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                                          Slayer : Seasons in the Abyss

What a journey Slayer has taken us through! Four years ago they exploded with the high speed assault of Reign In Blood, slowed the pace down a few notches with South of Heaven, and now we're ready for another Slayer album. What this time? Slayer were hitting their commercial peak around the time of this album. However, their music is still the evil onslaught it set out to be: the topics are still evil, the guitars are still driving, although Araya's vocals and the musicianship is more restrained.
So, how does the new album fare, you say? Let's start with "War Ensemble." It's indredibly catchy, which makes it a mandatory live song--Just imagine what wars we could win if this tune was played to the soldiers before combat ;). Some of Lombardo's better drumwork is right here before your ears. "Blood Red" still contains the war theme, adding great rhythm chops and lyrics dealing with blood shed at the site of war. The dead spirit theme of "Spirit in Black" should put chills down the spine of most. One of my all-time favorite Slayer songs is on this disc: "Dead Skin Mask," about a man named Ed Mein, who was a notorious mass murder. 'An even better song live. Stand clear of the pits that "Born of Fire" are sure to attract: hang low! Of final note is the fantastic title cut with its almost Lawrence of Arabia vibe. The dual-guitar action and great variety of chord progressions make "Seasons In The Abyss" one of Slayer's finest tunes to date.
Seasons in the Abyss, although the best seller, is often overlooked compared to the band's slew of albums in the 80s. This more mature effort from the then masters of Metal that may not appeal to hardcore fans, but those wanting a little more may really enjoy this.

1. War Ensemble                                                            6. Hallowed Point
2. Blood Red                                                                   7. Skeletons of Society
3. Spirit in Black                                                            8. Temptation
4. Expendable Youth                                                     9. Born of Fire
5. Dead Skin Mask
                                                     10. Born of Fire

Reviewed by Sam