Live: Decade of Aggression
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A double live album, Decade of Aggression, was released in 1991, and aside from a brief tour the next year (including an appearance at the 1992 Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington), nothing new would be heard from Slayer until 1994's Divine Intervention.
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It's Slayer, it's live, it's Slayer live. Nobody can mistake the sound and experience of this for anything else. There simply is no show like a Slayer concert. The fastest and heaviest of thrash metal's revered "Big Four " (the others are [...] and [...] these guys take no prisoners and actively seek to offend and even terrify all but the hardest core of rock fans. Unsatisfied with typical musical scales, dueling lead guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman created their own and in doing so made their shredding solos so chaotic and unpredictable that they turned off a good deal of metal fans who appreciate the genre largely for the technical proficiency of the musicians. Add some wild squealing Floyd Rose whammy bar action, Dave Lombardo's unrelenting double-bass drum assault, and Tom Araya's incomprehensively fast simultaneous barking vocals and bass guitar and you've got pure sonic anarchy.
Single disc live albums? For wusses. To capture the epic nature of a truly great live performance, you need at least an hour and a half of unrelenting music. "Decade of Aggression" gives you that and more. Most bands put out live albums, but it's a lie. They add extra vocals, guitars, and whatnot to the mix after the fact to cover up their perceived inadequacies. None of that here, though you wouldn't know it without reading the liner notes; this album sounds fantastic.... like Slayer live.
Slayer's lyrics are as pitch black as they come; almost to the point where they come full circle and become silly at times. Not any sillier than the films they often reference, but silly enough that any non-idiot music fan wouldn't take them literally. Anthems of damnation and Armageddon ("Hell Awaits", ) and anti-government rebellion told through grisly tales of war ("War Ensemble", "Mandatory Suicide") are the norm and both real life and supernatural horrors are explored in full. My favorite tracks are "Dead Skin Mask" -about Ed Gein, who inspired the film [...] the epic "Seasons in the Abyss", "South of Heaven", "Blood Red" and, of course, the two unforgettable songs every metal fan knows by heart: "Raining Blood" and "Angel of Death" from their penultimate thrash album [...]
Whether mocking Christianity ("Jesus Saves") or depicting the tortures of a Nazi concentration camp (the previously mentioned "Angel of Death"), you are almost guaranteed to be amazed by this band's capacity for darkness. Even the name their fans go by, "Slaytanists", is offensive. All of these things makes Slayer a must-hear band for anybody who can call themselves a metal and/or horror fan. [...]