Sound — 9
The impression given off by the band during this record is that simply of being pissed off with the world, the people, and religeon. Like I will mention in a minute, these are the obvious themes behind the music, but if you listen carefully there is a story being told here, I wont tell you what that is because that would ruin the album! This album and Seasons In The Abyss are very similar, in the way the songs have been written and composed, the feel about them, in my opinion, this was the best era for Slayer.
Lyrics — 8
Tom Araya's singing styles have never bothered me, not growling all the time, he has a decent melodic voice as well. On this album I get the impression that the riffs weren't completely ment to go along with the lyrics and the story being told, more so just cook sound riffs and licks, some parts during the album, like during Behind The Crooked Cross, the guitar screaming half way through a verse, before the solo, is following the direction of the lyrics, but on the chorus and intro front, they dont bare much relevance on alot of the album. The lyrics on this album are powerful beyond first hear, as is with alot of meaningful music, you really need to listen to it, there is an obvious meaning of course, but this goes much deeper.
Overall Impression — 8
As I mentioned before, in my opinion this was the best era for Slayer, the tone they use, the feel this album produces. By far the best songs on this album are Behind The Crooked Cross, the music and lyrics, really match each other, great song, but all around this is a quality album, the only bad thing I can say is that some things during the songs seemed forced and unnatural, especially some of the solos, or even just some squeals, it doesnt quite suit and sounds forced, but theres not alot of that, so apart from that absoloutly awesome album, if it was stolen I would buy it again, only, along with a few other of Slayer's, need to get my collection up a bit.