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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slayer's forgotten classic!
This is surely Slayer's most overlooked album, coming after a somewhat mixed debut ("Show No Mercy") and just before their mighty third album "Reign In Blood". The production job is very characteristic of mid-80's thrash/speed/death metal (Kreator, early Death, Celtic Frost etc), but quite frankly I think this is part of the album's charm...the echoing...
Published on 8 Feb 2006 by Matt Kenway

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Their third opus is where true Hell Awaits!
If anything this album predicts how great its follow up was going to be with the title tracks rant. The album opener has always been a live favourite along with "At Dawn They Sleep" but by the same token have also always sounded better live. (listen to Arayas scream on "Decade Of Aggression"'s version of the track "Hell Awaits") Rather like...
Published on 3 Dec 2001 by Jason


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slayer's forgotten classic!, 8 Feb 2006
This review is from: Hell Awaits (Audio CD)
This is surely Slayer's most overlooked album, coming after a somewhat mixed debut ("Show No Mercy") and just before their mighty third album "Reign In Blood". The production job is very characteristic of mid-80's thrash/speed/death metal (Kreator, early Death, Celtic Frost etc), but quite frankly I think this is part of the album's charm...the echoing muddiness of the sound only makes the whole thing more sinister!
The rather alarming backwards message ("join us, join us!") at the start of the classic title track sets the tone for the album. The band never sounded more downright evil than they did here. There really is some vintage Slayer on offer here, with the riffmongous vampire epic "At Dawn They Sleep", "Hell Awaits", and other forgotten gems like "Kill Again", "Praise Of Death" and (not least) "Necrophiliac", a totally grim slab of horror that surely provides the inspiration for Carcass' "Exhume To Consume".
Don't expect the pristine Rick Rubin sound that glitters from later albums such as "South Of Heaven" or "Seasons In The Abyss", this album is much darker than that. Like "Reign In Blood", though, you will probably skip the cd right back to the start as soon as it finishes!
One last thing. If you like this, make sure you check out the "Haunting The Chapel" EP for more of the same. Join us, join us, join us...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy stuff!, 1 Jan 2004
By 
Metaller (Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hell Awaits (Audio CD)
When I put this album on, I simply couldn't believe my ears. From the same time as Metallica's 'Ride the Lightning' and Megadeth's 'Peace Sells..', this album simply puts other thrash bands to shame. The only thrash band that I know of that seem to be able to produce properly; this album is rich and powerful, unlike the weak sounds of other bands in the early/mid 80s. This is a trend that would continue with Reign in Blood. (Just compare RiB to the production disaster that is 'Master of Puppets'.) More importantly, however, the songs certainly live up to the impending doom of the title. Blisteringly heavy from start to finish (no Fade to Black-esque songs here), this album must have shocked Satan himself on its release in 1985. It's not just heavy though. It rocks. Simple as that. All of the songs are well written and well arranged, although a sense of humour is sometimes required for the lyrics! If you like Slayer, buy this album. If you like metal, buy this album. In fact, if you have a pulse, you should buy this album. Bonecrunching stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much under rated thrash classic., 3 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Hell Awaits (Audio CD)
After the unspectacular debut of "Show No Mercy," this album, (preceeded by the "Haunting the Chapel" EP), made Slayers' reputation. From the crawling evil of the title track through the brutal "Kill Again" to the frenzied "Necrophilliac," this album delivers classic after classic that still occasionally rear their ugly heads in Slayers' live set. Overshadowed by "Reign in Blood," this album still stands up now and is vital as it gave the band the momentum to create thrash history. "Hell Awaits" was the album that got me seriously into thrash and was the perfect antidote to the more polished sounds being produced by Metallica and Anthrax. The LP also contains some of the sickest lyrics produced by Slayer so far! Not the best Slayer album to buy to get you into the band, but essential listening if you love Thrash metal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great album from the best metal band around..., 25 Dec 2001
By 
This review is from: Hell Awaits (Audio CD)
Slayer's third album is where they really started flowing...Show No Mercy had some flashes of brilliance (Black Magic, Die By the Sword), Haunting wasgreat but very short...And here with songs like the title track and At Dawn They Sleep, Slayer defined their sound...
Some say the bad production here hinders the album but i disagree, it simply adds to the eerie evil atmosphere created by Tom's vocals and of course, Slayer's most disgusting lyrics (they never got much worse than this)...
Overall a great buy for a true Slayer fan, but any casual fans would be best advised to steer clear...
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5.0 out of 5 stars love it, 30 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hell Awaits (Audio CD)
Super album, all time great and a welcome addition to my collection.
Really recommend to any hard rock fan from any era.
