Spin #29 : Slayer : God Hates Us All
Musicians on Album: Tom Araya (vocals, bass), Kerry King (Guitar), Jeff Hanneman (Guitar) and Paul Bostaph (Drums)
** Lots and Lots and Lots of swearing is within this blog - lyrics ....Slayer......Yep, you've been warned **
Slayer : God Hates Us All Year Released : 2001 Produced by Rick Ruben and Matt Hyde Label: American Recordings Price Range: $50+AUD Speed: 33 1/3RPM Album Before : Diabolus in Musica (1998) Album After : Christ Illusion (2006) Further Listening : Vended - What Is It // Kill It EP (2021) LP : 1 x Black LP Mood for enjoying: Heavy, Heavy and even more Heavy listening and energy. If you've had a horrible week or need to sing loudly at the top of your lungs in the car, this is the album for you. Track Listing:
LP Side A
Darkness Of Christ - 1:30
Disciple - 3:35
God Send Death - 3:45
New Faith - 3:05
Cast Down - 3:26
Threshold - 2:29
Exile - 3:55
Side B Seven Faces - 3:41
Bloodline - 3:36
Deviance - 3:08
War Zone - 2:45
Here Comes The Pain - 4:32
Payback - 3:03
What's in the Sleeve ? 1 x Black LP, image insert of the original (banned) record cover and gatefold showing lyrics on both sides similar to pages in the Bible.
"Explosive, you feel the impact hit your face. What makes you think I'll let you survive? You want a war, I'm the front line. Unbroken" ~ War Zone - Side B
Welcome to Spin #29 - Slayer - God Hates Us All
Last week you would have realised that there was no Spin or MWSP. Actually it has been three weeks now where I didn't post anything. Maybe you didn't realise until you started reading this one. I won't go into details and the matter won't be brought up again other than what you need to know. That is, the last couple of weeks have been some of the hardest for myself and my family. It is not a time that I can say I'd want to endure ever again. Sometimes music tells a story, sometimes it talks to you and heals and sometimes it scares the shit out of you. I chose the Spin selections at random months ago and have been working my way through them on a weekly basis and bringing you all along for the journey. I want to give a huge thank you to my wife, who even had a crack at keeping R'nR with Rylo alive whilst I wasn't 100%. (Check out Spin #28 - The Offspring - Smash Here). For this week I have chosen the volatile and explosive album 'God Hates Us All' by Thrash legends, Slayer.
For this Spin I have chosen our loungeroom set-up of the Sherwood turntable and receiver, along with Sennheiser headphones - in order to play this one loud.
From Left to Right: Tom Araya, Paul Bostaph Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman
Drop the Needle (of course means place the stylus nicely on your wax):
Let me take you back to the first time I heard the Big 4 bands of Thrash Metal:
- Metallica (at cousins house in Victoria probably when I was around 11 or 12 years old)
- Megadeth ('Rust In Piece' album played loud at a mates house in high school and the song 'Holy Wars.....Punishment is Due' was my introduction at 14)
- Anthrax ('Spreading The Disease' album on CD whilst looking at other music in Sanity during a trip to the shops when I was 15).
The moment I heard Slayer, it wasn't their album 'Reign In Blood', but this one I currently hold in my hand and about to Spin. That would have been when I was 16 or 17 years old. Yes you will have to forgive me, I was late to the Slayer party but I am so glad that I ended up finding them. It took me a number of years before I could find 'God Hates Us All' on wax and I actually purchased 'World Painted Blood' on wax first. As I take this plastic outer sleeve off and open up the gatefold, the record starts flooding back to me in the best possible way. It may just be the album one needs at this time to 'work through some shit'.
I place the LP on the turntable, set the speed to 33 1/3rpm and place the stylus down onto the black wax and the sounds of 'Darkness Of Christ' fill my headphones. It's a cacophony of noise and a suitable intro song to the album which builds the tension. There is a newscast going on initially that fades in and out with the band playing some heavy stuff. Araya's recognisable voice then is the only thing audible as he sings "Only in the darkness of Christ have I realised. God hates us all, God hates us all".
