Friday, May 3, 2013

Slayer - Diabolus in Musica (1998)

Without a doubt the most controversial Slayer album. This album was the dividing factor where many fans of the band's classic material chose to jump ship while the band gained a large number of the youthful zombies infatuated with nu-metal at the time.

Surprisingly, Jeff Hanneman was responsible for more than 90% of the songs written for this album. It's hard to comprehend that the same guy who wrote 'Angel of Death' and 'Altar of Sacrifice' wrote 'Stain of Mind' and 'Love to Hate', which are unbelievably shitty and inept, even by nu-metal standards.

Now, despite the fact that you can pretty much leave any notion of the band playing anything even remotely similar to  their first 5 albums at the door, I actually have a rather peculiar fondness for this album. Even though the nu-metal influence is agonizingly apparent throughout, there is still a vibe that is undeniably Slayer's. There are even instances where it seems as if Hanneman is attempting to channel his inner AC-DC with a more simplistic and straightforward approach than usual.

While Diabolus certainly doesn't compare to the band's eariler works, I have to say that I probably prefer it to everything the band has released since. Even though much has been said about their supposed "return to form" on albums such as 'Christ Illusion' and 'World Painted Blood', they sound more as if the band isn't quite sure what to do with itself. As if they've completely forgotten how to write in an '85-'90 state of mind. With Diabolus, though it's certainly a departure from the band's creatively favored stomping grounds, there is still that warm and omnipresent vibe that is undeniably their own.

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