Slayer - _Diabolus in Musica_
(American/Columbia, 1998)
by: Adrian Bromley (9 out of 10)
The art of metal is a lost form. Everything is evolving and no one is sticking to their roots. Hasn't it been like that for the last few years? What happened to the "Big Four" of metal music -- Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer? Well, sad to say that Metallica and Megadeth have gone commercial and Anthrax is currently having problems adding variety to their sound with their latest effort _Vol 8: The Threat Is Real_. And then there is Slayer. Despite the many ways in which metal music has changed over the last little while, Slayer has pretty much stayed focused with what they have done. While the band's last punk cover LP _Undisputed Attitude_ was not to my liking and I was not into _Divine Intervention_ much, this new record just rules. I'm serious, people. This is a hardworking, powerful assault by Slayer. This is a brutally honest record that captures the band at their best with its rough vocals, sinister riffs and a real solid groove helping keep this beast tamed for the most part. _Diabolus in Musica_ dips a bit into the aggro-rock feel to some degree, but amply showcases the band's classic sound and style. Araya has never seemed so verbally abusive and the dual attack of Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King's chugging guitar and Paul Bostaph's drilling drum work will knock some sense into you. The coolest track has to be "Death's Head", as it slices through a killer groove with Araya's trademark raspy growls. :ALL: of this record is good. And contrary to popular belief, not all of metal's ex-heavyweights are selling out. Slayer shoves all that bullshit down the throats of non-believers. One of the year's best, by one of the best.


(article published 8/7/1998)

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