This is, without a doubt, 'Slayer' and thrash metal at its very peak. Marvellous drumming, brutal vocals, rip-roaring riffs and scorching solos.
Other than boasting some of the fastest riffs ever conceived by man, this CD boasts the undeniably brilliant 'Angel Of Death'. As gruesome as it is, it is most probably Jeff Hannemann best work to date.
What Is Good About The Album?
There are so many great aspects of this album. Firstly, the production is fairly good. The drums sound good, the guitars heavy and Tom Arayas voice is definitely on form. The album opens with the eponymous 'Angel Of Death', a tribute to the infamous Auschwitz doctor of death Josef Mengele. The lyrics are horrific to say the list and the blistering guitar work of King and Hannemann is mind-bogglingly. When I first heard the solos I was like what the hell just happened. My brain literally exploded due to the incredible technicality of it all. My friends reaction was completely different- he simply uttered the simple profanity known as 'that was some sick sh*t'.
There are a number of filler tracks present on this record, but they are not so bad that the listener is likely to get bored. Fortunately, Slayer realised this album was good as a short one otherwise the listener may have got a bit bored. The shortest song is a mere one and a half minutes to two minutes or so which is quite small. However, it sounds as if the band were on speed mixed with ecstasy and everything is just so effin fast it is almost hard to comprehend. The closing track (on the expanded edition there are two bonus tracks) is also a masterpiece-'Reign In Blood'. It is undoubtedly my most favourite Slayer recording and will always be. It begins with a riff very reminiscent to the one that featured on the Alton Towers advert (you will know what I mean if you listen) and fetures a whammy-bar driven face melter of a solo.
What Is Not So Good About The Album?
You won't find any ballads on this album. Heck, you won't even find the guitar amps on a clean channel. Every song is out and out brutality and supreme aural punishment for the ears. Occassionally there is the odd filler track ('Reborn' and 'Epidemic' are the only real spoilers in my opinion). Other than that it is pretty tight. The lyrics need refining on the odd track and the bass is sometimes completely drowned out by the exemplary guitar work that is happening. Thankfully, the production is great, as expected coming from the great Rick Rubin.
Because you would be purchasing a worthwhile addition to your fast growing metal collection. This is probably the greatest thrash record of all time so it is worth buying. Also, you may like to know that the expanded addition features an all new track and a pretty good remix of the brilliant 'Criminally Insane'.
Track Ratings (Oh, and I hope the review was actually worth reading)
Angel Of Daeth 5/5
Piece By Piece 5/5
Altar Of Sacrifice 4/5
Jesus Saves 4.5/5
Criminally Insane 5/5
Reign In Blood 5/5
Aggressive Perfector 4/5
Criminally Insane (Remix) 5/5