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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The evolution of Slayer
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...
Published on September 18, 2002 by Wheelchair Assassin

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Underrated.
After a few times listening-this one will find its way among your favorites. The title track is absolutely awesome-love it!!!
Published 3 months ago by chris weber


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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The evolution of Slayer, September 18, 2002
By 
Wheelchair Assassin (The Great Concavity) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Seasons In The Abyss (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." The death-and-Satan approach of Slayer's first three albums could be seen giving way to a focus on evil in general. "War Ensemble" and "Blood Red" intelligently address the destructive nature of violence and war; "Indication of triumph/the numbers that are dead" from "War Ensemble" remains one of my all-time favorite lyrics. "Dead Skin Mask" deals with the crimes of infamous killer Ed Gein, while "Expendable Youth" talks about the problem of inner-city violence. In other songs the message isn't so clear, but the lyrical content is at all times dark and oppressive, just like everything else on the album. If you don't have this album, you're missing out on an essential piece of one of metal's defining bands.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rounding out the top three.., April 20, 2001
This review is from: Seasons In The Abyss (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. I'm not sure if this is quite as good as the aforementioned Slayer albums, but I'd say that along with the vocals, the drumming is actually better. I don't think I've heard better drumming anywhere. You can go on all you want about Slipknot and their three drummers, but Dave Lombardo could outdo all three of them with one hand tied behind his back. It's just too bad he left, Paul Bostaph comes very close, but no one can match Lombardo's skill. If you are looking to buy a Slayer album, this one (along with the aforementioned ones) is a must-buy, but anything by Slayer (with the exception of "Diabolus in Musica", where they suddenly started sounding like Marilyn Manson) is worth it. Ignore my previous review where I said was not a Slayer fan. Times have changed since then, and I am definitely a fan, and always will be, even if they never stop emulating Manson. Slayer is an extremely talented band, one of the best out there, and I do not see how anyone could not recognize that. Even if you can't handle their lyrics or extreme nature, I would think you could still recognize the talent. But, I don't know. Anyway, if you love great metal, you'll surely find it here.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top 5 best metal albums of all time, January 27, 2001
This review is from: Seasons In The Abyss (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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good CD for all the thrash fans, April 6, 2000
By 
Matthew Stielper (Baltimore, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Seasons In The Abyss (Audio CD)
While I'm more into the death/industrial sound of Fear Factory and other bands that "growl" more, I can't deny that this CD is really great. I can remember hearing "War Ensemble" when I was about 8 years old, and it hasn't left my mind since. It is probably the best song on the album. The rest of the album is good, but "War Ensemble" is what attracted me to these guys. I read the review down below about how the singer can't sing. Listen stupid, it's metal! You're supposed to scream, not sing! And when he does sing, it fits the song perfectly. His vocals sound just fine. I recommend this for anyone who wants to start getting into thrash metal. I also recommend Sepultura's "Arise" for all the thrash fans out there. Overall, this is a good album. Worth it's money.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Disc, March 18, 2009
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This review is from: Seasons in the Abyss (Audio CD)
From the blistering opening track "War Ensemble", to the crushing "Dead Skin Mask", to the title track reminiscent of Black Sabbath, this album is an entirely different experience from the "Reign in Blood" era Slayer, but still just as powerful and memorable. While the guitar work is still highly technical controlled chaos, and Araya's voice seems more mature, Lombardo's chops on drums are, as always, incredible. One particularly memorable moment is during a breakdown in the middle of "Spirit in Black", where he rolls the bass drum with machine gun precision.

