Slayer - Divine Intervention review


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Band: Slayer
Album: Divine Intervention
Release date: September 1994

01. Killing Fields
02. Sex. Murder. Art.
03. Fictional Reality
04. Dittohead
05. Divine Intervention
06. Circle Of Beliefs
07. SS-3
08. Serenity In Murder
09. 213
10. Mind Control

Slayer fans around the world held their breath with this release, the first since the departure of much loved drummer Dave Lombardo. Paul Bostaph had big shoes to fill and was immediately branded inferior by the almost universal agreement of passionate Slayer fans everywhere. Right from the word go he puts any concerns to rest. He blasts off straight away on the first track "Killing Fields" with the toms and double bass driving like a well oiled locomotive and he uses a complete range of various speeds and timings on the track. The fact that the guitars only kick in after the drumming is already well on its way seems to be a statement of intent that Lombardo is gone and Bostaph is here to stay (which is quite ironical in light of events almost a decade later).

It is a brutally aggressive album exploring mankind's innermost unspoken desires on tracks like "Sex, Murder, Art" and "Serenity in Murder". There are nods to the infamous obsession their fans have with the band and their lyrical concepts, with the picture of the word Slayer carved into the arm of a fan gracing the album's inner sleeve and the last statement towards the fans in the final track "Mind Control".

"Dittohead" is one of the fastest songs they have ever done and is the object of many young Slayer fans attempts to repeat the words in time to the music at shows, with little or no success. Tom Araya confesses that even he sometimes has trouble duplicating the speed of the singing on the album during live shows.

The album generally plays in the same vain as its predecessors using all of the Slayer clichés used to maximum effect. It includes the second and final instalment of their "serial killer" songs, this time the story of Jeffrey Dahmer on the haunting "213". There is another song, following tracks off Reign In Blood and South of Heaven, dealing with Nazi ideology, this time "SS-3", which starts off slowly and increases in pace and intensity before reaching its crescendo with a final comment from the point of view of the historical figure in question.

The occult connections and concepts had become more subtle with each release and this album is no exception and for the first time the band felt the mention of Satan was not warranted. A trend they followed throughout their career until their 2006 release "Christ Illusion".

This album was a statement in so many ways of who Slayer was and who they were to become. The album touched on the different vocal melodies which Slayer would go on to experiment with on subsequent albums and yet didn't deviate from their tried and tested formulae of the past.

Overall it is the "underrated" album of their back catalogue and although it was not groundbreaking by any means it is still a very good release and considered by some to be one their very best.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 10

Written by Stuart | 04.04.2008


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

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 31   Visited by: 162 users
10.03.2014 - 17:26
For me this album is a glaringly obvious dip in quality from the previous "classic era" releases. Writer's block seemed to be overtaking them, something they never corrected, but got increasingly worse over the years. For me, this one still holds value as their last listenable release, I've heard many give credit to Christ Illusion, but I find it entirely forgettable. At least this one starts great, I love Killings Fields, the drum intro, the build up to the chorus, the riffs, it's a beast. There's a few other highlights sprinkled throughout the album as well.

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