Review Summary: Pure vileness. Probably the most disturbing, valueless album ever recorded.
Filled with hatred and a fascination with satan, Slayer has recorded music that is at the absolute most offensive end of the musical spectrum. It's weird that although society has deteriorated since then, 1986 was undoubtedly the most depraved year for music, with countless albums expressing filth, drug abuse and sexuality. Maybe the descent of society had more to do with popular music than we give it credit for. I never would have believed it before, in fact I'd have dismissed the notion as laughable superstition but I think this album has awakened me to the fact that there are in fact darker forces at work and they're manifesting themselves in what we as a society consider popular music.
I wanted to go into this with an open mind. I consider myself a fan of some of the heavier bands on the spectrum (Norma Jean, As Cities Burn, etc.) and so i didn't try to look at this album at face value. I'd heard all the stories of how it was supposedly the most evil album of all time but I treated these statements as just hyperbole. Anyway, if I could find musical value in this, I felt like I could take something of value away from the listening experience. Not the case. The guitars flail around like a dying horse and it's one of the more disturbing sounds I've ever heard. The vocals sound like a man possessed and the singer really does seem like darker forces have taken over his life, glorifying nazism, satan, rape, murder and the use of drugs.
The one shining bright spot in this hellish miasma of an album is the incredible drum work. I've never heard anyone play with this level of speed and virtuosity. If only his talents could be used for something of value. As it is, it's just talent wasted on track after track of pure darkness and filth. I realize that this is regarded as one of the best metal albums of all time but I can't recommend it to anyone who holds any kind of moral values. If you want to listen to this kind of music I recommend the just as heavy but much more positive Norma Jean or The Chariot.