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This record is the prototypical modern era Slayer record. It has all of the elements that make Slayer, well, Slayer.. the speed, the thrash, the aggression. However, Slayer's core sound has continually expanded as they evolve with the metal scene. There are some black metal influences here, some Nile-like guitar riffing, even some metalcore influences in the heavy double bass beat patterns all over the record. Still, Slayer makes all of these elements their own and successfully incorporates them into their own style - without comprising anything that makes Slayer Slayer. The most important element here is the songwriting.
A key factor is the return of original drummer Dave Lombardo. Since Dave left, he has continued to grow and evolve as a drummer in the many projects he was involved in, and this diversity and experience really comes through here. Dave delivers, in my opinion, his most inspiring and interesting drum performance on Christ Illusion. Paul Bostaph, most agree, is a better pure technical metal drummer. A true machine. Lombardo's style however is KEY to Slayer's sound and his return highlights that. Has his feet ever sounded faster than on "Supremist"? Is that an actual blastbeat I hear? YES!
This is the first record since Seasons in which I can honestly say that I like every track.Read more ›
Within seconds of `Flesh Storm' it was clear that Lombardo was back behind the kit and not only as competent as his last studio album with Slayer (Seasons in the Abyss) but had actually raised the bar.
Truthfully I loved Bostaph... I was sold from the `Killing Fields' intro and was quite sad to hear of his departure from the band. With all the hype of Lombardo coming back I was thinking this album would just be another `standard' modern Slayer album... Boy was I wrong! Lombardo used his time away from Slayer to become better grounded and gained much more `groove' in addition to his fantastic speed/thrash abilities. Playing with such greats as Fantomas (With Mike Patton), John Zorn and even Apocalyptica.
Christ Illusion is easily the most consistent album since `Seasons...' with not one bad song to be heard. Though Slayer may never again rival the Reign / South / Season Trilogy that does not make this a bad album by any means and to be putting out music this good (And this heavy!) after almost 25 years is a grand achievement by all rights.
In addition to the fantastic drumming of Lombardo, there is the skillful guitar work of King and Hanneman whose performances are amazing as always. Araya's voice is holding out quite well for a man his age and his Bass playing tight as hell!
Favorite Songs: Cult, Jihad, Supremist and Consfearacy
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"Christ Illusion" isn't a timeless classic like, say, 1986's "Reign In Blood," and it in no way reinvents the band or the genre. But it is, hands down, the fastest, most inspired, most powerful, and all around best Slayer release since the aforementioned "Seasons In The Abyss." Guitarist Kerry King (who wrote most of the album) could use a few new song ideas, but bare in mind that he has a reputation to live up to, so he can't drift too far from his famous subject matter.
The guitar shredding (done by Jeff Hanneman and the above mentioned Kerry King) is, as expected, fantastic. The riffs are smoking, the leads are lightning fast, and the solos are careening. Another area in which "CI" succeeds is in the vocal department, because frontman Tom Araya has improved his performance. His yelling is still kind of grating at times, but for the most part, Araya sounds more committed, a little more diverse, and all around much more listenable than he did on "God Hates Us All.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent album. Original drummer. Exceptional sound. Great songwriting. I question everything that I put into my head, and that's not different with this. Read morePublished 15 days ago by VoyageAmazon
I am listening to all the Slayer albums in reverse order and must say Christ Illusion is definitely better then World Painted Blood and Repentless. Read morePublished 10 months ago by James B. Beavan III