Christ Illusion review by Slayer

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Aug 8, 2006
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (298 votes)
Slayer: Christ Illusion
10

Sound — 9
The hour is at hand. That's right, Slayer is once again taking it's dark throne in the music world and unleashing a fiery, pounding, and melodic blend of metal. Christ Illusion is the first full-length studio release from Slayer since 2001's God Hates Us All, and it will likely be a satisfying addition to Slayer fans' collection. With Dave Lombardo once again behind the drums after a long absence from the band's studio albums, and his amazing contribution results in some of the most memorable aspects of the new CD. Christ Illusion has plenty of what Slayer fans expect and adore: an insane tempo driving each song; dark and often inflammatory lyrics growled by vocalist/bassist Tom Araya; and the essential dual guitar sounds of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman woven through each song. From the first track Flesh Storm, the band sets out to prove that it is as fast as ever and that age has only intensified it's metal. The song lets up on it's mind-blowing tempo only long enough to feature an inspired guitar breakdown -- a classic Slayer formula that works over 20 years after the band first formed. The song that stands out from the rest of the bunch actually does not begin with the bang of the other tracks, but it first allows the music to build up in intensity. Jihad and Cult are reminiscent of the band's older tune South Of Heaven in that they feature and intro with melodic riffs over slower tempos, which is just as powerful as the fastest segments on the album. Plus, you still eventually get the best of both worlds in both tunes: the melodic base and an eventual insane tempo led by the skillful Lombardo. Slayer is not a band for everyone, with it's ever-controversial lyrics and mind-shattering speed, but Christ Illusion is a solid record that deserves more than a few listens. A few songs might lack the complete package Cult does, but the talent in Lombardo, King, Araya, and Hanneman is absolutely awe-inspiring. They all know they can play fast and showcase that talent, but they also aren't afraid to go a bit slower to showcase a guitar melody.

Lyrics — 8
When you listen to a Slayer tune, you probably already know what's in store for you lyrically. While most of the songs do have a dark theme, often involving death in one aspect or another, there are those tracks that go a little bit further than that. The band has always inspired an uproar with it's satanic lyrics, and Christ Illusion keeps the tradition going strong. In the song Cult Araya sings, There never was a sacrifice, No man who hung the crucifix; Beware the call for purity, Infections their facility; I've made my choice, 666! Yes, there's nothing subtle about Slayer and that's probably why the band has maintained such a strong fan base. Will some lyrics offend listeners? Absolutely. Is that a bad thing for a band like Slayer? Not a chance. Controversy has worked wonders for artists in the past and Slayer has been around long enough to know. The song Black Serenade takes a more basic approach (for death metal) lyrically. Araya sings, Welcome to my Black Serenade; The entrance to my hell your pain; Scream your song the Black Serenade; Live in fear a mind insane. Some might call the lyrics silly, but the words fit the song pretty well. For the fans needing a classic fix of the Slayer they knew and loved back in '85, the words in Black Serenade are probably kind of nostalgic.

Overall Impression — 9
Slayer has a history of releasing some amazing, memorable records and a few mediocre ones. So the anticipation for Christ Illusion, which features classic Lombardo drumming no less, has been high. The record does not quite reach the legendary status of Reign In Blood, but it will not likely disappoint die-hard Slayer fans. Most of the tunes have the standard Slayer arrangement, featuring more than a few tempo changes. The band knows how to keep songs interesting and that is why Slayer has become a household name among the throngs of metal bands. The album reaches it's peak when it allows enough time for Kerry and Hanneman's melodic guitar lines to take center stage, then immediately unleashes up-tempo madness. When Slayer is at it's best, it's when it can reach that equilibrium that other thrash metal bands just can't seem to find. And then there are those classic Slayer lyrics. Christ Illusion will incite furious anger some and be embraced by others. It will be burnt by church groups and cherished by kids learning to play guitar. When you can sense the storm before the record even comes out, that's a pretty powerful album. Yes, Slayer is back with a vengeance.

