No matter how heavy or brutal a band claims to be, Slayer is the yardstick to which they shall all be measured. It is doubtful that any band will ever be able to take the “evil” crown away from Slayer. It’s like no matter how old you get, you can never kick your dad’s ass. So I guess in reality Slayer is like your dad — if your dad was actually the Dark Lord of the Netherworld.
Christ Illusion reunites former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo with original members Tom Araya, Kerry King, and Jeff Hanneman, reforming the band’s original lineup responsible for such albums as Hell Awaits, Reign in Blood, South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss. This is the first time in sixteen years that Lombardo has recorded with the band, and his presence appears to have pulled the group together tighter than ever before.
Lyrically the band covers familiar ground: war, politics, and Little Nicky’s dad, Satan. On songs like Skeleton Christ, Jihad and Black Serenade the band blasts hard, with song structures falling somewhere between Reign in Blood and God Hates Us All. The style feels a little “nu”, but the brutality is familiar.
Everything that made Slayer “Slayer” is here, and anyone accusing them of mellowing in their old age will get the band’s answer through the multiple chants of “Hail Satan!” and “666” that appear throughout the disc. Hanneman and King’s fretwork chug as heavy as ever, and Lombardo’s drumming feels updated and fresh.
Christ Illusion is the band’s best work in a decade and a half, and proves that the evil ones can still rock twice as hard as kids half their age.
01. Flesh Storm
03. Eyes Of The Insane
05. Skeleton Christ
08. Black Serenade