Slayer
South of Heaven


4.0
excellent

Review

by korgultheterminator USER (7 Reviews)
January 25th, 2014 | 29 replies


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Red means stop, yellow means slow down. Green means headbang like no ones watching.

In 1988, Slayer were an established metal act. Tours upon tours, albums sold by the boatload. Deservedly so most would say. Many bands would cave to complacency and do what is expected. But rather than resting on their laurels, and making "Reign In Blood II: Electric Boogaloo", they decided to take a different route. A much different route. "South of Heaven" is a slower side to Slayer, with occasional bursts of sheer violence and mayhem. The songwriting is much improved over "Reign In Blood", and they've gone back to doing what they do best. Being evil.


Saying "South Of Heaven" is slow would be absurd. Compared to "Reign In Blood", there is certainly a change of pace. "Reign In Blood" was insanely paced, with each songs purpose being to smash your cranium with speed and aggression. The approach is much different this time, with the decision to go back to songwriting first, speed second. Tracks like "Ghosts Of War" and "South Of Heaven" utilize speed changes to enunciate tone of the song. When the intro to "Silent Scream" kicks in after the toss and turn devilishness of "South Of Heaven", the sheer impact it leaves is immense. You'd be hard pressed to find a person who won't move any limb or body part to that song, as it is the epitome of "headbanging music". Speed was utilized to great measures on "Reign In Blood", and is used to great effect here as well. Except rather than all fast, or all slow, the ebb and flow of the music is more intriguing and aesthetic than previous works.


After the more mainline approach to lyricism on "Reign In Blood", it was decided somewhere to go back to being evil and purely Satanic, and to an even higher degree. The album art just screams evil, with a demolished church in ruins and inverted crosses everywhere. The lyricism here is evil, but on an almost scholarly level. Whereas "Hell Awaits" was certainly geared toward a certain theme, the theme is more eloquently approached here. "South Of Heaven" is debatably meant to be one of two things. Hell, or if directionally accurate, the southern direction from Heaven would be Earth. It's an ominous apocalyptic entendre, and a good indication of how well the lyrics are written here. Rather than the stock "666 Hail Satan and the evil one", you have "Empty altar awaits its victim, Stained glass windows black,
Candles burn the midnight oil, Incense fills the night". (Cleanse The Soul) These lyrics are almost poetic, and illicit a visual response that is in accordance with the music. Slayer's lyrics would become more watered down as time went on, but "South Of Heaven" is lyrically their best work, and some of the best thrash metal lyricism ever heard.

In summation, "South Of Heaven", while slower and more eerie, is a well crafted masterpiece, with intense lyrics, superb riffing, and overall gleaming performances from all four members. The reign would not last forever, but this and their previous works at the time are not only their best work but some of the most classic works in heavy metal history. Slowed down, they are still immensely evil, and that says something for a band who created a name for being as fast and ferocious as they come. One word of advice. Remember to headbang in time with the music. No one likes a sloppy windmill.



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user ratings (2053)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
MeatSalad
January 25th 2014


14900 Comments


This reads like more than a 4

Digging: The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2014


6487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not a bad review, but could definitely benefit from some editing. For one, make sure your sentences are actually complete. Sentence fragments like "Deservedly so most would say.", "A much different route.", and "One word of advice." make your review seem choppy. Also, the formatting of this review is pretty strange. I'm not sure how many spaces you put between each paragraph but just one seems to do the trick. Also, the third paragraph randomly cuts off between "black," and "candles." Might want to fix that, it'll make your review more appealing to the eye. Besides that, nice work. This album rules, a hard 4.5 in my opinion.

Digging: The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

tempest--
January 25th 2014


14413 Comments


fuckin slayer m/

Ending
January 25th 2014


1919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best Slayer album.

hikingmetalpunk
January 25th 2014


1130 Comments


fuckin slayer m/ [2]

KILL
January 26th 2014


72131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

grant m/

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

emprorzurg
January 26th 2014


523 Comments


Always enjoyed this over their other stuff. Mandatory Suicide is a highlight

KILL
January 26th 2014


72131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dude this is like 4th best slayer

damn hope grant dont see this

emprorzurg
January 26th 2014


523 Comments


ehhh, Reign in Blood is forgettable for me

KILL
January 26th 2014


72131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn even the bookends?

emprorzurg
January 26th 2014


523 Comments


nah, Angel of Death and Raining Blood thrash hard, but I can't recall a single song between either one of those two despite listening to the album multiple times

tempest--
January 26th 2014


14413 Comments


wow what about ENTER TO THE REALM OV SATAN SATAN SATAN

emprorzurg
January 26th 2014


523 Comments


FINE, FUCK I'LL LISTEN TO IT AGAIN!!

KILL
January 26th 2014


72131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea for real and necrophobic is like the hardest thrasher ever

MeatSalad
January 26th 2014


14900 Comments


reign in blood is hella consistent

dannyboy89
January 26th 2014


12882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"South of Heaven" is a slower side to Slayer, with occasional
bursts of sheer violence and mayhem.

Saying "South Of Heaven" is slow would be absurd.


A bit contradictory don't you think?

And no, I'm no Slayer fan.

manosg
January 26th 2014


6538 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Incredible album and probably my favorite Lombardo's overall performance. Danny, only a 2?

Digging: Witchfynde - Give 'em Hell

dannyboy89
January 26th 2014


12882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Maybe I should give it another go.

BigPleb
January 26th 2014


37588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ON AND ON SOUTH OF HEAVEN!

BlackLlama
January 26th 2014


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"After the more mainline approach to lyricism on "Reign In Blood", it was decided somewhere to go back to being evil and purely Satanic"

Huh? How the hell did Reign In Blood have a "mainline" approach to lyrics?

The entire 29:02 is an ode to Satan, blood and nazis O.o



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