Title: “Seasons in the Abyss”
Format: Digital (Spotify)
Much like when I listened to Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” earlier in this series, I came away from “Seasons in the Abyss” awed by the raw power the group possesses.
The album opens with “War Ensemble,” which stumbles in the door seeming in midstream, with Dave Lombardo bashing the kit like it owes him money. “When victory’s a massacre / The final swing is not a drill / It’s how many people I can kill,” growls bassist and lead singer Tom Araya. It’s interesting that such anti-war sentiments were so prevalent among the “big four” ’80s metal bands considering it was a time of relative peace for America.
“Seasons” is more than just one of the group’s most famous songs, however. Slayer shows progression in the four years since “Reign,” keeping the frenetic pace when it’s necessary, but also knowing when to allow space for booming, lumbering efforts such as “Blood Red,” “Expendable Youth” and “Skeletons of Society.”
The album wraps with the title track, which winds to its meaty midsection before erupting with a fiery guitar solo.
Where “Reign” reveled in being loud, fast and harsh, “Seasons” offers a Slayer that knows how to work the throttle.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.