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Divine Intervention revisted.

Divine Intervention revisted.
March 15, 2011, 04:45:05 AM
Tremendously underrated. While it took me many years to warm up to it and see past some of the differences with past albums(and it's flaws), I've come to appreciate the album immensely over the last couple years. I'd even rank it higher than Season in the Abyss which suffers from a lack of purpose and aggression at times. Unlike Seasons, Divine never sounds content and the aggression doesn't seem as forced. For an album recorded in 1994 when the next generation of Death Metal had already started to wane, as a band's sixth album, in that context it is almost a triumph.

This is the first Slayer album i ever heard so i have a soft spot for it.  I would have to agree with you about Seasons... i hate that CD, partly because it reminds me of this douchebag i used to know, but its just weak i would rather listen to Divine Intervention any day.  The title track is probably my favorite though, i dont know what it is about that song it has some kind of cryptic atmosphere, the album cover fits the music nicely.

I've chosen to fully embrace this album. While I strongly agree with the reverence of Slayer by the writers here, I couldn't disagree more with the accusation laid against the album in the review for Seasons that states that is the last album to show any strength of spirit. I also disagree that the album is hindered by the careers of Metallica or Pantera. The path was set for a more groove rock based approach by the prior two Slayer albums but to Slayer's credit they made a more militaristic, mechanized album that yet still draws from the entire Slayer lexicon. At the very least, the album's harshest critics have to agree that in terms of pure classic Slayer riff-craft the album has more than enough satisfying moments. One of the biggest changes that impact how the album unfolds is Araya's more Discharge-like performance, which adds a feeling of labored frustration. I used to flat out hate it, but have come to truly appreciate it now for what it adds to the album.

The title track traditionally for me is one of the least listen-able songs in Slayer's first six albums though. In fact, part of my issue with this album over the years I think was the lyric "I cannot look at God's face".  While I interpret the lyrics of this song to be about being sentenced to Hell or also perhaps losing faith while enduring torture - both topics well within the parameters of Slayer philosophy - the execution never sat right with me. Something tells me the Slayer on Show No Mercy would have only spoke of spitting in God's face. SS-3 is as much of a track-skipper as anything they'd done up to that point also. I was wrong to let the album's flaws cause me to shut the album out.

If you've never given the album a real chance I would recommend doing so this year as we start to approach another National Day of Slayer. Perhaps the album can become a part of the day's ritual as it has for me over the last two years.

Re: Divine Intervention revisted.
March 15, 2011, 09:40:45 PM
I purchased that one and the two prior right when they were available in stores. My impression with the subtle and as yet unknown at the time numetal direction DI had taken made this one my last Slayer album. The reviewers were probably also old school Hessians introduced to Slayer from around the Reign In Blood or earlier years. At the time, the down grade was clear to many long time listeners so I can agree with the given review. I still maintain that the band peaked in the 1986-1988 time frame, but they still release some crushing material today.

Re: Divine Intervention revisted.
March 16, 2011, 01:29:32 AM
I agree with the peak of the band being 1986-1988, but disagree that there is a significant numetal shift yet on this album. Maybe a riff or two here in the context of the next three or four albums raise and eyebrow but the numetal genre hadn't really even crystallized enough to even be a significant influence. It was more of a punk influence during the first half of the 90s. Now, what could be described as a "metalcore" sound rears its head here, but the Korn-Coal Chamber-Slipknotisms from the next four albums is missing. Recent Slayer material doesn't hold a candle to Divine Intervention. Leagues above anything done since, including World Painted Blood which I gave numerous chances but never was unable to see as significantly better than the three deliberate numetal efforts prior to it.


Re: Divine Intervention revisted.
March 16, 2011, 03:48:21 AM
Divine Intervention is total garbage.

I deify Slayer, but the DLA is far too kind to their stuff that wasn't recorded in the '80s  They peaked in '84-'85 with "Haunting the Chapel" and "Hell Awaits", and everything after "South of Heaven" has been total garbage.

Re: Divine Intervention revisted.
March 16, 2011, 04:43:01 AM
Divine Intervention is total garbage.

I deify Slayer, but the DLA is far too kind to their stuff that wasn't recorded in the '80s  They peaked in '84-'85 with "Haunting the Chapel" and "Hell Awaits", and everything after "South of Heaven" has been total garbage.

I remember talking to you once and if I recall you said you didn't like South of Heaven that much right? Anyway, nice tidbit, that was your 555th post.

Hail Slayer.

Re: Divine Intervention revisted.
March 16, 2011, 04:45:58 AM
Divine Intervention is total garbage.

I deify Slayer, but the DLA is far too kind to their stuff that wasn't recorded in the '80s  They peaked in '84-'85 with "Haunting the Chapel" and "Hell Awaits", and everything after "South of Heaven" has been total garbage.

I remember talking to you once and if I recall you said you didn't like South of Heaven that much right? Anyway, nice tidbit, that was your 555th post.