54 comments sorted by best / new / date

    B345T
    I am not dissappointed with this album, great sound and strong lyrics. Nice review.
    Hammett5
    DANZIG767 wrote: thegreatindoors wrote: im dissapointed that they decieded to offend people and their religion just to sell more albums If your offened buy this album, DONT LISTEN TO IT. and Kerry King didnt write those songs to offend people, he just has a strong opinion agaisnt organized religion
    Couldn't have said it better myself.. He told people that he has a very very strong belief against organized religion and he just HAS to write about it .. He really doesn't care what some people think .. Like religious people anyways so.. Ya
    MexiChriS
    This album is ****ing amazing, not the best to me though....but it's definetly not what i would of expected from them...i read there lyrics before they released there cd, and damn they were strong. So I am very pleased with there cd, and all those stupid ass people that get offended by it, dont even bother with it...unless you want Slayer to have more attention. =]
    esp1988
    Awesome.would be unfair to expect another reign in blood but still good.
    buddy_bomber
    i think this album rules, defo up in the top with seasons and reign, nit quite equal though
    alexi_laiho
    i bought this album last sunday, and i wasnt exceptionally happy with it. but since then it has grown on me and i am quite pleased with the sound.
    PayTheDues
    Jwest6005 wrote: my god wouldnt it just be easier to say " we all believe in what we believe in" instead of arguing back and forth sure kerry doesnt believe in established religion but why does everyone have to give there opinion i could care less about what he believes. if what he says botheres u or makes u rethink your religion then you obviously didnt believe to begin with. slayer is good music and even though i dont agree with there message i still respect it
    Too true man, couldnt say it better myself
    IbanezxXx
    sikejsudjek wrote: Why don't they call it Mohammad Illusion ? Because they have no balls, far easier to offend Christians. Bunch of wussies really, music is crap too... they live in america and there are alot more christains in america, and kerry king dislikes aspects of christainity, and they can do w/e they want stfu ur an idiot, and you ever think that they known more about christainity then islam, so they can make an educated opinion, shut up and don't buy the CD, im sure they wouldn't want you to, you uneducated douche
    DANZIG767
    thegreatindoors wrote: im dissapointed that they decieded to offend people and their religion just to sell more albums
    If your offened buy this album, DONT LISTEN TO IT. and Kerry King didnt write those songs to offend people, he just has a strong opinion agaisnt organized religion
    iAmVincent
    first time i listened to it i thought it was a terrible album, but i listened to a it a few more times and it grew on me, now i think its pretty damn good, but i still cant stand most of king's "solos"
    sikejsudjek
    Why don't they call it Mohammad Illusion ? Because they have no balls, far easier to offend Christians. Bunch of wussies really, music is crap too...
    kurtmb
    cubedeathk, you have severe problems my friend. First off you say dream theater is going emo and now slayer??? What is wrong with you? You should just shut your mouth and never post again. Do you really have nothing better to do in your sorry ass life but to go and flame great bands. You should really get out a little more and if that doesn't work you should get some help. Its just pathetic that you have to do something stupid like that to get noticed. btw the new Slayer album is awesome, good to see a band staying true to who they are and never selling out. Rock on Slayer!!
    HybridCacaphony
    sikejsudjek wrote: Why don't they call it Mohammad Illusion ? Because they have no balls, far easier to offend Christians. Bunch of wussies really, music is crap too...
    Very true. But all that aside, have you people actually listened to the music from an objective perspective?! It's trash. Not just the lyrics, but the guitar playing is garbage, and how many times can you listen to those awful recycled drum beats? There is nothing of any value on that album. Seriously, Slayer needs to just call it quits...
