Rating:
9.2
Slayer - South Of Heaven
5 July 1988


01. South Of Heaven
02. Silent Scream
03. Live Undead
04. Behind The Crooked Cross
05. Mandatory Suicide
06. Ghosts Of War
07. Read Between The Lies
08. Cleanse The Soul
09. Dissident Aggressor [Judas Priest cover]
10. Spill The Blood


It's been 20 years since a masterpiece was left to us here on earth. 20 years of bleeding ears and head-banging; 20 years of Thrash at its finest. "South of Heaven" is not only a milestone for metal; it created a standard for all Thrash to follow. Slayer burst onto the scene like only Satan's minions could and rocked our bodies until our brains were sore. This album is fierce; it's powerful; it's metal.

"South of Heaven" starts with the title track famous for its ferocity and heavy, quick riffs. These guitars, the trademark of Slayer, really came into fruition in this album. They managed to make it sound so clear without sacrificing speed, or attitude and that is one of the things that makes this album stand out from the rest. "Live Undead" and "Cleanse the Soul" are perfect examples of this. The notes are crisper and the rhythms will knock you unconscious with their complexity. "South of Heaven" is clearly a stand-out track but not by any means the only one. The songs on this album will blow you away.

Do you have to be a hardcore Slayer fan to feel this? No, definitely not. This album is more Thrash Metal than Death Metal and some songs such as "South of Heaven" and "Mandatory Suicide" even lack the typically rampant Speed Metal aspect Slayer is known for. This is excellent because it shows how versatile the instruments and musicians of the band really are, while at the same time, they opened the portal to new fans. For instance, because of the little Death Metal influence, more female metal-heads would be drawn to this album than say, other Slayer releases. That's right guys; she might not change the radio on you. They never lost their attitude, not even to this day, but they showed a different side on this album. They proved they were here to stay and they were full of ideas. This album is sure to keep you entertained for quite awhile. This is a must for all metal fans.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 10


Band profile: Slayer
Album: South Of Heaven


 


written by un4givendemon | 09.09.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Stuart

Rating:
9.5
After the worldwide exposure Slayer received for their previous release, Reign in Blood, the anticipation for its follow-up was immense. They had already pushed the boundaries of Thrash Metal to its extremities, what could they possibly come up with to tread anywhere even close to that? In South of Heaven they gave the perfect answer to all the sceptics.

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published 16.04.2008 | Comments (3)



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Katatronik - 10.09.2007 at 15:38  
Great album, the right sequel of that masterpiece called "Reign In Blood"... Their second best in my opinion!
CrimsonSoaked - 06.10.2007 at 20:53  
This was the album that most Slayer fans didn't accept due to significant slow down in tempo. You won't find anything so fast track from this album than from the previous. But it still has that pretty unique Slayer sound.
Holds tie with Hell Awaits. Reign in Blood is simply the best with their best track "Angel Of Death" !
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.10.2007 at 20:55  
Written by Guest on 06.10.2007 at 20:53

This was the album that most Slayer fans didn't accept due to significant slow down in tempo.


I don't know where you got that idea from, but back in the day this one was accepted immediately. We (the Slayer fans back then) had problems acceptiong Seasons IN The Abyss NOY South Of Heaven.
CrimsonSoaked - 06.10.2007 at 21:11  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.10.2007 at 20:55

Written by Guest on 06.10.2007 at 20:53

This was the album that most Slayer fans didn't accept due to significant slow down in tempo.


I don't know where you got that idea from, but back in the day this one was accepted immediately. We (the Slayer fans back then) had problems acceptiong Seasons IN The Abyss NOY South Of Heaven.


Whoops, ofcourse it happend in Seasons in the Abyss, BUT the slow down happend earlier in South Of Heaven , correct ?
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.10.2007 at 21:20  
Written by Guest on 06.10.2007 at 21:11

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.10.2007 at 20:55

Written by Guest on 06.10.2007 at 20:53

This was the album that most Slayer fans didn't accept due to significant slow down in tempo.


I don't know where you got that idea from, but back in the day this one was accepted immediately. We (the Slayer fans back then) had problems acceptiong Seasons IN The Abyss NOY South Of Heaven.


Whoops, ofcourse it happend in Seasons in the Abyss, BUT the slow down happend earlier in South Of Heaven , correct ?


