Slayer
Seasons in the Abyss


4.5
superb

Review

by tbrothwell USER (1 Reviews)
May 14th, 2006 | 11 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist


After taking the thrash genre to new levels with the brutal, ground-breaking, speed freak of a record that was 'Reign In Blood', and then refining that sound by splicing a greater musical depth together with slower tempos on it's successor 'South Of Heaven'; it appeared as if Slayer would almost certainly have to explore previously unearthed territory on their 1990 effort 'Seasons In The Abyss' if they were to maintain their position as both instigators and innovators of the speed metal genre.

As it happened, 'Seasons...' was more a consolidation of ground covered, rather than a new milestone in the vein of 'Reign...', however the record did present a more accessible side of the band that helped build their reputation amongst the MTV generation, whilst (uniquely for this type of record) also enhancing the devotion garnered from Slayer's partizan following.

The reason that 'Seasons...' works as a record is simply because Slayer (unlike Metallica) never truly dumb down their content or message in an attempt to lend themselves to mainstream tastes. The fact that the band produced a work of this quality, at this time, almost by chance happened to coincide with the point at which popular music opinion became as favorable as it ever would be towards Slayer.

The music on the record is cleanly produced, and is written in a more immediately gratifying style than any Slayer album recorded before or since. However, the fundamental aspects that go towards creating the 'Slayer sound' are more apparent than ever on this particular effort. Araya's tortured vocals and poignant (if sometimes blunt) lyrics are prominently voiced, whilst his solid, speed-picked bass parts are given a (much needed) higher order in the mix, especially in comparison to 'Reign...'. Hanneman and King's traditionally squealed solos are given a more melodic, structured edge, and if anything, it is the assured, confident riffing of the two that really appeals to the listener on this album. As per usual, a special mention must be reserved for the truly innovational fills and savage rhythm work of drummer par excellence, Dave Lombardo. As this is his last album with the band (at least until this summer's long awaited effort), Lombardo signs off in a blistering fashion with almost funky, groove tinged metal pounding ('Blood Red'), and epic, earth-shattering tom rolls ('Seasons In The Abyss').

From a consistency point of view the album is very strong, and almost all the tracks merit repeated listens. The album contains several Slayer classics ('War Ensemble', 'Dead Skin Mask', 'Hallowed Point' and 'Seasons...'), and the quality of this material more than makes up for the occasional moments of deja vu that one may experience when listening this record. Another plus point for the album is that the the themes of the tracks actually diverts from war and the antics of serial killers (which are naturally covered with aplomb), to fully-fledged criticism of Reagan-era American society.

Whilst not as ground-breaking as 'Reign In Blood', as progressive as 'Hell Awaits' or as refined as 'South Of Heaven', 'Seasons In The Abyss' truly ranks alongside these monumental works, whilst also offering a spectacular introduction to the essential music of one of the genre's greats.


user ratings (2118)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
south_of_heaven 11
May 14th 2006


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not a bad first review. Seperate the paragraphs though, and it will look much better.

Bazarov
May 14th 2006


55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. I like this album a lot. Not as much as Hell Awaits, but the more I listen to it, the better it gets.

tbrothwell
May 14th 2006


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers for the para-separating tips.
I felt that this album's status in the pantheon of Slayer records required a fuller explanation than had previously been attempted on this forum.
Cheers for the comments

Apocalyptic Raids
May 14th 2006


810 Comments


good album

Red Cap Brain
May 15th 2006


174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing record. Slayer´s best.

ReturnToRock
May 15th 2006


3448 Comments


i still don't get what's so special about slayer.

Thor
May 15th 2006


10201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. This was the first Slayer album I had heard and I must say it really got me into the band.

WARPATH_88
May 15th 2006


514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Slayer is awesome. I havent heard that much of this CD, but what i have heard is good. Good review, but i didnt like how you implied that Metallica are all pussy, sell-outs. I mean just cuz Metallica doesnt keep to the same music styles that they did 20 years ago doesnt mean they are any less good.(my opinion)

But anyways this review isnt about Metallica, so ill shut up about it. This Message Edited On 05.15.06

tbrothwell
May 15th 2006


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My point was that whilst this album is more accessible than Slayer's earlier work, it is not a blatant attempt to appeal to the public in the same way that the Black Album was. Metallica undoubtedly have some great albums but few true thrash fans would argue that their post 1991 work holds up in comparison to their 80s classics.

WARPATH_88
May 15th 2006


514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ya that is true, sorry for b****ing at you man. i get what ya mean now that you say that.

Bazarov
May 15th 2006


55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i still don't get what's so special about slayer.


When you grow some hair on your chest you'll then see why.

:p



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