Seasons in the Abyss was the fifth studio album from American thrash metal royalty Slayer – released 30 years ago, on October 9th, 1990 – and is the one Slayer album to successfully combine the all-out assault of Reign in Blood with the more considered, ominous grooves of South Of Heaven; resulting in arguably the most accessible album of Slayer’s illustrious career.
All out thrashers such as “War Ensemble” and “Hallowed Point” cosied up to ‘catchier’ material such as “Blood Red” and “Skeletons Of Society”, while on “Dead Skin Mask” and the epic title-track, Slayer proved they could stretch thrash metal’s boundaries without sacrificing their distinctive macabre sound.
Singer/Bassist Tom Araya also layid down the most accomplished vocals of his career, inflecting each vicious couplet with previously unheard harmony; the chorus of “Seasons In The Abyss” stands testament to his vocal ability, proving he was capable of more than just bark and bite.
Slayer achieved a deft balancing act on Seasons In The Abyss, with the fantastical, hellish themes of old jostling with our planet’s real life atrocities (War/Urban Gang Violence/Serial Killers) to create an atmosphere with as many peaks and troughs as their many varied riffs.
Seasons In The Abyss remains a mature thrash record from a band who would go on to wave the thrash metal flag high throughout the grunge dominated 90’s. Their peers may have deserted them but Slayer held strong, defiant to the very end!
1. “War Ensemble”
2. “Blood Red”
3. “Spirit in Black”
4. “Expendable Youth”
5. “Dead Skin Mask”
6. “Hallowed Point”
7. “Skeletons of Society”
9. “Born of Fire”
10. “Seasons in the Abyss”