Title: “Chris Illusion” (Limited Edition)
Label: American Recordings
Release Date: 7/24/2007
Genre: Thrash Metal
In 2006 Slayer gave us their first studio album in six years but the wait was worthwhile for it found them once again with drummer Dave Lombardo back in the fold. It also found them presenting music that was as potent in sound as it was in its commentary on the world at large. Now a little over a year since it’s initial release Slayer returns to show us why they are one of the most important Heavy Metal bands in the genres history by releasing a limited edition of the “Christ Illusion” CD that includes bonus tracks and a DVD that is loaded with goodies. Our original review is re-posted below to refresh your memory just a little and then we can talk a little bit about this new edition.
In 1982 Slayer formed and became one of the founders of the Thrash Metal movement. During this time bands like Metallica, and Anthrax were instrumental in taking music influenced by the NWOBHM that had begun across the pond to the next level. While the UK’s Venom is often cited as kicking off a particular Satanic style, it was not until Slayer arrived that this vibe for Metal achieved a true relentless and aggressive nature that was to be respected as well as feared. “Christ Illusion” is the first album by the band in five years and it continues to demonstrate the reason for Slayers dominance over the Metal legions. The album, produced by Rick Rubin would also see the reuniting of the group with original drummer Dave Lombardo who had not recorded with them in fifteen years. Lombardo “returned” several years ago to tour and lucky for Slayer fans everywhere he remained in place. As you listen to the new recordings it brings back a feeling of the Slayer of old. There are more similarities to their classic “Reign In Blood” than to “God Hates Us All” and while the record delivers on several fronts, the band is not breaking any new ground for the listener. I need to stress that for Slayer there is no longer any reason to do this after such a lengthy and prosperous Metal existence. Slayer does what Slayer does best and every track on the album is a skull-splitter. The subject matter and lyrical content of “Christ Illusion” are very incendiary, but that is what you can expect from Slayer when you choose to put them on. The band is not out to provoke you, yet instead aims to make you think about the way certain aspects of the belief structure are approached. Kerry King has long spoken of his distrust in organized Religion and with songs like “Cult” and “Skeleton Christ”, he lays down how he feels about this stuff in the strongest possible fashion. Lyrically, this is some pretty intense stuff and it might cause some fervor among the Religious Right if they get their hands on the booklet for the album.
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