Review Summary: Rules m/
Slayer are one of those bands you should either know or should be locked away from humanity. Their musical prowess is only eclipsed by their impact on the thrash metal scene, and they refused to put a foot wrong in the early part of their career. Seasons In The Abyss is often seen as being one of the band's best works, frequently ranked up there with Reign In Blood as being one of the masterpieces, and this legacy is more than earned here. The album was released in 1990, contains ten tracks and every one of them is as solid as the last.
Before getting into the songs themselves, the individual performances from the members here is about as tight as could be asked for. Tom Araya sounds like a pissed off Nigerian who just learned that the local well had dried up, whereas the two guitarists also make the sonic equivalent of another Nigerian, this time pissed off that all the bananas on their tree had died. The drumming here captures Dave at the pinnacle of his drumming abilities,, with some awesome fast-paced thrash beats that he himself helped to popularize with his legendary performance on Reign In Blood. The mixing is also very good, ensuring that what needs to be heard is audible, whilst the bass is sort of there just doing its thing in the background, keeping up with the guitars but rarely doing anything else.
War Ensemble is a tyrannical opener that kicks it off with a bang, and is noteworthy for that awesome scream of the word "war" in the middle section. This track is somewhat like Angel Of Death in the sense of its structure including a middle slower bit that keeps the listener interest but whether it eclipses that masterpiece is for you to decide. Hallowed Point is another fast cut that thunders ahead faster than a Chinese driver (prob the one from Tokyo Drift) and has some really graphic lyrics that add a lot to it. For the slower sound the band went for on South Of Heaven, it makes a return here with Dead Skin Mask in particular being quite creepy. Skeletons Of Society and the title track are two other slower numbers that hit hard with some of the best riffs in the band's history. In fact, the title track to this album could be considered one of the best songs Slayer have put out.
The main problem with this album is the real disjointed feel. Whilst the two different styles are nicely balanced in terms of numbers, the fact is that Slayer should either write a fast album or a slow album and not try to appeal to the masses. Look at what happened when CrapTallica started doing this. This is still an incredible dose of thrash that everyone should check out. *** off.