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Slayer - Haunting the Chapel
Review: Showing the heavy metal traces of earlier works fuse more easily into the less rockish future, Haunting the Chapel revels in the power of combined primitive punk styles and the more flamboyant excesses of heavy metal to create primal extremity with simple but organized and artistically relevant music.
The EP opens with "Chemical Warfare," a classic three-chord song paced with emotion and violence in a story of human helplessness in the face of alien manipulation and, eventually, chemical genocide. In a citation of older Black Sabbath lyrics, Slayer have Satan laughing consume the victims of this toxic holocaust, putting a mythological or perhaps even gnostic significance on top of petty human combat.
After that "Captor of Sin," an archetypal early Slayer song, trudges and bashes through its paces, followed by "Haunting the Chapel," a dark epic masterpiece of gloom. Through all of these songs insurgent energy, rebellious intellect, and miscreant uprising permeate as a method of living.
The remastered version of this release concludes with "Aggressive Perfector," a Judas Priest style composition from their early career. Moving more slowly than their stirring live performances of this work, the recording here sounds more like their heavy metal influences but the rest of the EP is excellent, high-class work which reveals the developing intellect of a groundbreaking metal band.