7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Decade Of Aggression (Audio CD)
Released after "Seasons In The Abyss", this was a stop-gap before "Divine Intervention", but also seems to mark the end of the forwards progression in Slayer's music - the albums afterwards seem to recycle things they'd done already. This may be understandable (Iron Maiden have only ever really done two kinds of album, for example) but it does, to me at least, make "Decade Of Aggression" more a tombstone than a bookmark.
However, the first disk is really outstanding. It's rare for a live album to really capture the atmosphere, but hearing the "Slayer! Slayer!" chant fade in, and then the slow build-up of "Hell Awaits", really does give that feeling of sadistic malevolence they excel at. The numbers are quick-fire and one classic follows another - "The Anti-Christ", "War Ensemble", "South Of Heaven" and so on. The dual-soloing of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman are as reliably incisive and telepathic as ever, whilst Tom Araya has tough work with the falsetto screams of the "Show No Mercy" songs, but he makes up for it with a butcher approach.
The first disk ends on the high note of the classic "Angel Of Death". However, the second disk is really only for hardcore fans, as it's the less well-known tracks - i.e. the less good ones, and they tend to get a little repetitive. Slayer still riff with maximum power and aggression, there just aren't the dynamics or melodic invention to make the songs as good. I guess they decided to do a "Greatest Hits Live" disk then one for die-hard fans, because the gap in quality is so pronounced.
However, this album is easily worth the money for the first disk alone, which has the raw power and brute force of Slayer live, and acts as a best-of for the classic Slayer albums, from "Show No Mercy" to "Seasons In The Abyss".