Slayer - Christ Illusion

When I first listened to this I have to be honest and say that I thought that it was the absolute WORST Slayer release out of their entire discography. But upon repeated listens to and reading over the lyrics this album has seemed to grow on me. I'll always deem 'Reign In Blood' (1986) to be their overall best album ever but 'Christ Illusion' isn't that bad even though to me in the first couple of listens I thought that they sounded tired, lacked innovation, and overall 10 boring tracks.

Some people have blatantly uttered that Tom Araya's vocals are their worst ever. I disagree with that he's 45 and to me still kicking ass with his vocals/bass efforts. He still utters aggressive vocals to these hate filled lyrics written mostly by Kerry King as are pretty much all of the songs. Araya to me will always be a kick ass front-man for Slayer. Not only does he scream relentlessly there is some variety in the vocals in that there are some spoken words and less aggressive throat when appropriate.

Both guitarists sound like they slowed down some on their leads... Jeff Hanneman used to be more technical and I remember reading a Slayer article years ago that he said he wanted it to be written on the songs whose lead was whose so that there wouldn't be any confusion as to who to me was better in this department. Jeff would probably hate to hear that I'm saying this but it seems that he's slowed down some. Kerry is at about the same that he's been but a bit slowed down as well.

The fact that Dave Lombardo is still behind the drum set will always be a great commodity to Slayer because to me he's always seemed to layout the best drum tracks more so than Paul Bostaph ever has been able to put forth. On this release the drum tracks are a bit slowed down just to mesh well with the guitar tracks. He was right though back in the 80's (with a few caveats) when he said that Slayer will never change their style of music.

The guitars here are tuned down some making the tracks seem a little heavier even though the tempos are less intense. There are some songs on here that start off sounding pretty weak which then end up to actually dominate! One example here is the track 'Cult'. It starts off with a muddy slow slightly distorted guitar but ends up being a pretty kick ass song rhythmically. Of course also Araya utters some anti-Christian lyrics on this song as well.

I think that the future of Slayer writing more than 2-3 albums following this release are slim. Araya already uttered his age (45) and that Slayer is going to call it quits soon. 'Christ Illusion' is their 9th studio release so yes they are aging but the legacy of Slayer will always live on. They've for the most part have stayed true to their thrash metal roots and anti-Christian stance on songwriting even though they are not Satanists.

WWhat I'd like to utter lastly would be that with Rick Rubin's help on the production the songs have been well laid out as in most previous releases as well. My favorite tracks would have to be: 'Flesh Storm', 'Skeleton Christ', 'Catatonic' and 'Catalyst'. Get this release and to hear some kick ass thrash metal!!!

1. Flesh Storm
2. Catalyst
3. Skeleton Christ
4. Eyes Of The Insane
5. Jihad
6. Consfearacy
7. Catatonic
8. Black Serenade
9. Cult
10. Supremist

American Recordings
Reviewer: Death8699
Aug 9, 2010
Next review: Opeth - Watershed

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