I'm not a big fan of EP's honestly. Especially when they only have about 3 tracks on 'em. But me, being the obnoxious self-proclaimed Sputnik's very own Slayer
fan boy that I am, I naturally owned it. And why not? I mean, it's Slayer
...and I love me some Slayer
Bridging the gap between "Show No Mercy
" and "Hell Awaits
", "Haunting the Chapel
" would show Slayer
moving onto its more 'classic' style: Fast, evil, and dark. The EP itself is considered mandatory to own if you are into Slayer
at all, as each song is proclaimed to be a classic in its own right. These tracks were also re-released along with the entire "Live Undead
" album (Which was a live show, not a false one for the record), but was later removed. And while shoddy production is very apparent here, it can't hold down the true enjoyment that can be found here.
Since there's only three tracks...its track-by-track time
1. "Chemical Warfare
" - Everyone who listens to Slayer
should know this song. It's more than just a staple of live show or a fan favorite; it's easily one of the greatest 'Thrash Metal' songs ever written. Kicking off with some chugging palm muted fury, the intro is one of tension. Dave soon begins to do one of the most fitting drum rolls ever before the song blasts off in full force. The song is relatively simple, and straight forward to say the least. It's a typical Slayer
type riff: palm mutes for a bit + quick fill...then repeat. You can easily hear how much Tom's voice has improved since "Show No Mercy
", as now instead of being high and thin, it's deep and dark. He growls at points during the verse, and especially during the chorus during his grunt of "Chemical warfare!
". The chorus is actually almost slightly melodic, with flowing guitars that actually seem to match Tom's voice. The bridge again is mainly consisted of thick palm mutes in-between rapidly played notes to give it a huge true thrashing feel. After kicking back to a single guitar playing the infamous intro, Tom makes a quick cry of "F*ck it up!
, which is then met by a wall of wailing guitars in full Slayer
solo mode (Whammy bar abuse + mindless shredding). Kicking it up to speeds unknown to man at the time, Slayer
shows off their true talents by blasting through speed records and shredding all over the place. The song begins to end shortly after, with the guitars just going crazy. The lyrics throughout the whole song are actually quite impressive, with the second verse being "Artificial fu*king peace, Line up in a death row. Generals in their slow defeat, Diminished from this hell. Banished from the dying world, The lords of hell await! Dogs of war are helpless prey, To immortality...
". Not bad for the world of Slayer
. And let me not forget Dave Lombardo, the mad man behind the drums. The fills he does near the end of the song when it speeds up are incredible. As is the rate that he is able to drum. Jaw-dropping, if you ask me.
2. "Captor of Sin
" - Easily one of my all-time favorite Slayer
songs, and just like "Chemical Warfare
", is considered a Thrash classic and is a staple at their live shows (unfortunately, they didn't play it when I saw them. I cried). You might not at first be sure what to expect, since Dave clicks his drum sticks a few times before he just screams in the background...and then...it's full on solo assault time. That's right, Kerry and Jeff rip onto the scene not with some fast paced riff, but with a blasting, whammy bar killing, and out-of-place solo. And boy, is it long. Trading off their shredtastic parts for 30 seconds (That's long in the Slayer
community folks, trust me), the guitars flow straight back into the riff that was underneath them, which is just simply a straight up palm mute attack. It then cuts out to feature a single guitar 'sliding' along almost before everyone else kicks in. Dave's drumming is incredible here, with pops and fills all over the place. Tom's voice sounds extremely evil here, as well as deep and disturbing. He has a sinister ring to his voice, especially since he tends to hold out the last notes of the last words in each line. Give's him a slight 'sneering' sound too. The chorus is just the straight up palm muted riff that was played underneath the solos during the intro, but at the end, Jeff and Kerry emit off an extended fill that has its roots it seems in Blues/Rock. Quite interesting. During the bridge, guess what? More chaotic Slayer
solos. After another verse/chorus, the song begins to end in the form of yet again another classic Slayer
riff of ghastly palm mutes and a popped note here or there. It ends rather abruptly, as it comes to a complete stop suddenly. Easily my favorite off this EP, "Captor of Sin
" also features my guilty pleasure lyrics, as I chant them on the football/lacrosse field during play for some reason. Lines like "Harlots of Hell spread your wings, As I penetrate your soul. Feel the fire shoot through your body, As I slip into your throne!
" are awesome in my eyes.
3. "Haunting the Chapel
" - Ahhh, the title track. Kicking off with a single guitar playing an almost Blues-type fill in-between thick palm mutes, it's certainly different than the past two songs. It's slightly slower for one, but that doesn't make it bad at all. Tom's voice seems to be slightly higher here, giving it a more piercing sound. That same intro riff is repeated throughout the verses, until it cuts out in favor of a more "Chemical Warfare
" straight-to-the-gun-and-fast-as-balls riff that seems to blast out of nowhere. Once that one gets galloping, Tom's voice becomes lower and darker, much like on the past two tracks. Dave's drumming again is top-notch, keeping the tempo strong and balancing out his insane fills and rolls. Jeff and Kerry rip onto the scene shortly after with another mindless approach to soloing. There's no melody at all, so don't expect anything new. If anything can be said about their soloing, it's that it's meant to be chaotic, just like the songs. And they're pretty darn good at switching off too, and this track is no exception. The song ends with some chopped riffs from the guitars to match Dave's pounding bass drum and snare. The lyrics again deal with more of Hell and such. "Hell has seen, The priests attempt, To bring forth their lord of the cross
"are actually quite good in my book. A great way to finish off the EP.
So there are 3 tracks. Anything wrong with 'em?
No sir. Each one of these tracks gets a '5' in my book. But there are a few problems with the EP in general. For starters, well, there are three songs. I wanted more. But then again, each of these three songs were equally amazing. And the production wasn't that great. While it's a step up from "Show No Mercy
", and the guitars sound darker and heavier, they're still a little bit too thin and there's an echo behind Tom's voice at parts doing all of the songs, more noticeably on "Chemical Warfare
". It's kinda annoying in my book.
As I stated before, I normally don't like EP's. But this one is different. These three songs are all Thrash classics in my eyes, and easily some of the best that Slayer
has ever done. And this even shows throughout shoddy production and a small length. Do yourself a favor and check this out.
South's Favorite Track
Captor of Sin
*NOTE: I am reviewing the original version, which did NOT include "Agressive Perfector