Slayer
Eternal Pyre


2.5
average

Review

by Grant Hunter USER (76 Reviews)
June 6th, 2006 | 55 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


Slayer is a common name. Say it to a fan, and they go ballistic. Say it to your parents, and they scowl. Say it to a priest, and well, you’ll probably have an exorcism performed on you. One of the biggest names in the Thrash community, Slayer is part of the ‘Big Four’, which is made up of Anthrax, Megadeth, and the once-juggernaut Metallica. Most of these big names, save Anthrax, have had some rough times lately in the album area. Megadeth released constant let-down after let-down, namely albums like “Risk", until they came to “The System Has Failed" which showed a recognizable return to their past thrash-roots. Metallica, on the other hand, who was the king, hit an all-time low with the unbearable “St. Anger", and we have yet to see whether their new album with live up to their name.

So what about Slayer?

They’ve had it rough as well. After releasing “Divine Intervention", which should’ve been called “Seasons in the Abyss: Part 2", critics went straight to their throats, claiming the band had lost its edge. Which was rather confusing, seeing as how “Divine Intervention" was rather underrated and still was a great trip. So, like most bands do when they seem to be stuck in the rut, Slayer aimed to redefine their sound. What occurred, which was “Diabolus in Musica", could’ve very easily have been labeled as their “St. Anger". Incorporating a slight “Metalcore" sound and mixing in some “Nu-Metal" here and there, it was a nauseating effort. Slayer must’ve realized this, as their next album, “God Hates Us All", showed the band packing the intensity and anger from their previous albums, as well as some of their sound, into the style of playing that was found on “Diabolus in Musica". What resulted was a moderately well accepted album, that while good for the first few days, wound up feeling somewhat flat.

So what’s become of Slayer now, with the release of an EP, entitled “Eternal Pyre"?

Well, they’re back, about ¾ of it anyway.

Cult", which is the only real song off this EP, is the new single from their upcoming untitled album that will hit stores July 25th. The other two features off this EP are a live video of “War Ensemble" live in Germany, and a studio video of these guys playing “Cult".

Cult" is almost like a blender. The intro, which is a single-guitar, is very low on distortion and rather slow at first. It’s strange, because usually a slow intro from these guys would be very eerie, and ghastly, such as on “South of Heaven" or “Dead Skin Mask", but not here. It’s more of a build-up of tension, as you wait for that moment when the speakers will blast. After a while of this, in which the guitar flicks on the distortion and it comes in more powerful, it moves onto another build-up of sorts, when Dave and Tom come in pounding away while Jeff and Kerry begin to chug away slowly. It’s then that the riff that most of us have heard off their website hit you in the face un-relentlessly. The buzzsaw-like guitars are only showcased for a few mere seconds before it moves into a thick-palm muted verse that will remind you of a mix between “War Ensemble" and “Disciple". Tom’s voice has also taken a slight turn for the better. Not only does he incorporate his old style of speed-talking, he twists it to be almost like speed-sceam-talking, instead of just yelling like he did all over on “Diabolus in Musica". The chorus, which features grinding guitars and dominance from Dave’s bass drum, includes lyrics such as “Religion is hate, Religion is fear, Religion is war! / Religion is rape, Religion’s obscene, Religion’s a whore!" After Tom showcasing some of his fastest vocals this side of “Dittohead", he lets out a yell of “6-6-6!", which cues a whammy-bar abuses solo. Typical Slayer solo here, whammy-bar abuse +insane shredding (mash of notes) + slight whammy-bar abuse again = Kerry/Jeff solo. It kicks back the aggressive verse, then into the spiteful chorus. The bridge that follows seems like it took a note or two from a “Metalcore" bridge (I will NOT call it a break-down!), with hard-hitting chugging guitars and a popping snare drum from Dave, with Tom yelling over it all “Jesus is pain, Jesus is gore, Jesus is the spilled that’s spilled in war! / He’s everything, He’s all things dead, He’s pulling down the trigger that’s pointed at your head!". What follows is another Slayer solo, this one using a good load of “wah". Then back to that chorus that pops up all over place, before the outro begins to kick in. The outro consists of an almost classic Slayer riff, with a huge emphasis on palm-mutes and a quick fill at the end of each. Another solo comes “whammy-barring in", before the song pounds itself out.

So how’d I feel about the song? It’s good stuff. It drags on a little long, which takes away from the power and intensity showcased during it. It’s not exactly a continuation of “God Hates Us All", which is a good thing in a sense, but it does take a few pointers from songs like “Disciple" from it, though “Disciple" was a great song. Tom’s voice, as I pointed out earlier, is another improvement. He became rather annoying on the past two albums, but here, it’s enough of the old mixed with the new to make up some tolerance of it. Actually, forget tolerance. It sounds pretty damn good. The same thing goes for Kerry and Jeff, the “Nu-Metal" is completely gone, as some of it was still previous on the past album. This song is seriously like half-and-half of “War Ensemble" and “Disciple". And while Paul Bostaph was a good drummer, well, Dave is better. He doesn’t bang away all day and give the listener hearing problems like Paul did. He’s more restricted, but his fills all over this song are incredible, and downright fast.

Overall rating for “Cult" – 4.5/5

Now, as for the rest of this so-called “EP", it only has two other features, which is a complete annoyance if you ask me. I mean, it only cost me 6 bucks, but seriously, one song? And you call it an EP? Get real. Of the two videos, the only one worth watching really is the live version of “War Ensemble". It’s played live in Germany, and its pretty funny to see how old Tom looks now, with his grey beard. And Jeff also gives you the finger as he walks on the stage, which was cool. But the best part about their appearance had to be Kerry King, as he showcased those huge-ass wrist-spikes that he used to wear way back in the earlier days of “Show No Mercy". It’s also great to see Dave playing with him, as he brings back his old beats near-perfectly. The song playing overall is still superb, they hit everything dead on. As for the other video, its just them in the studio playing “Cult" with no vocals, and there's some funny clips here and there of them messing around in-between the playing, but it’s nothing really spectacular.

