Friday, December 7, 2012
Slayer - Divine Intervention (1994)
I've heard the complaint that somehow Slayer began to lose their value around the release of Seasons in the Abyss, and to an extent I can understand why. Of course, according to the band themselves, the sound of that album was apparently a throwback to Regin in Blood. Uh, not quite, fellas. Nevertheless, 'Seasons...' was at the very least, a "decent" thrash album and I will say the same for 'Divine...'. If anything, DI is closer in its aesthetic make-up to South of Heaven, though with a more aggressive overtone. Whatever the details consist of, DI is without a doubt the final straight up 'thrash metal' album that Slayer would release. After that, Kerry and co. seem to have secretly emulated the Limp Bizkit school of wigger style "jump riffage" , which has pretty much been a staple in their sound ever since.
There are cracks in the concrete here, without a doubt, such as the haphazard lyrical arrangement of the first song, which is detrimental to the initial presentation of the album, the "opening of the gates", if you will.
The other thing that threw me off a bit upon my first listen was the title track itself. At that point in time, DI was a bit of a departure for Slayer. Granted, in time the track gradually grew on me and I actually quite like it these days, but I could understand where one might be standing around wondering what just happened.
Aside from the superficiality of those absolutely minor gripes, we have what is a considerably kick ass record here with what should be listed among Slayer's finest works, not to mention the fact that for a guitar duo that's known primarily for their grossly inept whammy fests, DI showcases what is without a doubt the best leads of their entire careers.
I do realize that many folks whined and pissed and moaned about Lombardo not being in the band at this time, well, for me it all boils down to whether or not his replacement could rise up to the occasion and deliver the goods, and yes, Paul Bostaph more than shines on this album. Sure, his and Dave's approach to the kit are night and day, but give me a fucking break already, folks, PB handles his fucking business, and admirably at that.
Hopefully one day DI will be recognized for the goldmine that it is, but until then, I won't let the ignorance of others keep me from enjoying this absolute killer of an album.