Sound — 8
Many are sceptic on the new drop tuning that king and hanneman have used on the two latest albums, Losing some fans as a claim of "commercialism". However. If you are a die hard Slayer fan, as me myself, you will learn to appreciate that the low end juice really gives this album, and enriched, dark theme. As ever, expect machine gun kickdrums with the return of legend drummer Dave Lombardo, Blood curdling screams from Araya and tremolo passages from King and Hanneman that top 200 bpm.
Lyrics — 9
The tradition of death, occult imagery and evil in Slayer's lyrics continues but in a more "real" and reserved packaged. If Kerry King has once made a turning point in the bands lyrical imagery, this album is it. Passages on "Cult" and "Katalyst" seem almost poetic. By far the most dark and controversial song lyrically has to be 05 - Jihad. This song is themed on the terrorist attack of 911 from the extremist point of view. Lines such as "Ill take these towers from the world; You're f--king raped upon your death bed with indefinitiveley stike some chords. This is how you define shock rock, if you are religious, faint hearted or easily offended, this album isnt for you. As brilliant as the lyrics may be, Arayas' vocals, seemingly weak on this record have become the fixation of critics.
Overall Impression — 7
If I listened to this album, in no knowledge that this was Slayer I would love it, but as far as Slayer have come, this album is a mediocrety. This record may dissapoint die hard Slayer fans, however, to anyone new to the concept of thrash or Slayer, this album is a must have. Despite not being the best Slayer album on the market it is definetly worth buying. If someone stole any of my Slayer albums, I would feed them to the pigs. It's that simple.