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Review: Slayer - Decade of Aggression
Decade of Aggression

Label: American Recordings
Year released: 1991
Duration: 89:32
Tracks: 18
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: July 20, 2009
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers Rating
Decade of Aggression

Rated 4.33/5 (86.5%) (40 Votes)

If you ever wonder what a live performance of a Thrash band should be, look no further than this album. This double album is composed of eighteen songs that spanned Slayer's career and was recorded during the Seasons of the Abyss tour. The songs were taken at different locations but you would not know it if you didn't read the liner notes. And if a live album is supposed to feel like you have been in a concert, this takes the cake.

This has everything that you would find in a concert, from the raw sound of the guitar, the crowd interaction and the comments from Tom Araya – this is the whole Slayer experience. The band sounds good and a little sloppy but more importantly the songs featured here are a massive improvement over the studio counterparts. With the exception of Tom Araya's screams (which just sound awful) the band takes it up a notch in the show. The recording is raw, there are no overdubs and you can hear the band screw up one in a while. Also you can hear the bass, something that (unfortunately) is not always common in live albums.

There is only one major issue that I have with Decade of Aggression, and that is the setlist. It is good but to me it feels unbalanced; I would have like more variety as this record contains almost the entire Seasons of the Abyss album. Granted they were in the midst of the tour supporting that record (good album by the way) but the first one is vastly superior to the second. It seems like they put out the second CD just as filler. For example, the show opens up perfectly with "Hell Awaits" and "The Antichrist" and the first part ends with "Angel of Death". Why it couldn't end with another song, mix it up a little and have the second CD finish with that song? ("Postmortem should only go before "Raining Blood" it doesn't belong anywhere else) Also, I would have preferred more material from Hell Awaits and Show No Mercy.

That complaint aside, this record shows Slayer at its best and that is in a live arena. Is it the best live album in the history of metal? No, but it is good record that represents what this band was about. Any fan of the band should have Decade of Aggression as soon as possible (if they haven't already).

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