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For most Slayer fans the new album, Christ Illusion, is special because it brings back Dave Lombardo behind the drums. That of course raises the expectations even higher than the release of most Slayer albums for years. Is the magic still there?
Well, Lombardo is still Lombardo, and any band in this genre of music would kill for a drummer like that, but to call it magic is a bit of an exaggeration. Slayer is and remains a tight, no bullshit, band that is still able to kick the shit out of most replica bands. But that doesn´t mean that they have a Midas touch that turns every riff into gold. For those who expect new classics, such as Reign In Blood, the wait still continues. Although Christ Illusion is an intensive, straight forward package, it doesn´t bring much new to the Slayer mix. Many might say that´s a good thing but for me Tom Arraya´s singing gets a little boring after a while, and when the master riffs aren´t really there most songs just charge through without leaving too many lasting memories.
But still, for all Slayer fans out there, this album has all the elements needed for a good Slayer album. Political statements, machine gun drums and pounding thrash metal played by a band so welded together that the sound is solid enough to stand nuclear war. Also Slayer understands to keep the songs, and also the album, short enough for the intensity not to fade. Even though Christ Illusion probably won´t make it to the all time greatest lists, it´s by no means a bad album. And if Slayer is still able to produce stuff like this, I see no reason why Slayer couldn´t be around for many years to come, reminding us of how trash metal is supposed to sound like when done properly…