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South of Heaven

SlayerAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • ASIN: B000002KZV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,187 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Slayer ~ South Of Heaven

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavier than the sky falling on your head..... February 20, 2000
By Rikki
Format:Audio CD
I have to admit that I really didn't come to appreciate this album until the last couple of years. When it first came out, I felt it was too slow, too melodic, too un-Slayer-ish. With age comes wisdom; let's face it, the only real problem with "South of Heaven" (probably the most wickedly clever album title ever) is that it had the unenviable job of following up the Lamborghini Diablo of all albums, "Reign In Blood". So Slayer did the only sensible a Bugatti Royale.
This album's lineage is prestigious; there are spiritual ties to albums like Sabbath's "Master of Reality", Priest's "Sad Wings of Destiny" and "Sin After Sin" ("Dissident Aggressor" is covered here with hats-off reverence) while still retaining Slayer's more sophisticated approach to death/black metal. Heavy, Iommi-inspired riffs combined with hammer-from-hell drumming (check out Lombardo's snare sound on the title sounds like a rifle shot in your ear) and Araya's grisly, sawn-off vocals combine to make this doom metal's all time masterpiece.
I can relate this to this album in the same way that I relate to the other spare time passion in my life - automobiles. When I was younger, I was a muscle car freak who cared only for horsepower and cubic my tastes run towards classic European sports cars. As I grew older, I came to realize that SPEED is no substitute for BALANCE and PRECISION. Don't let your purchase of this album be discouraged by the naysayers who complain that it isn't "Reign In Blood Part II". You'll only be depriving yourself.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The evolution of Slayer September 13, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Slayer came to a sort of crossroads when the time came to write their fifth studio release, in 1988. The band knew they couldn't top the speed of their last album, 1986's standard-bearing album "Reign In Blood," so they didn't even try. Instead, they matured and evolved a little.

The first way they did this was by improving Tom's singing style. Instead of shrieking as loud and fast as possible, Tom's vocals became more mid-tempo and tuneful. Guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman also helped to change the band's sound by slowing down the songs' tempos while simultaneously making the riffs heavier. They even added acoustic guitars into the mix (!), at the beginning of track ten, "Spill the Blood."

Another advantage of a slower album, besides the melodic vocals, is that drummer Dave Lombardo can go at his own pace. He doesn't have to play a bunch of different drums as fast as possible because he's playing "catch up" with the rest of the band. Instead, on this album, Dave creates some great, and very catchy drum fills. (Tracks three and four best demonstrate this talented drumming.)

From the beginning of the first track, the title track, you can tell Slayer have changed. Some songs, like "Silent Scream," "Ghosts of War," and "Cleanse the Soul," still race by like a flash flood, but most of "South of Heaven" is only moderately fast.

"Spill the Blood" is my personal favorite song on here, but other highlights are the thumping and blisteringly fast "Live Undead," the scorching solos of "Behind the Crooked Cross," "Mandatory Suicide," which features churning, buzzsaw riffs and a creepy, ominous, spoken-word passage from Tom, and the speedy, chugging and churning "Read Between the Lies.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as essential as Reign In Blood for its own reasons December 15, 2001
By Ken
Format:Audio CD
When Slayer released "Reign In Blood" in '86, they obviously had no idea that it would be considered one of the best metal records (heavy metal, thrash metal, extreme metal... whatever) of all time by thousands upon thousands of people, even to this day. After establishing themselves as an infamous underground thrash force with satanic lyrical leanings, they were suddenly thrust forward as blasphemous innovators in style and speed. Once the metal scene's initial shock wore off a tad, everyone glanced sideways at Slayer wondering, "how in the world will they top THAT?" and "will they out-do themselves by playing even faster?" Well, Araya, King, Hanneman, and Lombardo succeeded in shocking everyone, alright... but in a much different way than expected - so much so that they (unfairly, if I might add) lost a number of fans looking for another bloody "Reign" (pun intended).
On the surface, "South Of Heaven" seemed extraordinarily unhurried - or better yet, deliberate -
compared to the album prior to this. The blinding pace of the songs, which was a large part of Slayer's appeal on their previous effort, only surpassed warp-speed in a couple of songs, namely "Silent Scream", "Ghosts Of War", and "Cleanse The Soul". Slayer's focus here was on being heavy, not necessarily fast. Basically, the band was tweaking their sound to define the sinister nature they wanted to portray. The band had reinvented itself for the recording of "Reign In Blood", and in their traditional nature of staying true to that philosophy, the boys quite naturally reinvented themselves once again for "South Of Heaven".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... of a creepy album but how can ya not like it? It's def not as...
Kind of a creepy album but how can ya not like it? It's def not as heavy as their previous album but still rocks!
Published 7 hours ago by Anthony Gentile
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fast shipping great merchandise
Published 4 days ago by Carlos Arana
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the structure of this album
Loved the structure of this album, it keeps me where I came from as far as the grand age of metal. I will never be able to thank them enough for this album.
Published 14 days ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars So weird to call this a classic - but it is!
I bought this on CD many many years ago, but lost it somewhere along the way. I had to pick it up again, as I'd felt the need for some angry music. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars Now this is what I'm talking about...this how I remember Slayer!
I guess I'm kind of partial to this and Reign in Blood. I remember when this came out...probably the single heaviest album at the time!
Published 2 months ago by mike pierron
5.0 out of 5 stars Onward wayward souls.
The best of Slayer. This album builds on the opening track and truly gains momentum till the listener is on the verge of insanity.
Published 3 months ago by chris weber
5.0 out of 5 stars SLAYER!!!!
SLAYER!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!! I have been a fan since Hell Awaits, jr high mid 80's, need i say more!!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!!!
Published 4 months ago by Henry Vargas
5.0 out of 5 stars Slayer at its best!
Shipped lightning fast, arrived in perfect condition. Slayer rules, what else can you say. Definitely one of their best. South of Heaven is a great song.
Published 4 months ago by Lori
3.0 out of 5 stars good album
Thid album is good, but Reign in Blood is much better. "GHOSTS OF WAR" is one of the best songs on this album.
Published 5 months ago by polar bear
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have in any collection
Excellent collection of songs seamlessly arranged together like Leatherface's skin mask. I love Rein in Blood, but this one has DYNAMICS. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bluespower
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