(Forging ahead with a series devoted to a retrospective chronological analysis of the discography of Slayer, today TheMadIsraeli has made his way to the band’s 2001 album God Hates Us All. Links to all preceding segments of the series are at the end of the writing.)
God Hates Us All is a great album. If you disagree, you’re wrong. If you are the type to make assertions that it’s nu-metal or Slipknot-esque, wrong again. If you disagree that this is the most brutal and unrelenting Slayer have been in their entire career (yes really) you are wrong one more time.
You can dislike the more personally grounded lyrics and the degree of profanity, sure, but no sane person who likes metal should dislike the music itself, and if you once did, maybe it’s time to revisit and reconsider. God Hates Us All is about the most bitter, belligerent, and intense album the band have ever written. It certainly isn’t their best, but it’s a fantastic record with an uncompromising dedication to being as violent and oppressive as possible, and I love it for that. Tom Araya has never sounded better than on this album, and it includes some of the band’s best material, period.
This is where Slayer’s new-found infusion of metallic hardcore elements really takes root. Opener “The Darkness Of Christ/Disciple” with its classic battle cry of the album’s title is equal parts Slayer and Merauder (and other riff-driven, intense metallic NYHC-styled bands). I admittedly have a real soft spot for that NYHC aggro spirit, and it being so thoroughly ingrained into God Hates Us All‘s DNA appeals to me a lot. Of course, there are still Slayer songs here. “God Send Death”, while more straight-forward than most old Slayer songs, very much feels like something you might’ve heard on South Of Heaven with it’s dedication to ambient build-ups into explosions of speed.
There’s some delightful total deviations from Slayer’s formula on here, though. “New Faith” is Slayer’s jab at a straight-up NYHC song and it fucking slays. “Cast Down” is also great, with its dedication to low-tuned semi-D-beat grind. Even “Threshold”, with its nu-metal-esque vocal patterns works really well because of Paul Bostaph’s full auto shotgun bullet spread drum patterns underneath the simplistic but effective riff that carries the song.
Every song on this album frankly has its own thing going for it, while maintaining the over-the-top pissed as fuck attitude they’re all going for. I love the waltz thrash beatdown of “Exile”, the Crowbar-styled drag of “Seven Faces”, the military march of “Bloodline”, you get the idea. “Payback” is a great closer for just how shamelessly over-the-top violent and crass it is, both musically and lyrically. It caps off what the record is about perfectly.
This album is just great. It doesn’t have a single bad song on it. It’s the most primal roots of what metal is all about, distilled. Disagree if you must, but you’ll still be wrong.
PART 1 (Intro)
PART 2 (Show No Mercy)
PART 3 (Haunting the Chapel)
PART 4 (Hell Awaits)
PART 5 (Reign In Blood)
PART 6 (South of Heaven)
PART 7 (Seasons In the Abyss)
PART 8 (Divine Intervention)
PART 9 (Diabolus In Musica)