Sound — 7
I bought this CD knowing that it has been getting mixed reviews. I listened to a few songs beforehand, and I thought "Wow, this seems angrier than their old stuff," so I went out and bought the CD. I have to say, those songs I had heard beforehand (Disciple, God Send Death, and Bloodline) seem to be the only really good ones on the album. That's not to say the album as a whole sucks, but it's not quite what I was hoping for. The songs all just sound too similar. It's nice that they deviated from their usual 1/2 step down tuning, but that doesn't create quite enough diversity. On the other hand, if you like nonstop screaming and a lot of Kerry wahing on his guitar (and he does it well), then you'll definitely enjoy it.
Lyrics — 7
As I said, Tom's voice sounds much angrier on this album than in past ones. Some of the songs I think have really good, pleasingly violent lyrics, such as God Send Death and Cast Down. In other songs the lyrics don't really jive as well with the music IMO. But in most cases I'm just enjoying the screaming too much to pay attention to what he's actually saying.
Overall Impression — 8
As much as I enjoyed this album for its entertainment value, I'd just assume downloading it rather than buying it. It's decent, but by no means groundbreaking. Something good to headbang to, and good to play when you're really pissed off, in this sense on par w/ Pantera. If one were to listen to this album as their first slayer album, I would not be surprised if they would be turned off by it even if they would otherwise enjoy slayer's other stuff. I'm interested in seeing what the next album will be like.