Slayer
Hell Awaits


4.0
excellent

Review

by wakeupdead USER (15 Reviews)
March 23rd, 2007 | 21 replies | 9,437 views


Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not quite as good as Reign In Blood but definetly a step up from their debut Show No Mercy.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

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.

Slayer is:
Tom Araya-Bass Guitar, Vocals
Jeff Hanneman-Guitar
Kerry King-Guitar
Dave Lombardo-Drums

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 so recognizable.

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.

Favourite Tracks
Hell Awaits
Kill Again
Crypts Of Eternity



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user ratings (1310)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Inflames
March 23rd 2007



635 Comments


I havent heard this album, but good review. When Slayer first started off in Cali, the drummer was more of a jazz fusion kinda guy....but I'm just guessing that changed in the early 80's.

Altmer
March 23rd 2007



5652 Comments


I've seen Hell Awaits before, I cannot seem to get hold of Reign In Blood.

wakeupdead
March 23rd 2007



2204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I cannot seem to get hold of Reign In Blood
Really? You can't find it? It's pretty much everywhere where I go CD shopping.

Wizard
March 23rd 2007



19223 Comments


Wakeupdead:
I thought I coined the term cd shopping hahahahah jk!
Awesome review and I need to check out this album. Slayers lyrics are insane but also very well thought out (not so much their new stuff as much as their older stuff).

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

Altmer
March 23rd 2007



5652 Comments


It doesn't help to live in the Netherlands I guess ;)

TheHamburgerman
March 23rd 2007



1283 Comments


Yeah, us dutch people usually have a hard time finding some metal CD's. Amsterdam's Fame helps somewhat thought.This Message Edited On 03.23.07

Altmer
March 23rd 2007



5652 Comments


I don't live near Amsterdam however

Nostalgia
March 23rd 2007



64 Comments


Slayer's best album.

Inflames
March 23rd 2007



635 Comments


My fav was God hates us All

Dethtrasher
March 23rd 2007



2211 Comments


You get a vote on this one, I haven't heard this album but I still agree with you. I admit that some Slayer albums has the same kind of sound. Personally I don't think that Lombardo is that special, his is just as good as another thrash drummer.

south_of_heaven 11
March 23rd 2007



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bahhh Deth! Lombardo is the best there is! :mad:

Mikesn
Emeritus
March 23rd 2007



3709 Comments


CD Warehouse? Is that an actualy chain of music stores?

Coool review.

Bfhurricane
March 23rd 2007



6194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. Slayer's stuff is real extreme, some of it hits me a little too hard for my liking.

wakeupdead
March 24th 2007



2204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CD Warehouse? Is that an actualy chain of music stores?
The place was called Cd Plus Warehouse in London Ontario Canada. Thanks for the comments guys


WARPATH_88
March 24th 2007



514 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

When I first heard this I wasnt into Slayer, and it scared me. But now I love Slayer and need to pick this one up. Great review.

Dethtrasher
March 25th 2007



2211 Comments


Bahhh Deth! Lombardo is the best there is!

No offense dude but if I had to choose a good thrash drummer I would pick Gene Hoglan for example.

WARPATH_88
March 25th 2007



514 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lombardo is good, but not the best their is. In my eyes there really is no "best". They all have their good points IMO.

Mikesn
Emeritus
March 25th 2007



3709 Comments


The place was called Cd Plus Warehouse in London Ontario Canada. Thanks for the comments guys
Oh okay. We had one where I used to live but I though it was just th ename of the building since the store gave out CD Plus stuff. Didn't know that, haha.

KILL
September 25th 2012



70599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

there a plenty faster but dave was one of the first to go extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeme

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

darkthrone1
November 30th 2012



387 Comments


personally, i like this album more than Reign in blood.



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