Review Summary: Not quite as good as Reign In Blood but definetly a step up from their debut Show No Mercy.Hell Awaits
is an album I have been searching for endlessly for about 6 months time, and until last week, I have never EVER seen this album in stores. While rummaging through the local CD warehouse, I came across the section entitled Slayer
. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. The album Hell Awaits
. Immediately I picked it up and went over to the counter and purchased it. Now here is my opinion on this 'hard to find' album.
Tom Araya-Bass Guitar, Vocals
The album opens with a very satanic sounding chant which is demons saying "Join Us" backwards, which is the start of the title track. Most of the album is very fast paced and heavy, but some of it is slowed down. Not necessarily a bad thing at all. Songs like Hell Awaits
and Kill Again
are some of the fastest thrash metal songs out there to date, and which is what makes Slayer
That and Tom Araya's voice. A very satanic sounding voice straight out of hell. Although he doesn't actually sing, his screaming/yelling is powerful enough to give a 90 year-old woman a heart attack (not literally of course). And oh yes, you will
hear that high-pitched scream of his on this album. You can hear a great example of this scream on Crypts Of Eternity
at around the 4:45 mark. Perhaps the scream isn't as often used on here than on Reign In Blood
, but still used fairly often. Tom is one of the greatest heavy metal vocalists, not because of his singing skills, but due to the fact that he can sing some of the fastest tongue twisters without missing a syllable. He is that great.
I felt the guitars on this album provided by Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King could've been a little louder. On much of the album the bass and drums are louder than the guitars and it overpowers them. But when the guitars do come through, they are a huge handful of energy and power. Some of the heaviest songs ever written are on this album (but if you want really
heavy, check out Reign In Blood
) mainly powered by the crushing guitar riffs.
But the drums have a huge role in the heaviness as well. Dave Lombardo is probably the finest thrash metal drummer in this world. His incredible speed is rarely matched and his quick little drum fills are just stunning. The drums on Hell Awaits
are probably the most powerful instrument because they add to the heaviness and the punch that Slayer
most often delivers. If you can find a finer thrash metal drummer, feel free to contact me. I highly doubt I will get many contacts.
The production was little bit poor on this album. I think if the production was as good as it was on their later albums like Reign In Blood, South Of Heaven
and Seasons In The Abyss
it would be a much better album, although it is
a fantastic album as it is. But sometimes the vocals and guitars sound quality are just......not good. I though the drums and the bass guitar came through just fine, but it just the vocals and guitars that needed work. And also I actually quite liked the fact that they used the opening riff of the title track to end the album as well on the song Hardening Of The Arteries
. Simply awesome.
The lyrics on Hell Awaits
were kind of cheesy and it almost seems like they didn't focus on them as much as the music. Here is a small example of some good lyrics:
Crucify the so called Lord
He soon shall fall to me
Your souls are damned your God has fell
To slave for me eternally.....-Hell Awaits
But some of these lyrics weren't the greatest:
Hatred growing stronger
None survive my wrath
Suffer from the throbbing pain
Yield your life to me.....-Kill Again
The lyrics aren't the most important part of Slayer's
history though. They got by just fine without great lyrics. Probably all of the lyrics are about hell on this album, and if they aren't, they are about killing and torture. Typical Slayer-like lyrics.
Well that's my opinion on Hell Awaits
. Hope you enjoyed reading it, and please comment on it and votes are appreciated as well. Thanks.
Crypts Of Eternity