Slayer

Record review

Phases & Stages

Slayer

Christ Illusion (American)

Timing is everything. Slayer's 11th studio release arrives in devastating sync with current events. Had the band packaged the 10-track, 38-minute disc in a human remains pouch tucked inside one of those ill-euphimized aluminum "transport tubes," they couldn't have increased the horror one iota. Not since the maniac thrash of 1986's genre-eclipsing Reign in Blood have these SoCal wastrels managed music that sounds so frighteningly out of control and yet wholly, idealistically pure of intent. Christ Illusion, bracketed by Tom Araya's meaty bellow, Kerry King's anxious riffs, Jeff Hanneman's turgid guitar squall, and Dave Lombardo's straight-out-of-Tora Bora percussive airstrikes, is Slayer's most thematically cohesive and emotionally charged release in two decades. One listen to the eerie, stop-start cadence of lunacy in "Jihad," with Araya essaying the role of a suicide bomber almost too convincingly, and you may never want to leave your home again. Religion and warfare, the band's twin obsessions, have finally come full circle, simultaneously on your stereo and on CNN/al Jazeera. Slayer, seething, forces you to acknowledge the futility of both. Headbanging? Turns out they were practicing dodging live rounds and IED shrapnel.

****

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Honky
Corduroy (Record Review)

Michael Toland, July 15, 2016

Texas Platters
Scorpion Child
Acid Roulette (Record Review)

Michael Toland, June 10, 2016

More by Marc Savlov
Ice Age: Collision Course
Latest entry of the series is overstuffed and meandering

July 22, 2016

Zero Days
Chilling cyber warfare doc explores the Stuxnet virus

July 22, 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)