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Slayer - Hell Awaits (9,5/10) - USA - 1985

Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
Playing time: 37:14
Band homepage: Slayer

Tracklist:

  1. Hell Awaits
  2. Kill Again
  3. At Dawn They Sleep
  4. Praise Of Death
  5. Necrophiliac
  6. Crypts Of Eternity
  7. Hardening Of The Arteries
Slayer - Hell Awaits
This is...SLAYER...They're pretty cool I guess...

Hmmmm...An introduction would just be inappropriate. All I can think to do here is compare this album to all the other SLAYER-albums. I hold the opinion that this album should have been a much bigger breakthrough than it was. After "Show No Mercy", which was probably pretty evil in it's time (I was four or five then, so forgive me for not being more knowledgeable here), this album really seems to come off much more "convincing" to these ears, as I must admit that the first time I popped in "Show No Mercy" (back in '93), I almost laughed myself silly by the bandphotos and Tom Araya's barely-past-puberty vocals, not to mention the cover, but hey, I was still only 13, and had only heard some METALLICA-stuff before that...

On "Hell Awaits", the band has crafted a slab of satanic Thrash Metal-perfection! Why the Metal-world didn't hail it as a masterpiece like they did with "Reign In Blood" is beyond me. Opener "Hell Awaits" is still one of the most foreboding intros to any Metal-song...EVER! That might be why the band still chooses to open with that song on occasion. Then, of course, there are the vampiric riffs of "At Dawn They Sleep", which strike like venomous snakes in your spine. There is also some innovative double-bass by His Lombardoness on several songs like at the 4:20 mark on "Praise Of Death", which EASILY rivals "Angel Of Death" imo. Personal favourite of mine "Necrophiliac" has one of the most demonic riffs ever in the verse parts, dark and bleak, and FAST, as SLAYER could only do. Everything about this album has "legendary" written all over it. And while it is highly praised to this day, it's a crime that it was overshadowed by "Reign In Blood" as much as it was. There are some very trippy things going on here for the year 1985, and if you listen to SLAYER and don't own this, then I have nothing to say to you, I fart in your general direction...

Gabriel Gose



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