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Seasons in the Abyss

4.6 out of 5 stars 289 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 24, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

A follow-up album to South Of Heaven, Seasons in the Abyss, was more of a return to the sound of Reign in Blood and was greeted warmly by fans. A video clip for the title track had the band playing in the Middle East, shortly before the start of the Gulf War. Vocal overdubs on "Temptation" and a child's voice pleading underneath the track "Dead Skin Mask" (about necrophile Ed Gein)? as well as the title track, which originally made use of a flute were the most obvious signs of the band's growth.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 24, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • ASIN: B000RZGFZC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,890 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Coming off the classics "Reign in Blood" and "South of Heaven," Slayer continued their evolution with "Seasons in the Abyss." This album is perhaps their most mature, combining the speed and aggression of "Reign" with the more polished approach of "South." Yet somehow, it managed to be both heavier and more melodic than its predecessors. The production is clear, the songwriting's diverse, and Hanneman and King turned in a performance that cemented their place among the best metal guitar duos. And it's also worth noting that on his last album for the band, Dave Lombardo turned in a drum performance for the ages, with precision and variety that was just mindblowing.
The album fires out of the gate with the blazing "War Ensemble," which combines crushingly heavy riffing with a tempo that is fast even by Slayer standards. I like a lot of Slayer songs, but I'd have to say "War Ensemble" is in my top three. From there, the band changes things up a bit. The excellent "Spirit in Black" and "Born of Fire" are roaring speed-metal songs in the vein of the opener, but tunes like "Blood Red" and "Dead Skin Mask" slow things down to good effect. The closing title track is a great six-plus minute epic, with a terrific intro and some very haunting melodies. Tom's vocals are in my opionion at their best on this album, as he manages to occasionally do something that resembles singing without losing any of his edge. His vocals on "Dead Skin Mask" and the title track, especially, have a very eerie tone that suits the music perfectly. For fans of the older Slayer, though, there's plenty of good growling too.
Lyrically, the band also showed some signs of branching out, continuing the trend started on "South.
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Format: Audio CD
Along with "Show No Mercy" and "Reign in Blood", this is some of Slayer's best material. The overall sound is basically the same as "Reign in Blood," but with more slower parts. Songs like "War Ensemble", "Born of Fire", and "Hallowed Point" would fit perfectly on RIB, but "Expendable Youth," "Blood Red", and "Dead Skin Mask" are much slower, and the title track is downright melodic at times. Wow, that title track is amazing. It builds up for about 2 or 3 minutes, starting with this slow, Sabbath-like riff, and then going into softer parts, and finally bursting into heaviness. There are some great vocals from Tom Araya in there too, he even almost sings softly at times. I'd say his vocals are pretty much at their best here, very hard-edged, yet listenable, and there is none of that weird squealing that seemed to run so rampant on the previous albums. He can sing, by the way, listen to their cover of Sabbath's "Hand of Doom" to hear what his "clean vocals" sound like. Besides the title track, another song really stands out here, and that is "Dead Skin Mask", a slow, bone-chilling ode to serial killer Ed Gein. The song begins with a brief monologue (I'm assuming it's Tom that does it), which is supposed to be the voice of Gein, and toward the end you hear the terrified cries of a child, which is effective in its meaning, but the cries don't sound all that believable, it could have been done better. It's still creepy though, I challenge you to listen to this song with the lights off. Those two are the best, but there are no clinkers here.Read more ›
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
This is a review of the recent American Recording's repress. I have a 1994 Russian repress of this amazing album (I haven't been able to get a Def Jam 1st edition in good condition that is reasonably priced). This repress blows my other copy out of the water. The sound quality is excellent. This record is meant to be heard on vinyl. The record itself is heavy-duty 180 gram vinyl. I unfortunately didn't get a red one, but I was able to snag a red Reign In Blood. If you were concerned about the quality of these represses, don't be. They're very well-done. The packaging is very basic, but that's fine. The packaging emulates what it was like in the early 90s when the record was first released.
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Format: Audio CD
I know a lot of you Slaytanic folks think that Slayer reached the height of their career with 1986's Reign in Blood, but I personally feel this is the best cd ever put out by these thrash masters. It is also the last studio album featuring Dave Lombardo, who gives a great farewell performance.
Kicking things off is War Ensemble, probably my favorite Slayer track of all time. Other faves include Spirit In Black, which is carried mainly by Daves superior drumming; Dead Skin Mask, about serial killer Ed Gein (a very creepy song, with eerie riffs and a victims voice thatll chill your bones); and the title track, which contains one of the best intros in metal history. The only flaw here is Expendable Youth, which ironically, is expendable and seemingly useless to me; it feels slower than the rest of the album. The music itself is very mature, which is quite different for Slayer, who generally sing about murder, mutilation and the like. Here they focus on war, politics, and several social ills. I feel Tom Araya reached the pinnacle of his career here; his voice is perfect. He has since lost some of his edge, but its still Tom, so it works. Kerry and Jeff deliver some blistering riffs and wild solos, which make the experience ever the more insane. And yes, that monster behind the set, Dave Lombardo, annihilates your ears with some great rythms.
All in all, one of the best releases in metals history. I highly reccomend this as well as South of Heaven, Divine Intervention, and Diabolus in Musica.
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