Posts Tagged ‘Dissident Aggressor’

south of heavenAll the Slayer covers I’ve been hearing over the past couple of days inspired me to want to review another Slayer album since Reign In Blood was the last one I did from them. Reign In Blood set the standard for what Slayer was all about and it established the band as a powerhouse in the metal scene, but the band took a lot of crap from the sceptics saying that they were a one trick pony. Tom Araya (Bass/Vocals), Jeff Hanneman (Guitars), Kerry King (Guitars), and Dave Lombardo (Drums) were out to prove with their fourth record South Of Heaven that they were more than a one trick pony. They did that by slowing down the music and one might think that it was a dangerous move for Slayer to do so, but I think it had the opposite effect. I truly believe with all the songs on the record that it made the band sound more evil than they ever were. The record also marked the fact that it was the second time that the band had worked with Rick Rubin as their producer and it was the last time an album was released by Def Jam since Rick had ended his partnership with Russell Simmons. The album peaked at number 52 and it reached Gold status by 1992.

Slayer_-_south_of_heaven_backThe album opens up with the eerie riff of South Of Heaven and when the drums come in and it sounds like the earth is crumbling and you are getting sucked into the mouths of hell and the long chant of you must die enforces the image in my head. The rest of the track is an exercise in how great metal really is and the song still remains on the set lists to this day. Silent Scream turns the tempo up from the last track and delivers what fans want from Slayer. The meaning of the song seems to talk about abortion cause the band says, “Silent scream, burying an unwanted child, beaten and torn, sacrifice the unborn.” Live Undead is the next track and the bands starts with an evil sounding riff and they hit you with those signature wailing whammy bar solos that were accustomed with Slayer as Araya speaks of death. Behind The Crooked Cross is the next track on the record that looks at a certain issue that would plague the band for years a different way. The Crooked Cross represents the Nazi Swastika and the lyrics describe a scenario where the soldiers come to realize that they may have been fighting for the wrong reasons. Mandatory Suicide, the other famous song from the album which isn’t what you think it’s about. The song deals with the idea of soldiers having to die in combat for their country.

slayer 2The trailblazer Ghosts Of War is next as it melts your face with every riff as the band talks about how soldiers that were wronged will rise to get their revenge. Read Between The Lies is a trailblazer that deals with the idea of evangelists stealing your money while they try to convince you of how they can heal you through faith. Cleanse The Soul is one of the other sonic facemelters on the record that will sure to leave any Slayer fan wanting more. Dissident Aggressor is a cover of the Judas Priest track and it remains to be the only cover ever released on a Slayer studio album. The last track on the record Spill The Blood  is one of my all time favorite Slayer songs on the album. The song starts off with this really evil acoustic riff before Lombardo kicks it off with his monster drumming in a track about gaining immortality through blood. The album is definitely one of the most classic Slayer albums  and apart of the iconic three (Reign, South, and Seasons In The Abyss) that the band released with Lombardo still in the band. I am going to give this record 4 stars out of five for a final grade.

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