on DVD or video before, you’d think it would be an obvious decision to include them here. I’d love to know who precisely was involved in putting the track list for this thing together, and if so, was he drunk while doing it? They leave out promo videos that have never been commercially available, but they include yet another live performance of “Stain of Mind”? Who thought that was a good idea?
The “deluxe edition” comes with a bonus CD of a recent concert, a wall banner, and a reproduction of a backstage pass. Whoop-de-doo. I don’t care if the box set comes with a laminated copy of a TGI Friday’s Kids activity placemat colored in by Kerry King, it’s not going to change the fact that this is a severely underwhelming box set from a band that deserves much better.

The way I see it, this box set is supposed to be a “thank you” to the people who’ve supported the band over the 20 years of their career. This is not an impulse buy. Therefore, I think this box set should really be something special. Add the rarities I talked about. Include some live versions of something other than “Angel of Death” and “War Ensemble”. Those are great songs, but wouldn’t it be neat to hear live performances of “Tormentor”, “Live Undead”, or “Kill Again”? If you buy the “Deluxe version”, you get three different versions of “Raining Blood”, yet not one of “Evil Has No Boundaries”, “Epidemic”, or “Hardening of the Arteries”. You probably have your own favorites that aren’t included here. The question is, why weren’t they?

The black metal band Marduk recently released a box set that contains nothing but rarities, demos, live tracks, and re-recordings. If you’re a fan of the band, it is an excellent buy for your money. I think Slayer is one of the best heavy metal bands that has ever existed, and I believe they and their fans also deserve a box set that is worthy of them. Let’s leave the crushing of expectations, the fleecing of fans, and destroying of respect to bands like Metallica; Slayer is better than that. I’m sure it’s too late to change anything, but I hope Slayer would be willing to reconsider retooling their box set before it’s released. With a little effort, it could be something truly special. Even though I’m not 100 percent happy with Slayer’s most recent albums, I’ll always consider myself a huge fan of the band. However, this box set would have to be deeply discounted for me to even consider buying it. Slayer should be the kind of band that inspires fanaticism. The track list for this box set inspires only regret.

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About Chris Puzak

  • BRICKLAYER

    No way dude, I am all over this! There’s some blood pack of something that comes with it too!

  • http://perfidy.org Johno

    I’m with BRICKLAYER, even though he uses Ronnie James Dio’s jockstrap for a washcloth.

    I actually never bought a Slayer album, preferring at to stock up on Zep, Tull, and Neil Young when I was of prime Slaying age. My mistake. And now that I’m old and miserly, I still can’t bring myself to shell out for “Seasons In The Abyss.”

    But a box set makes a purty Christmas present, and a SLAYER box set should be JUST THE THING to make a Johno happy.

  • Eric Olsen

    In a controlled test it was determined that I can take exactly 40 seconds of Slayer before I put my fist through the CD player. But that’s just me.

  • http://www.unproductivity.com Tom Johnson

    Seasons In The Abyss is the only Slayer album I own, and the only one I care to own.

    Dude, Eric, if you can’t handle Slayer, what do you think of Meshuggah?!

  • Eric Olsen

    Don’t know Meshuggah, but I actually like grindcore better than death/speed metal. Give me Napalm Death and Bolt Thrower over Slayer and Obituary any day.

  • http://www.unproductivity.com Tom Johnson

    Ah, well then definitely check out Meshuggah. Great fun, super-super heavy stuff. The kind of thing I put on and have to take off after a while because my ears are just sooo tired.

    There’s always a place in my collection for things that will clean clogged sinks purely with sound waves. Meshuggah is that band.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    where does a group like “Neurosis” fit into these genres?

  • Eric Olsen

    Anything with Cookie Monster vocals has got to go, and keep going until the Doppler effect is not longer in play. i am adamant about this. Screaming vocals can be okay, but no Cookie Monsters

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    Unless, of course, the listener is a preschooler. Then, Cookie Monster vocals are most appropriate. Can’t quite imagine CM rocking out, though.

  • BRICKLAYER

    Yo Tom, You gotta get yourself the remasterd version of “Reign in Blood”. Pure speed metal perfection. This was the most evil smelling cassette ever produced. Alas, the cd smell is not so scary, but the music will make you want to go out and desecrate grave sites. Not that I have ever taken in such vile atrocities!