All I can say when 'Disciple' starts is - prepare to be punched repeatedly, in a musical way of course. There are little nods to other songs throughout this album and once you listen to it all the way through, you will understand. It doesn't let up with King and Hanneman and because they have played so long together now, they know what each other are doing and the energy being brought to each song. Bostaph is behind the kit on this album but didn't go on tour with the band to promote it, Lombardo did instead. Bostaph has such composure and control behind the kit and loved every minute of what he brings to this album. "I hate everyone equally, You can't tear that out of me. No segregation, separation. Just me in my world of enemies". Bostaph's body just wasn't able to keep up anymore and he succumbed to a elbow injury that required him to play less Slayer-paced music.
There is minimal space between the tracks on the record too so your ears won't get a rest until the end of Side A (and that is a good thing). Third track is the chugging and catchy, 'God Send Death'. Obviously this album won't be for everyone, but whilst listening to it, I have to admit that there isn't anything else that I'm thinking about other than enjoying this. Slayer have that consuming effect on the listener where you have to be all in or you wont enjoy it. King and Hanneman just shred and it does sound like they grow an additional set of arms to be able to play so quickly! Araya spitting, "God send death, end misery. Preach no love of ministry. Pray for sin, a shattered faith down on your knees, you're screaming out to die. Clawing at the eyes of God".
I took a moment to check on our son, yelling out in his sleep and having bad dreams. Using the lever, I am able to keep the platter spinning and can come back to the exact same spot. He usually is laying above the blankets, upside down or across the bed and pillows everywhere. Tonight he was just reliving something from the day or from school that he didn't like. Probably upset because he is missing Slayer! When he was born I remember taking a photo of him with headphones on, listening to 'World Painted Blood'. The lever is lowered and the stylus picks up where we left off, 'New Faith'. I imagine Araya standing there, welcoming you to their 'New' way, when he starts singing "Holy Man, open up your eyes to the ways of the world you've been so blind". This song has such a catchy introduction with those lyrics. There is a change in the song halfway through where you can hear Bostaph probably wheel in another drum kit because he just demolished the first one. Great song!
Lets get straight into the next song that is filling up my headphones, 'Cast Down'. Araya's voice and the delivery of the lyrics are iconic Slayer. I don't think anyone else could ever replace him (they won't get chance because Slayer finished up with their last album, 'Repentless'). It feels really quick but at 3 minutes 26 seconds, is on par with the tracks before it. Probably because I'm so eager to listen to the next song called 'Threshold'. If I could I would just add all the lyrics to this one but I will select some favourites. This song is short and sweet and is my favourite so far on Side A due to the energy it brings. I know at the time of release, this album divided a lot of fans but for me, I love it. The lyrics of, "Can't stop the violence, I love It! No one's immune to hate that flows from it. Infectious I feed on it". The reason why people didn't like this song as much was because they believed it wandered into the nu-metal sound territory. I guess being a fan of nu-metal and many years later, I can appreciate it for being thrash nu-metal.
The last song on Side A is called 'Exile'. I remember in the car trip from school, our son thought Araya was singing Exeter, which is a place that we drove to earlier in the year and he loved. So when Araya is screaming, 'Exile, Exile'.....imagine our son yelling out....'Exeter, Exeter'. I honestly don't know how these guys keep the energy at such a high level for so long. Side A has breezed by and I can hear him having some more bad dreams (might need to check on him again).