I was disappointed, as I had really wanted to the see the promised “Live Intrusion" video of the fan that carved the band’s name into his arm. I almost shed a tear.

My recommendation? Don’t buy this EP unless you REALLY want to see a live video of “War Ensemble" and a studio video of “Cult". Just buy the new song off of “iTunes", as it’s on there, and it’s probably only 99 cents. This thing was 6 bucks, and all I really got was one new song. However, the new song is pretty darn good, and if it’s a representation of what’s in store for us on July 25th, I’m damn excited.

Overall EP grade – 2/5


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edit

After a whole day's worth of listening to "Cult" (seriously, there's only one audio track on this EP, it ain't hard to do folks), I have come to reconsider my previous rating of 4.5/5 and am changing it to a full 5. "Cult" showcases some of the finest musical qualities Slayer has shown since "Seasons in the Abyss", and while it certainly is no "Angel of Death" or "South of Heaven", it's the best song Slayer has written out of all the tracks off of "Diabolus in Musica" and "God Hates Us All".

New Rating for "Cult" - 5/5



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user ratings (68)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
south_of_heaven 11
June 6th 2006


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The more and more I listen to 'Cult', the more I like it...which is always a good sign....

SCREAM!
June 6th 2006


10207 Comments


Wow another one! Good review, im not a big fan of slayer though. I like a few songs but thats it. 666!!!!!!!!!

Bazarov
June 6th 2006


55 Comments


Divine Intervention = Seasons part 2...? :confused: I'd disagree. But man, I hated Diabolus and GHUA, and this song is a major improvement. It's better than any song they've released on their past 2 albums.

south_of_heaven 11
June 6th 2006


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yea, I've always thought that one of Divine Interventions problems was it didnt really break any ground...seeing as SITA was blend of RIB and SOH, and then DI was just...the same thing. Although it was really good, to me it felt like SITA all over again, just not as good.

Neoteric
June 6th 2006


3243 Comments


this EP is utterly pointless.

south_of_heaven 11
June 6th 2006


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this EP is utterly pointless.


Yeup. Pretty much my thoughts. Though since it is deemed an EP, I get to review it. Even if its a poor excuse for an EP. VERY poor excuse for one.

Which is why I think I'm going to lower the score...This Message Edited On 06.06.06

Shattered_Future
June 6th 2006


1541 Comments


I haven't heard about this, but this seems to have been released for the SOLE purpose of having something released on 6/6/06.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 6th 2006


4405 Comments


Great job, man. Congratulations for making a three song EP into a 8 (ish) paragraph review. Got my vote.

south_of_heaven 11
June 6th 2006


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haha Bron, I try, I really do...
And Shattered....yea, they just kinda threw this out just to say they did...they were gonna put out their new album today, but they had recording troubles, so it got pushed back till July 25th. Hench 'Eternal Pyre' coming out today...

Thor
June 6th 2006


10200 Comments


Only one song? Forget that then, I'll just wait for the album to come out.

Smashing review, though.

yahwehfreak
June 6th 2006


1 Comments


SLAYER IS AN EVIL BAND STRAIGHT FROM THE PIT OF HELL. UNLESS THOSE GUYS REPENT FOR THEIR WICKEDNESS AND QUIT LEADING OTHERS TO FOLLOW THEIR DEMONIC TRADE, THEY MAY FIND THE THE "ETERNAL PYRE" IS NO JOKE. WE LIVE IN A CULTURE THAT LOVES TO PLAY WITH THE THINGS OF THE DEVIL BUT DOES NOT REALLY TAKE THE DEVIL SERIOUSLY. YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY, "IF YOU PLAY WITH FIRE YOU'RE GONNA GET BURNED". ENOUGH SAID

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 6th 2006


4405 Comments


Oh God I love you.

Thor
June 6th 2006


10200 Comments


:lol:

I take it that this is a joke account, right?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2006


16089 Comments


Sorry guys I got a little angry and stuff...

south_of_heaven 11
June 6th 2006


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh dear, how I enjoyed that comment from that person...
I guess I should go give my parents back my lighter huh?

El_Goodo
June 6th 2006


1008 Comments


I've never liked Slayer, the vocals just don't do anything for me. I like the vocals to have good melodies, and if there arent any I usually can't get into it. But I do understand its hard to make metal music with great hooks. Im sure Slayer has some good guitar work but I just can't get past the vocals to enjoy it.

Personally my favourite metal bands would probably be;
1.) Black Sabbath
2.) Iron Maiden
3.) Metallica/Megadeth ...there both great...and have had moments when one is better but overall it's a very tough pick.

Arrakakaka
June 6th 2006


685 Comments


Haven't given Slayer's new material a good look, maybe I'll try this.This Message Edited On 06.06.06

Decapitated Assault
June 6th 2006


3 Comments


Pretty good Ep cult is a bad ass song but i want the album

south_of_heaven 11
June 6th 2006


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hey Unstable Mind, dont waste your money on it. Just go find their myspace page, they've got the song up.

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=36787829

(Get rid of the space between the '7' and '8' in the link)This Message Edited On 06.06.06

Blindguardian
June 6th 2006


186 Comments


Just listened to Cult, the music is good, but the lyrics verge on being a self-parody, I its fine if you hate religion, but at least put a little more thought into expressing that

On the other hand I never really listened to Slayer for the lyrics anyway, this just irritated me



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