Albums Of the Decade: Slayer – ‘God Hates Us All’
One of the decades most under-appreciated classics! Check out our previous Albums Of The Decade entries here!
It’s often said that Slayer haven’t knocked it out of the park in the way that they can since 1990’s ‘Seasons In The Abyss’ album. Around these parts, we claim this to be utter bollocks. Not only was ‘Divine Intervention’ a corker of an album (is anyone going to argue with ‘Dittohead’, ‘Serenity In Murder’ and ‘Killing Fields’? Thought not.), but ‘God Hates Us All’ has also provided this decade with one of its finest metal moments.
From the get-go, Slayer began taking risks with the album. First and foremeost, the band cut their ties with producer Rick Rubin. Rubin had fallen out of love with heavy music and, let’s face it, their aren’t many heavier than the mighty Slayer. The band used this opportunity to experiment with Matt Hyde who produced the track ‘Bloodline’ for the ‘Dracula 2000’ soundtrack. Grindingly heavy and surprisingly hooky for a Slayer track, Hyde managed to land the gig off of the back of the track and relocated the band to Vancouver to record the record.
The most amusing thing about the whole process is that the band used the studio built by none other than Bryan Adams. Not down with ‘the groover from Vancouver’s decor, Slayer set about adding a satanic head, a skull, posters with giant middle fingers on and hardcore pornography to the place to give it a distinctly more ‘Slayer’ feel to the place.
When people call Slayer ‘one-dimensional’, feel free to play them this album in its entirety. ‘Seasons In The Abyss’ aside, ‘God Hates Us All’ is Slayer’s most inventive record to date. ‘Disciple’ is probably the record’s highlight, 3:34 that sums up everything that’s great about Slayer. The chugging fury of ‘New Faith’ contains stunning tempo shifts and the immortal scream from Araya of “I keep the bible in a pool of blood so that none of its lies can affect me’, ‘Threshold’ evolves around brutal off-kilter riffing and ‘Payback’ remains the best thrash track that the band have wrote this decade.
‘GHUA’ is also the last Slayer album to feature the drumming expertise of the heavily over-looked Paul Bostaph (who now plies his trade in Testament) and also saw the thrash titans experimenting with 7-string guitars for the first time (on ‘Warzone’ and ‘Here Comes The Pain’) and straying into the use of b-tuning.
When we talk about the most underrated albums of the 00’s, there aren’t many records deserving of more credit than ‘God Hates Us All’. It’s a beast of an album and, for our money, ranks amongst the band’s best releases.