It took four long years for SLAYER to deliver the follower for "Seasons In The Abyss", "Divine Intervention". Up to that point of time, the SLAYER fan community had been spared by bigger experiments, merely the speed had been slown down a bit in the course of time.
When the first two songs "Killing Fields" and "Sex, Murder, Art" blow out of the speakers, you feel suddenly reminded of elder times and you can just hope that grandma's glasses are break-proven. These songs would also partly fit to the "Reign In Blood"-period. The typical Hannemann/King guitar solos emphasize that. But who expects now a remake of "Reign..." is completely wrong. Songs like "Fictional Reality" or "Dittohead" show a matured and developed SLAYER. Not too much but few fans couldn't deal with them. The both forementioned songs are more complicated than the most stuff, the Thrash kings did before. In 1994 SLAYER are not only famous for fast, straight-line bangers but also for "more pretentious" Thrash Metal. Well, SLAYER didn't turn into DREAM THEATER but the playful aspect has increased. There is also to find a little change in terms of sound. The guitars, unfortunately, sound a bit thin in some songs, which is especially wiry with the otherwise cool titletrack.
But it's a thousand times better than "Hell Awaits". Lyrically, they deal again with serial murderers, war, death and devil (who expected anything other?). While SLAYER had been attacked for their not really accurate lyrics, for example in "Angel Of Death" ("Reign In Blood") or "The Final Command" ("Show No Mercy"), they aren't afraid again to title one song as "SS-3". This text could also be misunderstood, but I think that now everybody knows how the bands' attitude is concerning such themes.
In the beginning I told you that SLAYER fans had not to deal with much experiments until "Divine Intervention". Such an experiment follows then with "Serenity In Murder" with its distorted singing. While this should be relatively normal on later records, for those who had been fans since the start of the band's career this was a warning.
"Divine Intervention" had been a logical and maybe also necessary step into a new direction for SLAYER. Old fans as well as newer fans should find their pleasing moments. After the release, the record was a bit underrated. But having a view on it today, I find this is a pretty good SLAYER album. It has also its weak points because not all songs are crushers in the vein of "Raining Blood" or "South Of Heaven", but who expected that? All critics should agree with me that it's a much better album than the following "Diabolous In Musica" and "God Hates Us All" records.
Tips: "Sex", "Murder", "Art", "Dittohead", "213" (Online August 12, 2003)