Thursday, January 5, 2017

Slayer - Diabolus In Musica (1998)

Looking into the Slayer discography, "Diabolus In Musica" is probably the album that stands out like a sore thumb, an ugly mark on an otherwise excellent retrospective. Now, why is this so? The obvious answer is that the album is different, very different from what a typical Slayer album is. Okay, not that different, but different enough to make one cringe.

"Diabolus In Musica" was released in 1998, in a time when the nu-metal scene dominated, something that is most certainly reflected into the album (and the new band logo for that matter). This album is a full on experiment, it takes the classic Slayer sound, throws it in a blender together with some Pantera groove, creating some weird, murky 90's metal humbug (plus some dust, don't breathe this). This description is awful in itself, and unfortunately, it does not sound much better.

The classic Slayer sound is there, buried deep behind a couple of C# tuned guitars that are taken straight from hell's trash bin. I do not know if it is the production or the actual guitars that makes them sound so awkward. There are some great riffs here and there, but it simply does not hold up. Araya also sounds weird here, probably because there are a lot of different effects that skews his voice. He tries, but he can't help it here. The only one that sounds fairly normal is Bostaph and his drums, and thank god for that, because without them, this album would be a complete mess.

So are the songs any good though? Well, the before mentioned stuff makes it harder to appreciate them, and there is none that is anywhere close to the best Slayer songs, but there are some that is noteworthy. "Stain of Mind" actually gets the groove thrash right, making a weirdly enjoyable Rage Against The Machine beat that suits nicely with Araya's aggressive style. "Scrum" might be short, but it is sweet as hell, blasting through in an impressive manner, something that "Point" also points out nicely.

Slayer (or should I call them §LL^YER?) tried to show that they could keep up with the young folks and their music, and to no one's surprise, they failed miserably. It might have been an album that worked for the time being, but it just does not hold up today, mostly because the effects and production is just garbage. There is some glimmer of hope here and there, but not nearly enough to save the album. So yes, this is without any competition the worst Slayer album out there, because of the simple fact that it sounds like a cheap copy of Slayer.

Songs worthy of recognition: Scrum, Stain of Mind, Point

Rating: 4,5/10 Desires

More reviews of Slayer
Show No Mercy
Hell Awaits
Reign In Blood
South of Heaven
Seasons In The Abyss
Divine Intervention

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