Top positive review
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When you look into the abyss...
on 30 July 2010
This was the career album for Slayer. Reign in Blood was/is/always will be THE classic thrash album ever .com period etc, etc, but Seasons in the Abyss was, and still is, their masterpiece. 4 and a half albums previously cut, their experience together with their expertise all helped to create their best collection of songs. There really is not a dud track here, which is rare for any album.
'War Ensemble' storms onto centre stage with an overly schizophrenic riff and follows with punch after punch of complete aural assault - a stunning opener. Gone are the days of gentle South of Heaven fuzzy warmth. However, 'Blood Red' takes it down a notch. It chugs along confidently, with the knowledge that it has already knocked you to the floor with the first track. It is a great song. But then 'Spirit in Black' explodes onto the scene with even more frenetic energy than 'War Ensemble'. And then the mid-tempo 'Expendable Youth' brings you back to something resembling normality - just. Because 'Dead Skin Mask' is just around the corner to scare the bejeezus out of you. That is one creepy song, helped by the child's screaming (not sure if that would have been passed by the censors these days)towards the end. 'Hallowed Point' begins side 2 with superior style. It's a mix of speed and melody with fantastic breakdowns and.. oh it's simply breathtaking. 'Skeletons of Society' is one of my favourite ever tracks. Slow, thoughtful, catchy and heavy. Job done. 'Temptation' is another catchy fast beauty and 'Born of Fire' whips up a frenzy that's hard to exit. By the time the title track appears you're knackered and feel like you've done 12 rounds with the devil himself - but in a good way (?). And they saved the best for last because 'Seasons...' is one of the best songs by the band.
All elements of this are near to perfect and it sounds so well produced (grimey, yet clear and powerful). One of the best metal albums of all time.