The trembling is going to end right now. Will the three songs that could be heard in advance be representative for the entire album? Will the Kings of Thrash, SLAYER, go back to their roots and play Old School Thrash Metal again? Yep, they just do what they have become famous for: Thrash with stop-and-go parts until you drop. “Christ Illusion” has more in common with “Reign In Blood” than with “God Hates Us All”.
The old trademarks are there again, the squeaking Hannemann/King solos. Tom’s old vocal style, but above all: Dave Lombardo! How I missed his drumming with the slayers! It contributes more to the overall sound than I thought it would. This is not to take anything away from Paul Bostaph, but the drum god is called: Dave Lombardo. His drumming simply is SLAYER! Period! Of course this is no second “Reign In Blood”, and of course I noticed that Araya often uses slightly annoying rap vocals. You cannot ignore some modern breakdowns either. Yet I claim that the album is basically “old school as fuck” and the best SLAYER album since “Seasons In The Abyss”.
Outstanding songs such as the rapid opener “Flesh Storm”, “Cult”, “Jihad” or “Catatonic” will work well live and aren’t second to the old bruisers. Tunes like “Angel Of Death” or “Hell Awaits” remain unmatched, of course. That was obvious, though. I for one think the album is great! (Online September 30, 2006)