Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Underrated Slayer Albums - 'Diabolus In Musica' (1998)

Kerry King hates 'Diabolus In Musica'. He calls it "our 'Turbo'". Well, I love 'Turbo' and I love this album. I also love Jeff Hanneman. Jeff Hanneman is probably my favorite metal guitarist because he brings unreasonable noise and chaos even if not immediately warranted. He makes slow, heavy, discordant bad-vibes Slayer musicks as well as the thrash conflagrations. It is no secret that 'Hell Awaits' and 'South of Heaven' are my preferred Slayer albums, but 'Diabolus In Musica' is rapidly making this a trilogy of favorite Slayer albums. This is a groove-laden, drop-tuned heavy-upon-heavy war machine of an album, as bitter and dark and rage-ingrained as any of their other works. If 'Divine Intervention' (which is also an album I really dig) is kind of a re-imagining of the tone and attack of 'Reign In Blood' but with Paul Bostaph on drums, 'Diabolus In Musica' is its own 'South Of Heaven': where this sound slows down, gets weird and extended in approaches. I recently dug out my burned cd copy of this from like a billion years ago and have been playing it non-stop in the car, far more than any other Bostaph-era Slayer album. I find 'Divine Intervention' awesome but kinda spotty outside its amazing title track, and 'God Hates Us All' seems compressed and needlessly loud/midrange, like the songs don't have enough room to breathe and unfold, and that is entirely what 'Diabolus In Musica' does in an deliberately unhurried manner. It seems to take multiple listens to open up sonically, but once it does, it really takes hold like a vaporous fog or a not-unwelcome possession by unseen forces. Honestly one of my favorite Slayer albums. Love to Jeff Hanneman forever and ever.

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