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Seasons In The Abyss'
Seasons In The Abyss (Awaiting Repress)After staking out new territory with the underrated South of Heaven, Slayer brought back some of the pounding speed of Reign in Blood for their third major-label album, Seasons in the Abyss. Essentially, Seasons fuses its two predecessors, periodically kicking up the mid-tempo grooves of South of Heaven with manic bursts of aggression. War Ensemble and the title track each represented opposite sides of the coin, and they both earned Slayer their heaviest MTV airplay to date. In fact, Seasons in the Abyss is probably their most accessible album, displaying the full range of their abilities all in one place, with sharp, clean production. Since the band is refining rather than progressing or experimenting, Seasons doesn't have quite the freshness of its predecessors, but aside from that drawback, it's strong almost all the way from top to bottom (with perhaps one or two exceptions). Lyrically, the band rarely turns to demonic visions of the afterlife anymore, preferring instead to find tangible horror in real life -- war, murder, human weakness. There's even full-fledged social criticism, which should convince any doubters that Slayer aren't trying to promote the subjects they sing about. Like Metallica's Master of Puppets or Megadeth's Peace Sells...but Who's Buying, Seasons in the Abyss paints Reagan-era America as a cesspool of corruption and cruelty, and the music is as devilishly effective as ever.
- Steve Huey (All Music Guide)1. War Ensemble
2. Blood Red
3. Spirit In Black
4. Expendable Youth
5. Dead Skin Mask
6. Hallowed Point
7. Skeletons Of Society
9. Born Of Fire
10. Seasons In The Abyss$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Christ IllusionChrist Illusion is the tenth studio album from Slayer. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number 5-the, band's highest U.S. chart position to date.
Christ Illusion includes the Grammy Award-winning songs Eyes of the Insane and Final Six, and is the band's first studio album to feature original
drummer Dave Lombardo since 1990's Seasons in the Abyss.1. Flesh Storm
3. Eyes Of The Insane
5. Skeleton Christ
8. Black Serenade
10. Supremist$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Divine InterventionThe rock & roll landscape changed dramatically between Seasons in the Abyss in 1990 and Divine Intervention in 1994. With the rise of alternative rock, many metal and hard rock bands that had been enormously successful at the dawn of the '90s were struggling by the middle of the decade. Instead of doing something calculated like emulating Nirvana or Pearl Jam -- or for that matter, Nine Inch Nails or Ministry -- Slayer wisely refused to sound like anyone but Slayer. Tom Araya and co. responded to the new environment simply by striving to be the heaviest metal band they possibly could. Less accessible than Seasons but equally riveting, Divine Intervention marked drummer Paul Bostaph's studio debut with the band. Bostaph proved to be a positive, energizing influence on Slayer, which sounds better than ever on such dark triumphs as Killing Fields, Serenity in Murder, and Circle of Beliefs. Characteristically grim and morbid, Slayer focus on the violently repressive nature of governments and the lengths to which they will go to wield power. And true to form, Slayer's music is as disturbing as their lyrics.
- Alex Henderson (All Music Guide)1. Killing Fields
2. Sex, Murder, Art
3. Fictional Reality
5. Divine Intervention
6. Circle of Beliefs
8. Serenity in Murder
10. Mind Control$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Esoteric WarfareEsoteric Warfare is the fifth studio album by the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem.
It has been seven long years since MAYHEM released their fourth and last full-length Ordo ad Chao. Founded as early as in 1984 in Oslo, Norway by the late and legendary frontman Øystein Aarseth aka Euronymous, bassist Jørn Necrobutcher Stubberud, and Kjetil Manheim Haraldsson on drums, the band took its name from the VENOM song Mayhem with Mercy. Continuing and renewing the Black Metal style heralded by the English trio, MAYHEM soon became the instigators of the so called second wave and were at the heart of every controversy surrounding that genre. The suicide of misanthropic frontman Per Yngve Dead Ohlin. The murder of Euronymous by guest bass player Count Grishnakh alias the notorious Varg Vikernes. Church burnings, drugs and prison sentences, MAYHEM were always at the centre of the storm. Yet not even death could stop the Norwegians, who released one musical milestone after the other. The incredible rawness of the Deathcrush EP (1987) was followed by the still iconic and genre defining De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (1994), which featured devilish drummer Jan Axel Hellhammer Blomberg, who had joined in 1988. The vocalist on this album was the Hungarian Attila Csihar of TORMENTOR fame, who returned later in 2004 to take over from his meantime heir, the enigmatic original singer Sven-Erik Maniac Kristiansen. The latter was featured on the Wolf's Lair Abyss EP (1997), which was written mostly by highly talented guitarist Rune Blasphemer Eriksen, who scored a massive success with the highly controversial Grand Declaration Of War (2000). Those were followed by the more classic Chimera (2004) and a masterpiece of utter darkness called Ordo Ad Chao (2007) with Attila singing again, which inspired many bands to follow in its tracks. MAYHEM had always witnessed many line-up changes due to the circumstances described above. Therefore even the loss of Blasphemer, who decided to focus on his other band AVA INFERI in 2008, did not stop the band. Activities mainly revolved around live shows, until the right balance was found again with the recruitment of Morten Teloch Iversen. The guitarist had already made a name for himself with NIDINGR, which is highly regarded amongst black metal enthusiasts yet remained mostly an underground phenomenon. Now his first compositional work with MAYHEM is unleashed and demonstrates how perfectly Teloch has captured the essence and spirit of the Norwegian legend by linking the band back to its roots, while at the same time taking a step forward into the spearhead position of the genre instead of dwelling in nostalgia. The A-side, Psywar comes with a different mastering than the album version. The B-side, From Beyond the Event Horizon is a rare track taken from the much rumoured Budapest Recording Sessions, which the band decided to scratch. Tremble world, MAYHEM are back with a vengeance!1. Watchers
7. Throne of Time
8. Corpse of Care
10. Aion Suntelia$27.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
V: The Devil's FireFinnish black metal veterans BAPTISM return with 'V: The Devil's Fire', their first new album in four years and their Season of Mist debut. As tracks like "Abyss", "Satananda", "Malignant Shadows" and the title track illustrate, BAPTISM founder and visionary Lord Sargofagian is unwavering in his pursuit of crafting of black metal anthems. BAPTISM are among the black metal elite, and 'V: The Devil's Fire' refines the grim art of black metal orthodoxy into a sharper, more vicious weapon.1. Natus Ex Ignis
3. The Sacrament of Blood & Ash
4. Devil's Fire
6. Cold Eternity
7. Malignant Shadows
8. Buried With Him$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now