SLAYER — Seasons in the Abyss (review)

SLAYER — Seasons in the Abyss album cover Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Unitron
The word atmosphere in relation to music is often connected to ambient and an implied quiet and/or lack of hooks. While ambient music is definitely atmospheric, I see all music as atmospheric in a way, as different albums and songs capture different moods and places. The Crystal Method's Vegas, Kool Keith's Black Elvis/Lost in Space, Godflesh's Songs of Love and Hate, Korn's Issues, Slayer's Seasons in the Abyss, this is just a handful of albums that are far from ambient or lacking in hooks yet are some of my favorite albums when it comes to atmosphere.

Seasons in the Abyss continues where South of Heaven left off, but with even more focus on the atmosphere the album sets up. It's bleak and apocalyptic, but far from a miserable dungeon synth album that's no fun to listen to. War Ensemble is one of metal's greatest openers, and fittingly evokes a war march in a stomping thrash format. The album's got such a great flow from track to track, making it one of those albums that's hard to listen to just one song. Blood Red, Spirit in Black, Born of Fire, Skeletons of Society, and the moody title track are all my favorites. Skeletons of Society especially, might be my favorite Slayer song, it's got such an instant headbanging hook. Dead Skin Mask and the title track are definitely the album's atmosphere at its most disturbing but also melodic. Tom Araya is often underrated as both a bassist and his unique way of delivering melody that fits perfectly in Slayer's dark and aggressive world.

I often have a hard time choosing between South of Heaven or Seasons in the Abyss as my favorite Slayer album, but I think Abyss wins just by a bit. It takes South of Heaven's already more atmospheric approach and expands upon it with just as strong songwriting.
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Tupan wrote:
7 days ago
This album failed to impress me when I listened to it, except for some songs. I think I need to give it another chance...
UMUR wrote:
7 days ago
A favorite of mine too...

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