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Seasons In the Abyss

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Album Review

After staking out new territory with the underrated South of Heaven, Slayer brought back some of the pounding speed of Reign in Blood for their third major-label album, Seasons in the Abyss. Essentially, Seasons fuses its two predecessors, periodically kicking up the mid-tempo grooves of South of Heaven with manic bursts of aggression. "War Ensemble" and the title track each represented opposite sides of the coin, and they both earned Slayer their heaviest MTV airplay to date. In fact, Seasons in the Abyss is probably their most accessible album, displaying the full range of their abilities all in one place, with sharp, clean production. Since the band is refining rather than progressing or experimenting, Seasons doesn't have quite the freshness of its predecessors, but aside from that drawback, it's strong almost all the way from top to bottom (with perhaps one or two exceptions). Lyrically, the band rarely turns to demonic visions of the afterlife anymore, preferring instead to find tangible horror in real life — war, murder, human weakness. There's even full-fledged social criticism, which should convince any doubters that Slayer aren't trying to promote the subjects they sing about. Like Metallica's Master of Puppets or Megadeth's Peace Sells...but Who's Buying, Seasons in the Abyss paints Reagan-era America as a cesspool of corruption and cruelty, and the music is as devilishly effective as ever.

Customer Reviews

An Epic Slayer Album

This is my favorite Slayer album. It its flawless and is not as overhyped as "Reign In Blood", which is a good album as well. Opener "War Ensemble" shows similarity to their previous works, but slower songs like "Dead Skin Mask" and closer "Season In The Abyss" (my favorite song) show the band is not just about wailing on guitar and speed. This album is a must have for any fan of heavy metal.

Slayer rules 666!!!

This album is by far their best album. Think about that, that is saying a lot due to the greatness of Slayer. These guys are original and take anti-religious and hateful themes to a new level. This album is what really brought the Death-Metal genre home.

Best of Both Worlds

What makes this album potentially Slayer's best work is the fact that it effectively blends the two distinctive sounds of their previous albums, "Reign In Blood", and "South of Heaven". While they remain loyal to their mid-tempo, more melodic stlye heard on SOH, they still trace back to their roots with occasional outbursts of breakneck speed and screamed lyrics. This album brilliantly displays Slayer's versatility, and it an essential for any metal fan.


Formed: 1982 in Huntington Park, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Slayer were one of the most distinctive, influential, and extreme thrash metal bands of the 1980s. Their graphic lyrics dealt with everything from death and dismemberment to war and the horrors of hell. Their full-throttle velocity, wildly chaotic guitar solos, and powerful musical chops painted an effectively chilling sonic background for their obsessive chronicling of the dark side; this correspondence helped Slayer's music hold up arguably better than the remaining Big Three '80s thrash outfits...
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