Retroactive Classic: Slayer 'God Hates Us All'
Mon, 11 May 2015 12:10:59
Looking back at the thrash icons' eighth opus and its impact…
Slayer kicked off another renaissance in 2001 with God Hates Us All. The California thrash juggernaut already churned out one of the most important series of albums in metal history—Hell Awaits , Reign in Blood , South of Heaven , and Seasons in the Abyss . However, their next era really began with a bang on God Hates Us All. It's an album that's just as dangerous, dark, and definitive as the group's most celebrated fare, and it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath next to those aforementioned epics.
In the years since 1998's Diabolus in Musica, it felt as if the quartet—Tom Araya [bass, vocals], Kerry King [guitar], Jeff Hanneman [guitar], and Paul Bostaph [drums]—had gotten fiercer. They'd garnered a modern hammering groove, and it punctuated the likes of Tattoo the Earth with Slipknot in 2000 and Pantera's final tour with Slayer, The Extreme Steel Tour, in 2001.
Captured with help from executive producer Rick Rubin and producer Matt Hyde, that guttural swing really defined God Hates Us All, solidifying it as a jagged and jarring opus. Fans had gotten their first taste of the record with the inclusion of the haunting and hypnotic standout "Bloodline" on the Dracula 2000 soundtrack. Its tempered and tight riff built into a refrain for the ages that could very well summon Dracula.
King adopted seven string guitars on "Warzone" and "Here Comes the Pain." They transformed the low end, making the depths even darker and increasing the technicality in the process. Nobody had quite utilized these axes in that way up to this point throughout the genre, which proved utterly refreshing. Everything about God Hates Us All saw the band morphing the modern landscape into their very own haven for true metal.