    Paradise Lost
    Covin wrote: Lyrically, just a bunch of hypocrites. One of the members is a Catholic and then releases an album called Christ Illusion? That's like SOAD preaching about the crappy world in their $2,000 outfits. Musically...good stuff. But lyrics and music equal a song, so this album is just a shell of what it could have been.
    http://tinyurl.com/zxke9 You were saying?
    AmericanJihad
    sikejsudjek wrote: Why don't they call it Mohammad Illusion ? Because they have no balls, far easier to offend Christians. Bunch of wussies really, music is crap too...
    I'll call my album Mohammad Illusion I'll call my album Mohammad Illusion
    dyingbreed88
    I enjoy a lot of slayer's songs and all. Some of their lyrics seems implausible. Such as if there was no sacrifice, then the whole thing with Satan in revelations would have no backing and therefore 666 means nothing. But it sound really good, I guess you just have to take the lyrics at what their worth which is only to entertain, nothing more.
    Rockbassist
    Covin needs a kick in the teeth. Actually, yes Tom is a Catholic, but doesn't let the lyrics bother him, he is in Slayer. Which has no interference with his beliefs
    jacob23
    well actually the guitarist or bassist,(one of the 2) is catholic and disagrees with what the band does. i read it!. its on this site. type in slayer for reviews.
    the spiker
    This album sounds too much like Slipknot. and I hate slipknot. I only like two songs: flesh storm and cult. everything else not so great....
    Covin
    Lyrically, just a bunch of hypocrites. One of the members is a Catholic and then releases an album called Christ Illusion? That's like SOAD preaching about the crappy world in their $2,000 outfits. Musically...good stuff. But lyrics and music equal a song, so this album is just a shell of what it could have been.
    ROCK.ON
    I'm sure the music is great....altho im dissapointed that they decieded to offend people and their religion just to sell more albums..
    DevilsIsland
    the spiker wrote: This album sounds too much like Slipknot. and I hate slipknot. I only like two songs: flesh storm and cult. everything else not so great....
    yeah they shouldnt tune down so low it actually makes them sound less heavy. probably a record company decision to gain younger markets.
    dthorp
    Music good, lyrics crap, they think they know what they're singing about but they dont know shit. They think its cool to slag off christianity but what they dont realize is that whether they like it or not they will have to be accountable for what they sing about. True christians should be able to forgive them for this blasphemy so the more shit they come up with the more it can strengthen christianity.
    sk8ero131
    Not only is this album great, but slayer keeps pushing themsevles past what people find are exceptable, and i hope this album pisses of a lotta people
    Striketalonx
    I personally like this album a lot. Its not Reign in Blood, but it does have some kick ass songs..
    Sword-Saviour
    Covin wrote: Lyrically, just a bunch of hypocrites. One of the members is a Catholic and then releases an album called Christ Illusion? That's like SOAD preaching about the crappy world in their $2,000 outfits. Musically...good stuff. But lyrics and music equal a song, so this album is just a shell of what it could have been.
    I don't know how I could live with myself if I was i member of Slayer and still called myself a follower of Jesus Christ. God most certainly does not listen to Slayer!
    Incubus_Rage_27
    sikejsudjek wrote: Why don't they call it Mohammad Illusion ? Because they have no balls, far easier to offend Christians. Bunch of wussies really, music is crap too... Your a retard. I dont think slayers lyrics are very imaginative - but mabe its the fact that kerry king is against christianity rather than islam, and im sorry but I see that as a predjudiced remark - so if they called it mohammed illusion they would be in more danger of what exactly, its ****ing people like you that they want to piss off. Also. saying "music is crap" as a fact without any backup or state of oppinion is ****ing stupid. Also Tbh, id be more worried about pissing of the fundamentalist christians that run the whitehouse and own more nukes than the rest of the world. So Slayer do stuff to piss people of, get over it, what makes me laugh is that so many people take it too seriously, if you didnt get soo arsy about it they wouldnt do it. Oh yea. Fucking grate album 7 and a half out of 10 id say
    Jwest6005
    my god wouldnt it just be easier to say " we all believe in what we believe in" instead of arguing back and forth sure kerry doesnt believe in established religion but why does everyone have to give there opinion i could care less about what he believes. if what he says botheres u or makes u rethink your religion then you obviously didnt believe to begin with. slayer is good music and even though i dont agree with there message i still respect it
    ilovemyepi
    Slayer's lyrics and song titles are just too similar for my tastes. "Flesh Storm" "Reign in Blood" ...they keep talking about the same stuff. it's getting old. although a lot of the riffs on this album i like. can't stand the solos though...please don't flame me because i have a different opinion than you. not everything Slayer puts out will be amazing like some seem to think.