Hail Slayer.
You're probably thinking "Show No Mercy" (although I have warmed up to it a bit in the last year, although it's still Slayer's worst '80s album).  I love "South of Heaven", aside from "Mandatory Suicide" (which is kind of a crappy song).

Re: Divine Intervention revisted.
March 16, 2011, 06:22:15 AM
The only Slayer I listen to nowadays is Show No Mercy through to Reign In Blood.  I don't like their "thrashier" stuff nearly as much as I like their Speed/Death Metal-tinged output.

Re: Divine Intervention revisted.
March 17, 2011, 02:13:10 AM
Now, what could be described as a "metalcore" sound rears its head here, but the Korn-Coal Chamber-Slipknotisms from the next four albums is missing.

True, numetal wasn't the right term. It was the traces of metalcore that got some long time fans politely backing away.

Re: Divine Intervention revisted.
March 18, 2011, 10:54:17 AM
The songs from Seasons are much better in their live versions heard on Decade Of Aggression. It's the same with Mandatory Suicide. The studio versions sound weaker and more radio friendly but the songwriting is still great at that point.

The path was set for a more groove rock based approach by the prior two Slayer albums but to Slayer's credit they made a more militaristic, mechanized album that yet still draws from the entire Slayer lexicon.

It's not the style that's the problem. It's the lack of substance. These songs are not really organized; they're formulaic and without content. The whole album lacks the integrity and coherence of a single older Slayer track. It's random riffs, aesthetic visions, with no artistic thought beneath. That's why it ended the Slayer era: Slayer made an album as hollow as those from Anthrax, Metallica and Pantera at that point.



It's not the style that's the problem. It's the lack of substance. These songs are not really organized; they're formulaic and without content. The whole album lacks the integrity and coherence of a single older Slayer track. It's random riffs, aesthetic visions, with no artistic thought beneath. That's why it ended the Slayer era: Slayer made an album as hollow as those from Anthrax, Metallica and ARE YOU TALKIN TO ME? at that point.

 I understand where you're coming from on this and used to feel the same way, but after repeated listens to the album I can't agree with that anymore. I think it takes a bit longer to reveal its treasures.  What is ironic is this album was one of their most thought out and contemplative albums. They spent longer on it than on most others. That in itself is one of the issues. It's over-thought perhaps, preventing it from developing as organically and smoothly inside itself as earlier efforts from a younger band with a more clear vision. But I don't think Slayer's midlife crisis destroys the album. Shitty albums tend to expose themselves on repeated listens, where this one shines ever brighter.

Old Metallica rules.

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True, numetal wasn't the right term. It was the traces of metalcore that got some long time fans politely backing away.

You can thank Paul for much of that. I can still remember how utterly appalled that drum beat at the end of Sex. Murder. Art. made me initially. I can dig it now.

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The songs from Seasons are much better in their live versions heard on Decade Of Aggression. It's the same with Mandatory Suicide. The studio versions sound weaker and more radio friendly but the songwriting is still great at that point.

Funny you mention that now, because just last night when listening to that album right after Reign in Blood it was especially clear to me how the production and execution of the songs is what bother me about that album.  The DLA describes the band as "somewhat reluctant" for that reason. It dawned on me that I've never owned or listened to Decade much and it piqued my curiosity to find live versions of the tracks from that album to see how they stack up to older Slayer if performed faithfully at the same time. Grabbing Decade ASAP, but does anyone have other suggestions in terms of performance recordings or bootlegs?



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The songs from Seasons are much better in their live versions heard on Decade Of Aggression. It's the same with Mandatory Suicide. The studio versions sound weaker and more radio friendly but the songwriting is still great at that point.

Funny you mention that now, because just last night when listening to that album right after Reign in Blood it was especially clear to me how the production and execution of the songs is what bother me about that album.  The DLA describes the band as "somewhat reluctant" for that reason. It dawned on me that I've never owned or listened to Decade much and it piqued my curiosity to find live versions of the tracks from that album to see how they stack up to older Slayer if performed faithfully at the same time. Grabbing Decade ASAP, but does anyone have other suggestions in terms of performance recordings or bootlegs?

Audiofile has a number of Slayer bootlegs. But my favorites are the official live albums D.O.A. and Live Undead, one being Slayer in their stadium days and the other old Slayer when they were playing smaller venues. It's just too bad neither of those have the song Fight Til Death because there are some cool bootleg versions of that song. Unfortunately due to the large amount of Slayer bootlegs out there (and me not having listened to them in a while) I can't think of any particular bootlegs atm that stand out. There's lots of Slayer bootlegs on mp3 blogs and soulseek so it should be easy to have several gigs of Slayer bootlegs after just a few days of downloading. Then you can have yourself a Slayer week and listen to nothing but mighty Slayer!

Re: Divine Intervention revisted.
March 19, 2011, 08:12:03 PM
This album doesn't have the vision or focus of Hell Awaits or Haunting the Chapel. It has all the elements there, but forgets to express anything.