    And behold, the Metal God has smiled upon me, as I have a ticket to see Slayer, the mighty Hatebreed (new album drops tuesday, and I am so on it!), Arch Enemy (Angela Gossow-Yum!) and Sworn Enemy (like the music, the vocals are too high pitched and fruity-but don’t tell ‘em I said that, as they appear to be NY crew thug types who would violate me with a tire iron, or something).

    As for you, Mr. Johno, I shall not allow your rude and insensitive comment alleging that I bathe with the jockstrap of Mr. Ronnie James Dio to ruin my weekend! I am hurt by your crudeness, but you are wrong! I use a standard washcloth, just like most everyone else. Not that there is anything wrong with Mr. Dio’s jockstrap, scepter, or cape. I shall pray for you Mr. Johno, and I shall seek to find forgiveness for you in my cold black metal heart, as I listen to the new Integrity album at volume 11, and leave a sacrifial burnt offering at the alter of rock!

  • http://www.unproductivity.com Tom Johnson

    I don’t know if Meshuggah qualifies as “cookie monster” – it’s a lot more menacing than that. I find most death metal vocals pretty laughable because of the CM quality, but Meshuggah’s a bit different. I mean, they’re definitely deep, growly vocals, but more . . . menacing.

    Mark, Meshuggah is heavier than Neurosis (or what little of theirs I’ve heard – always meant to check out more of their stuff. I referenced sound clips of the only album I was familiar with, Through Silver In Blood.) It’s just extremely aggressive, but intelligent, if that makes any sense.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    heavier than Neurosis, eh?

    yow.

    the only thing i have is the Sovereign EP…which is pretty danged heavy.

  • BRICKLAYER

    I find that the Cookie Monster tag is often misapplied and not appropriate when speaking of Death Metal vokills. I prefer the term Satanic Belching. The Cookie Monster is a lovable children’s character who probably doesn’t even listen to Heavy metal. I have heard from my sources over at Sesame Street that he prefers funk, specifically old school, like the Ohio Players.

    Except Chris Barnes from Six Feet Under. That dude does sound like the Cookie Monster. They are more Death & Roll than Death Metal, though.

    And could somebody please post the biggest something about the biggest news of the week? That being the arrest of the band Deicide on guns and drugs charges (including steroids, Yeah!)at the Canadien border. This is surely a frame up, and I challenge you people to do the right thing, and expose it to the world!

  • http://chrispuzak.blogspot.com Chris Puzak

    Johno:

    You could probably get most of Slayer’s discography at a used CD store or on half.com for the price it would cost for the box set. It would porbbaly be a better buy for your money, but if you are only a casual fan of Slayer (I had no idea they existed), then maybe the box set is the way to go.

    Mark: I think trying to nail down what genre Neurosis belongs to is like trying to nail jello to the wall. Their early work is pretty clearly crossover hardcore, but by Souls at Zero, they were mining the smae territory that bands Godflesh, the Swans, and Zeni Geva were. I’d like to say they’re industrial metal, although that label makes it seem like they’re similar to Fear Factory, which they’re not, especially on their latest album. I’d say that Meshuggah today is heavier than Neurosis is today, but about 10 years ago, I think Neurosis was heavier than Meshuggah.

  • Eric Olsen

    I do like a fair amount of industrial metal, or I should say metal industrial (the root form goes last) however.

    Ironic that CM has been appropriated to describe such a vile excretion of bile from the windpipes of morbid miscreants

    Great job on this Chris, by the way, Thanks!

  • Eric Olsen

    Chris, what is “smae”?

  • BRICKLAYER

    “I’d say that Meshuggah today is heavier than Neurosis is today, but about 10 years ago, I think Neurosis was heavier than Meshuggah.”

    Yeah, but Mortician takes craps that are heavier than them both put together, even if they were wearing steel toe boots, and wet coveralls, with pockets full of frozen goat’s blood!

    That aside, I have some of their releases, and I find it good ambient stuff for reading and whatnot, but it will never take the place of Accept in the cassette deck, as the fella’s and I scream through the suburban jungle in the AMC Concorde, smashing beer bottles off mailboxes, and hurling insults at joe citizen!

  • http://chrispuzak.blogspot.com Chris Puzak

    Oops, I meant “same”.

  • Eric Olsen

    Damn, I thought it was some cool subgenre I didn’t know anything about. You should have made something up, dude!

  • http://guitarwizard.net Joe@GuitarWizard

    Slayer were the best for years but its time to hang it up guys.

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