Yes South Of Heaven is slower but we didn't mind it at the time.
Uirapuru - 06.03.2008 at 12:55  
i dont like this album.. its very very boring.. the worst in slayer history in my opinion
Demonmayonnaise - 16.04.2008 at 21:59  
I like this album, It has a Sabbath feel to it because of the slowness, not that thats a bad thing.
Timelord - 13.10.2008 at 08:59  
I love this album! I am not so one tracked that I can't enjoy music at a slower tempo. To me slow heavy songs are more powerful than fast ones. I like them both. Upon first listen to SoH I was taken back by the complete flip of tempo but I did like it. If Slayer would have made Reign in Blood 2 it wouldn't have worked. I give this a 9.
Elio - 13.10.2008 at 16:24  
IMO their best album...masterpiece.
amerislave - 14.12.2008 at 10:14  
Overlooked by people that thought good meant fast....this album sounds bloodier and fiercer than anything else they have ever done to me. the "south of heaven" intro is spooky and could be dropped into the opening credits of the original "exorcist"movie. "behind the crooked cross" is one of my favorite songs of all time.
southofheaven14 - 21.05.2009 at 08:26  
I'd rather accept Seasons in the Abyss to Diabolous In Musica.
southofheaven14 - 21.05.2009 at 08:29  
I agree with in cognito..
Deadmeat - 24.06.2009 at 00:52  
I don't like this album as RIB or SITA. first of all i find it more Heavy metal than the bands other releases in that period, i dislike araya'a singing (screaming/shouting is much better) especially on spill the blood...
also as it is mentioned before i dont like that they slowed it comparring to RIB. it is not a bad album bad it is a bad continuance to RIB...
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.06.2009 at 13:23  
Written by Deadmeat on 24.06.2009 at 00:52

I don't like this album as RIB or SITA. first of all i find it more Heavy metal than the bands other releases in that period, i dislike araya'a singing (screaming/shouting is much better) especially on spill the blood...
also as it is mentioned before i dont like that they slowed it comparring to RIB. it is not a bad album bad it is a bad continuance to RIB...


Imo tSOuth Of Heaven is vastly superior to Seasons In The AByss. And I think it was wise of the band to slow down the tempo compared to RiB because they knew they could never equal that again plus it i salso extremely safe to continue in the same vein
Elio - 24.06.2009 at 13:28  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.06.2009 at 13:23

Written by Deadmeat on 24.06.2009 at 00:52

I don't like this album as RIB or SITA. first of all i find it more Heavy metal than the bands other releases in that period, i dislike araya'a singing (screaming/shouting is much better) especially on spill the blood...
also as it is mentioned before i dont like that they slowed it comparring to RIB. it is not a bad album bad it is a bad continuance to RIB...


Imo tSOuth Of Heaven is vastly superior to Seasons In The AByss. And I think it was wise of the band to slow down the tempo compared to RiB because they knew they could never equal that again plus it i salso extremely safe to continue in the same vein


IMO this is their untopped best, way better than the mediocre Seasons, better than RiB since it has more variety and better than the first efforts, that are anyway overlooked
Deadmeat - 24.06.2009 at 13:39  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.06.2009 at 13:23

Written by Deadmeat on 24.06.2009 at 00:52

I don't like this album as RIB or SITA. first of all i find it more Heavy metal than the bands other releases in that period, i dislike araya'a singing (screaming/shouting is much better) especially on spill the blood...
also as it is mentioned before i dont like that they slowed it comparring to RIB. it is not a bad album bad it is a bad continuance to RIB...


Imo tSOuth Of Heaven is vastly superior to Seasons In The AByss. And I think it was wise of the band to slow down the tempo compared to RiB because they knew they could never equal that again plus it i salso extremely safe to continue in the same vein

what do you mean "same vein"?? this totlally different from rib. or i got i wrong???
Deadmeat - 24.06.2009 at 13:40  
Written by Elio on 24.06.2009 at 13:28

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.06.2009 at 13:23

Written by Deadmeat on 24.06.2009 at 00:52

I don't like this album as RIB or SITA. first of all i find it more Heavy metal than the bands other releases in that period, i dislike araya'a singing (screaming/shouting is much better) especially on spill the blood...
also as it is mentioned before i dont like that they slowed it comparring to RIB. it is not a bad album bad it is a bad continuance to RIB...


Imo tSOuth Of Heaven is vastly superior to Seasons In The AByss. And I think it was wise of the band to slow down the tempo compared to RiB because they knew they could never equal that again plus it i salso extremely safe to continue in the same vein


IMO this is their untopped best, way better than the mediocre Seasons, better than RiB since it has more variety and better than the first efforts, that are anyway overlooked

why more variety?? rib has also veriety. no same styled songs... also south of heaven is their less agrressive and slayer were always an agrressive thrash metal band and imo this is a disadvantage of it...
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.06.2009 at 13:44  
Written by Deadmeat on 24.06.2009 at 13:39

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.06.2009 at 13:23

Written by Deadmeat on 24.06.2009 at 00:52

I don't like this album as RIB or SITA. first of all i find it more Heavy metal than the bands other releases in that period, i dislike araya'a singing (screaming/shouting is much better) especially on spill the blood...
also as it is mentioned before i dont like that they slowed it comparring to RIB. it is not a bad album bad it is a bad continuance to RIB...


Imo tSOuth Of Heaven is vastly superior to Seasons In The AByss. And I think it was wise of the band to slow down the tempo compared to RiB because they knew they could never equal that again plus it i salso extremely safe to continue in the same vein

what do you mean "same vein"?? this totlally different from rib. or i got i wrong???


