South of Heaven
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Explicit Lyrics, March 12, 2002
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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 track...it 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 inches...now 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.
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.Read more ›
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".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perfect, love that if you buy this cd from Amazon you can also download it through Amazon too.Published 1 month ago by Mark
This particular album has quite a few great tracks in it! From the guitar riffs to the thrashing lyrics, this album really sticks out next to Divine Intervention, The songs are... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Classic GameFan1991
The best album of slayer. I like the song "SOUTH OF HEAVEN"Published 3 months ago by mister_tambok_1975