Top critical review
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Some highlights, but far too much pop-metal influence
on 22 May 2001
Diabolus In Musica comes in two release formats. Stand alone and with an extra CD of live cuts. It's not a good thing, whent he extra CD is better than the release itself... Not that Diabolus is a bad CD, but the trademark speed of Slayer is not present. Yers it is a good thing when a band can progress musically, but why would Slayer want to progress towards a more pop-metal sound like Slipknot or Korn or something?
There are a few really fast tunes here, but for the most part it's rather cheesy 90's metal, heavy on the bass, but zero on complexity or guitar solos. Slayer used to do rip roaring fast guitar solo's, here it's just easy listening commercial trash. It sounds more studio produced rather than the raw live sound you'd expect. However, with this new approach Slayer have adopted, they have a gained a much more structured method in their riffs. So the fast complex tracks that do exist here, are much more full in their sounding. I guess at least you could say Slayer haven't become conventional in their approach to music, just conventional in the marketing of it.
If you want heavy Slayer get Reign In Blood, if you want something more easy listening, then this isn't a bad bet. It still retains some of the Slayer trademark sound, but it's buried under a lot of cheese factor. The live tracks on the bonus disc though, are excellent, far better than any previously released versions and represents far better valur better for money than some of the filler on the standard Diabolus disc.