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4.0 out of 5 stars classic among classics..., 6 Jan 2011
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Legbamusic (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hell Awaits (Audio CD)
This is Slayer's album that fell in between the ground breaking Show no Mercy and the all time classic Reign in Blood; only because it is among such classic five star albums, I rate it four. Is somewhere in between them both, but defines all that Slayer is: psychotic, relentless, not for the faint hearted metal. Is a classic, neatly played and raw album that every metal head should have in the collection. And even if you are not a metalhead you should consider getting it... in case you change your mind ;) This is Slayer in its classic pre-South of Heaven period... you know what you'll get...
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 26 Oct 2002
This review is from: Hell Awaits (Audio CD)
If it wasn't for the heavy metal landmark "Reign In Blood" this would possibly be Slayer's finest effort from the 1980's and possibly the finest of all 9 of the bands albums.
The classic title track 'Hell Awaits' opens the album and just that starting riff is something to marvel at you are thrashing away in no time.
Among the remaining of the 7 tracks here you'll find the epic live favourite 'At Dawn They Sleep' the into riff is amazing as is the rest of the track. Sheer brilliance!
There's also the chilling 'Necrophiliac' and the much under rated 'Praise of Death'.
7 tracks filled with hate, anger, aggression and death this is a masterpiece but sadly just misses out due to the bands amazing follow up (to this album) "Reign In Blood".
Worth a try after Reign In Blood.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have seen the darkened depths of Hell..., 13 Feb 2006
By 
This review is from: Hell Awaits (Audio CD)
...And its called "Hell Awaits", lasts 37 minutes and 12 seconds and was the moment Slayer found their own unique sound with out having to rely on any NWOBHM or early thrash fore-runners to inspire them to write tunes.
It leaves show No Mercy behind, with is lighter riffs and anthemic lyrics, and just blasts out dark noise of ill intent.
The production is a bit poor like just about everyone agrees, and it could have had a better mix (epsecially the drums, which if you turn it up loud enough, are bloody awesome !!)
Slayer are obviously famous for (amongst other things) Reign in Blood. The Daddy of Thrash metal, and one of the most inspiring records in the death metal fraternity. Hell Awaits is like the trailer, the "warm up gig" for that monumental album. You can hear it just creeping in to the guitar playing. The nastier, less bouncy riffs than Show no mercy had. Tom Araya's vocals are much more controlled (restrained even) than on their debut. Maybe thats because he knew he already had a record under his belt by then and wasn't so keen to let everyone know he could sing and scream with the best of them. It works well here. There are a few screams. Well, the man's gotta have a trade mark after all.
The solos really give away the things to come as a lot of them have that frenzied attack element, King and Hanaman throwing the leads between them like they were hot coals. Unlike Show no Mercy the solos are more "Slayer" and less Iron Maiden-esque (if thats a word?!).
It should be mentioned that the hollow, haunting guitar stop out in 'Praise of Death', with its strained note being tortured by the tremelo, then battered senseless by Lombardo's bashing and then the song crashing back into this assault and battery like all his mates turning up to put the boot in, is.... why Slayer deserve to be where they are now. The Ideas and sounds these men tharashed out of their instruments and minds (the above example being instantly recognisable by any decent thrash metal fan) still make me go weak at the knees.
Now I have to say the thing I've been dreading. I actually prefer Show no Mercy to this! DOH !! Its got nothing to do with the music really, I just love that early "every song is an anthem" sound. If you've read more than the last Paragraph of this review then you should be able to see that a copy of Hell Awaits will be buried with my when i pop off.
An aggressive, dark and essential album.
All of Slayers first 3 albums deserve 6 stars !
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars re-record this!, 13 Dec 2004
This review is from: Hell Awaits (Audio CD)
There is no question that this album is a classic.
I just wish Slayer would re-record the tracks on it because the songs are fantastic but the production is not up to handling their sound, especially Dave's drumming.
Oh, and do Show No Mercy while you're at it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Their third opus is where true Hell Awaits!, 3 Dec 2001
By 
This review is from: Hell Awaits (Audio CD)
If anything this album predicts how great its follow up was going to be with the title tracks rant. The album opener has always been a live favourite along with "At Dawn They Sleep" but by the same token have also always sounded better live. (listen to Arayas scream on "Decade Of Aggression"'s version of the track "Hell Awaits") Rather like Slayer's debut "Show No Mercy" the album is far too messy with no real song structure and lyricallly so morbid it gets to the point where it's not shocking but just rather annoying. (the title "Necrophiliac" speaks for itself) Good for the avid fan (like myself) but really not a patch on its follow up "Reign In Blood"
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