You got my message wrong
I said it is a good thing they changed because it is safe had they continued in the same vein (which of course they didn't)
Deadmeat - 24.06.2009 at 13:49  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.06.2009 at 13:44


You got my message wrong
I said it is a good thing they changed because it is safe had they continued in the same vein (which of course they didn't)

i don't know... they may didn't manage to make a 2nd RIB but imo slayer with "melodic" or "slow" cannot compare to slayer with fast and aggressive...
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.06.2009 at 14:00  
Written by Deadmeat on 24.06.2009 at 13:49

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.06.2009 at 13:44


You got my message wrong
I said it is a good thing they changed because it is safe had they continued in the same vein (which of course they didn't)

i don't know... they may didn't manage to make a 2nd RIB but imo slayer with "melodic" or "slow" cannot compare to slayer with fast and aggressive...


Although I really love RiB I find there to be more power and punch in South Of Heaven (and then especially the title track)
Deadmeat - 24.06.2009 at 14:16  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.06.2009 at 14:00

Written by Deadmeat on 24.06.2009 at 13:49

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.06.2009 at 13:44


You got my message wrong
I said it is a good thing they changed because it is safe had they continued in the same vein (which of course they didn't)

i don't know... they may didn't manage to make a 2nd RIB but imo slayer with "melodic" or "slow" cannot compare to slayer with fast and aggressive...


Although I really love RiB I find there to be more power and punch in South Of Heaven (and then especially the title track)

it's just a matter of taste i guess..i totaly dislike the moments araya sings. i cannot even try to compare them with RIB's screams... also the production, which is clear and not bad, makes the album sound too "heavy metal" in my ears...
!Mac! - 12.12.2009 at 19:45  
I'm sure diehard Slayer fans will label this as blasphemy, but this is Slayer's best album. It surpasses Reign in Blood for one reason -- maturity seen through structure. Slayer's song writing and creativity shined here because it was a band that was growing by the second. Reign is a band taking what it's created -- the fastest and most vicious form of metal to date from Show No Mercy and on -- and taking it to its peak. Reign in Blood was the best the best could do with such a ear-blistering, unrelenting and chaotic style. South of Heaven is a step forward towards better music, not just metal. It's why Seasons in the Abyss ever happened. Slayer's best moments are heard on this album, with the PERFECT merging of "South of Heaven" and "Silent Scream", the consistent bridges in the belly of the record, and the final hammer swings heard in "Read Between teh Lies" -- one of Slayer's most brutal tracks -- and "Spill the Blood", a spell-binding epic that acts as a precursor to what would be one of the creepiest songs of their careers on Seasons: "Dead Skin Mask".

I'm a huge Slayer fan and can listen to anything by them at any point, with the exception of possibly Undisputed Attitude, and I'm saying that South of Heaven is bar-none, one-hundred percent, one of the five best metal records of the last three-decades.
ponderer - 15.10.2010 at 18:41  
Good review dude.

IMO this one is absolutely brilliant and shows off a more technical side to the band. It's brutal, it's fast, but it's also got some chunkier, slower moments that show the band maturing musically. Reign in Blood is fucking epic, but South of Heaven retains its own brilliance.
pkillerjp - 24.02.2014 at 18:24  
I just don't understand how anyone can call this album boring. Brilliant song writing, awesome atmosphere, killer riffs, elite metal album- perhaps their best.
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.02.2014 at 18:38  
Written by pkillerjp on 24.02.2014 at 18:24

I just don't understand how anyone can call this album boring. Brilliant song writing, awesome atmosphere, killer riffs, elite metal album- perhaps their best.



Brilliaant album, especially the song South Of Heaven which is an immense concert opener. So menacing, brooding.
deadone - 26.02.2014 at 00:04  
Written by pkillerjp on 24.02.2014 at 18:24

I just don't understand how anyone can call this album boring. Brilliant song writing, awesome atmosphere, killer riffs, elite metal album- perhaps their best.


I'm in the same boat. I love this album but am amazed supposed Thrash/Slayer fans don't like it.
pkillerjp - 08.03.2014 at 18:22  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.02.2014 at 18:38

Written by pkillerjp on 24.02.2014 at 18:24

I just don't understand how anyone can call this album boring. Brilliant song writing, awesome atmosphere, killer riffs, elite metal album- perhaps their best.



Brilliaant album, especially the song South Of Heaven which is an immense concert opener. So menacing, brooding.


Absolutely, but the best thing about this album is the obscure tracks are really good as well, Behind the Crooked the Cross, Live Undead, Spill the Blood- classic and hardly ever or never included in their set lists over the years.
-DC-002- - 10.03.2014 at 02:25  
I appreciate how this album has been talked about recently. This is probably my favorite Slayer release. Reign in blood may have hooked me first but this album made me stick around.

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