From start to finish this album shows a mature side of Slayer that both allowed them to grow as a band post-Reign, and still showcased what they did best.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably Their Most Mature Effort, September 19, 2000
By 
Streetcleaner (Midwest, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Seasons In The Abyss (Audio CD)
SEASONS ties up the loose ends from SOUTH OF HEAVEN to arguable produce Slayer's most mature, consistent, and memorable album. Unlike the mostly one-dimensional REIGN IN BLOOD, this album has a good variance in tempos and song-lengths. "War Ensemble" and "Born of Fire" are as speedy and heavy as the Slayer classics of old, but it's the use of melody and slower tempos the makes SEASONS such a well-rounded album. "Dead Skin Mask" and the awesome title track reveal this new direction (if I can call it that) in fine fashion.
As always, Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman do a great job with the guitar work, and the drumming of Dave Lombardo is... well, not much more needs to be said about his skills behind the kit. I would say this is Slayer's best song-for-song. The previous four albums always had a song that seemed out of place or weak when compared to the rest (i.e. "Necrophobic", "Read Between the Lines"). That isn't the case here; each song is solid from start to finish.
If you're a fan of Slayer or other heavy bands and don't own SEASONS, check it out. It's hard to go wrong if this is your style.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seasons In The Abyss - Total thrash classic!, October 29, 2004
By 
This review is from: Seasons in the Abyss (Audio CD)
This album is, without a doubt, Slayers best album. The production is great, and the songs are literally all awesome. This album has everything! Fast songs, slower songs, and there's the awesome title track. The title track to this album is by a long shot the best song the band ever made. Possibly the greatest thrash song of all time. And while War Ensemble only just about misses Angel Of Death from Reign In Blood, it's still a great song. Here is the basic status of each song.

1. War Ensemble - A great opener, similar to Angel Of Death in speed etc, this is a totally classic Slayer song. 95/100

2. Blood Red - Its slightly slower, but its still a great song with a catchy enough chorus. 79/100

3. Spirit In Black - This is another classic, almost touches War Ensemble. 90/100

4. Expenable Youth - This is very good, but the subject is boring and I dont like it's structure. 74/100

5. Dead Skin Mask - BRILLIANT song. This is better than Ensemble. Its not as fast, but the beginning is amazing, and its simply amazing overall. It's about serial killer Ed Gein (obvious at the end when the girl is crying "Let me ouuut, Mr.Gein!) 98/100

6. Hallowed Point - Another great song, which I never really got into until recently... 80/100

7. Skeletons Of Society - A great song, I like the choruses. 81/100

8. Temptation - It's not bad, but it isn't quite as good as any of the other songs. 74/100

9. Born Of Fire - Simply put, this is another War Ensemble. Brilliant. 89/100

10. Seasons In The Abyss - The greatest thrash song of all time, and im not just saying that. I prefer Metallica to Slayer, but this song is just amazing. 100/100
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SLAYER at their absolute best!, June 2, 2004
By 
This review is from: Seasons in the Abyss (Audio CD)
The first Slayer album I ever heard was "South of Heaven," and I was hooked. I could not stop listening to it. I had never heard that much anger mixed with passion and talent before. My parents also hated the title... that's probably why I bought it in the first place.
I love "Reign In Blood." It is, by far, the best example of true thrash metal ever... 10 songs in 29 minutes... and still beats the hell out of ANYTHING coming out now.
That said... THIS is my favorite Slayer album ever. Why? It combines the speed of "Reign In Blood" with the mid-tempo ultra heavy grooves of "South of Heaven." It's also the most musical of all the Slayer albums, if that means anything.
From the opening speed riffing of "War Ensemble" to the churning of the title track, this is the total package for Slayer. Lombardo proves himself as the fastest drummer around. King and Hannaman never sounded better, and Tom's voice really shines... not quite sure if that's a compliment, though.
FYI... it was Metal Hammer's album of the year, 1990.
BUY IT!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the best, most diverse Slayer album to date., March 26, 2000
This review is from: Seasons In The Abyss (Audio CD)
If you thought you didn't like Slayer after hearing "Riegn in Blood" or "Divine Intervention" then you must get this album. It's awesome. WIth a good mix of balls to the wall speed metal like "Hallowed Point", and slower more moody pices like "Dead Skin Mask". The drums on this masterpice are incredible, too bad Lombardo left after this one. The title track has one of the best intro's in Metal history, when Lombardo comes in it's unbelievable work. Araya actually sings a little too. This doesn't sound like one long song like some other Slayer discs. THey have good varitey and killer riff work.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their best, May 4, 2009
This review is from: Seasons In The Abyss (MP3 Music)
Everybody's agreeing about Reign in Blood being excellent (and it is). Seasons in.. and South of.. appear to provoke a lot more YES/NO/BUT/THIS/THAT. And that's exactly what these albums are about. You'll have to listen twice if you're addicted to the speed of Reign in.. But if you're up to HEAVY, if you're looking for the absolute best in trash metal, looking for the best compositions, the best drums (hail to you Dave), Arraya at the top of his voice and riffs that are still being copied but have only seldomly been improved upon, this is the one to buy.
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Seasons in the Abyss
Seasons in the Abyss by Slayer (Audio CD - 2007)
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