    SomethingWild
    I think this album is awesome, musically. The riffs are sweet, and I think the solos have actually improved. As said before its no Reign in Blood but still a good CD nonetheless. I know Slayer has been singing about Satan for like 20 years but some of these lyrics seem even more extreme. for instance, some lyrics from Cult: "the targets ****in Jesus Christ, I would have lead the sacrifice, and nailed him to the crucifix." I mean, i definately don't listen to Slayer for the lyrics, but I think some of this crosses the line from King voicing his opinions to just plain disrespect. I mean I love Slayer musically but some of these lyrics are ****ing bullshit.
    AmericanJihad
    wow my comment is really ****ed up, what i meant to say was
    ilovemyepi wrote: Slayer's lyrics and song titles are just too similar for my tastes. "Flesh Storm" "Reign in Blood" ...they keep talking about the same stuff. it's getting old. although a lot of the riffs on this album i like. can't stand the solos though...please don't flame me because i have a different opinion than you. not everything Slayer puts out will be amazing like some seem to think.
    no one will flame you, we are all friends here
    xion665
    thegreatindoors wrote: im dissapointed that they decieded to offend people and their religion just to sell more albums
    Its not who or what they're talking about that pisses people off. Its how they're doing it. What pisses people off is that they can say these things anytime anywhere because of the first amendment. Tom araya even said in an interview that "what we sing about is not necessarily what we believe." So, maybe they dont believe half of what they write, but they're exersising the highest point of freedom of speech. And THAT is what really pisses people off. That they can do what they want and there isnt a damn thing that anybody can do about it. Rock on slayer, and keep showing people not to be afraid to say any damn thing.
    xion665
    Oh, and by bitching at Slayer for what they do...your doing exactly what they want. They've already played you into the entire thing. Sleep on that, and know that you've already been beat.
    Imperium
    xion665 wrote: Oh, and by bitching at Slayer for what they do...your doing exactly what they want. They've already played you into the entire thing. Sleep on that, and know that you've already been beat.
    Well said. Oh, and Christ Illusion rocks hardcore!!
    Schizopathic
    I've never really liked Slayer. Sure Reign In Blood will always been known by everyone. But they just seem like a band trying WAY! to hard to be something their not. but I guess it the shit they like to play, so if they're happy with it. Why not? Personally, I'll never listen to Slayer, not because I'm a Christian, cuz I'm not (I'm Agnostic), just because I think they really have no REAL talent and they do not appeal to me. All my friends love them, but i just can't bring myself to listen to them. But I guess they did kinda of influence a lot of great bands out there today, so they're okay for doing that. But I just don't see why everyone loves them so much.
    Gas Mask
    dthorp wrote: Music good, lyrics crap, they think they know what they're singing about but they dont know shit. They think its cool to slag off christianity but what they dont realize is that whether they like it or not they will have to be accountable for what they sing about. True christians should be able to forgive them for this blasphemy so the more shit they come up with the more it can strengthen christianity.
    Kerry doesn't like Christianity. I don't like Christianity. And I'm pretty ****ing sure we can say whatever the hell we want about it. So you can shove your blasphemy up your self-righteous holy ass. See if you can fit a couple Hail Mary's up there. Rock on Slayer.