**Lift the lever again, check on our son who has now set off our daughter in the room next door**.
Now the lyrics are dark, twisted and I treat them as the band intends - It's Slayer and its not meant to be pleasant. The cover stands out too as I have it placed on our display shelf - gold crosses on a white background. Inside on a printed sheet is the original cover intended to be on the record. It shows a bible that has been defaced with nails and blood and the word Slayer. Of course it was banned and the cover we now have is with the Gold crosses on a white background. Just like the original cover, the lyrics on this one are just so brutal, "You self-righteous fuck, give me a reason not to rip your fucking face off. Why don't you take a good look in these eyes, 'Cause I'm the one that's gonna tear your fucking heart out". Side A comes to an end and the room has stopped shaking from what I've just listened too. Hanneman killing it throughout, King bossing around - So good. As soon as I take off the headphones to change the LP over to Side B, I can hear the difference in my hearing. I think I might have had the music up just a little bit too loud.
As the stylus hits the grooves on Side B, I find myself looking around the room and thinking how lucky I am. I don't take anything for granted and hope that our children grow up with the same mindset of working hard for things and appreciating the effort that you put in. The first song on Side B is called 'Seven Faces' and I'm not sure if this is someone with split personalities or Bible reference but its a solid start. The album had the band write about what was going on internally and unleashed all their anger about what they weren't happy within themselves. This song has a softer guitar intro that rolls into quite a confronting barrage of screams and Bostaphs drums, before the chugging starts. Pretty confronting on first listen through headphones particularly. "When I'm lost within myself. They show me everything I need. There's nothing wrong with a little greed
Never enough to satisfy, Such a driving desire that burns inside".
I think the next song, 'Bloodline' was the first song written for the album. Araya singing similar to a Rob Zombie style in the pacing. "I'll kill you and your dreams tonight, begin new life. Bleed your death upon me, let you bloodline feed my youth". Click here to check out the music video as you see the guys flick between being covered in blood and not. I didn't realise until looking this song up that it was for the movie soundtrack, Dracula 2000. (I have to say that I haven't seen that one, surprisingly).
I love how heavy and dark this band is and just when you think they couldn't possibly get any heavier, but they do. Easily the heaviest of the Big 4 of Thrash Metal. The next song is called 'Deviance' and it starts with a loop scream over some guitars before Araya comes in with a softer style of singing. Don't worry, it doesn't last long before he is vocally ripping the flesh from your skin! Nice little show off section by King and Hanneman and I like the lyrics of "Soaked in blood, the mask you wear. Haunting cries, the dead scream for me. Staring eyes invoke no guilt
I can taste your mind, your lifeless". Probably my least favourite song on the album, only because all the other songs are quite strong.
'War Zone' was getting some bad reviews but it's a barrage of sound from start to finish. Bostaph probably broke his body on this one and it's an easy song to mosh in the loungeroom along too. High energy and Araya screaming through my headphones, "WARZONE, WARZONE, MADNESS IS COMING YOUR WAY". One of the shorter songs on the album but I'm guessing that they left everything in the studio when they recorded this track. The pressing is pretty faultless too as it spins and the American label records feel so heavy and quality.
I know that Night Kat Kiz won't enjoy reading or listening to this album but she can appreciate how varied our collection is. 'Here Comes The Pain' has some nice moments that really slow down the tempo to great effect. "Here comes the pain
You're no different from the rest. Victim is your name in my vicious wasteland
Here comes the pain. Your destruction manifests. Lying there broken looking up as I still stand". This album has absolutely breezed by now and we are at the last song, 'Payback'.
Probably the most vicious lyrically, (Maybe 'Exile' has something to say about that). I have to apologise for those that don't like swearing but if you have already read along this far, then you already know what Slayer are all about. I've included the lyrics below to give you the full experience of 'Payback' as you listen. Trust me, this verse stayed with me when I first listened to it and is a great one to unleash some anger.
"You've got a fucking catheter in your brain. Pissing your common sense away
When you draw first blood you can't stop this fight. For my own peace of mind, I'm going to tear your fucking eyes out, rip your fucking flesh off, Beat you till you're just a fucking lifeless carcass. Fuck you and your progress, watch me fucking regress, You were made to take the fall, now you're nothing. Payback's a bitch motherfucker". The ending of guitars is fitting for the album and Slayer succeed in shock value as well as blasting my ears for a couple of days.