- Slayer Albums - Seasons In The Abyss

Seasons in the Abyss

Seasons In The Abyss
  • Release date: October 9, 1990
  • Label: DefAmerican Records
  • Running time: 42:27
  • US highest chart position: 40
Track listingSong creditsTimeLyrics
01. War Ensemble(Araya/Hanneman)4:51read
02. Blood Red(Araya/Hanneman)2:47read
03. Spirit in Black(Hanneman/King)4:07read
04. Expendable Youth(Araya/King)4:09read
05. Dead Skin Mask(Araya/Hanneman)5:20read
06. Hallowed Point(Araya/Hanneman)3:23read
07. Skeletons of Society(King)4:40read
08. Temptation(King)3:25read
09. Born of Fire(Hanneman/King)3:07read
10. Seasons in the Abyss(Araya/Hanneman)6:37read

Album credits

Slayer - Producer | Tom Araya - Bass, Vocals | Jeff Hanneman - Guitars | Kerry King - Guitars | Dave Lombardo - Drums | Allen Abrahamson - Assistant Engineer | Rick Rubin - Producer | David Tobocman - Assistant Engineer | Andy Wallace - Producer, Engineer, Mixing | Howie Weinberg - Mastering | Robert Fisher - Design | Chris Rich - Assistant Engineer | Sunny Bak - Photography | Marty Temme - Photography

Album reviews

After staking out new territory with the underrated South of Heaven, Slayer brought back some of the pounding speed of Reign in Blood for its third major-label album, Seasons in the Abyss. Essentially, Seasons fuses its two predecessors, periodically kicking up the midtempo grooves of South of Heaven with manic bursts of aggession. "War Ensemble" and the title track each represented opposite sides of the coin, and they both earned Slayer their heaviest MTV airplay to date. In fact, Seasons in the Abyss is probably their most accessible album, displaying the full range of their abilities all in one place, with sharp, clean production. Since the band is refining rather than progressing or experimenting, Seasons doesn't have quite the freshness of its predecessors, but aside from that drawback, it's strong almost all the way from top to bottom (with perhaps one or two exceptions). Lyrically, the band rarely turns to demonic visions of the afterlife anymore, preferring instead to find tangible horror in real life - war, murder, human weakness. There's even full-fledged social criticism, which should convince any doubters that Slayer isn't trying to promote the subjects they sing about. Like Metallica's Master of Puppets or Megadeth's Peace Sells...But Who's Buying, Seasons in the Abyss paints Reagan-era America as a cesspool of corruption and cruelty, and the music is as devilishly effective as ever. - Steve Huey   |   All Music Guide   |  

To quote a friend, "Slayer seems to bring out the worst in people." And while that kind of nega-response sends the conservatives a'rallying, there is something sadistically interesting about such statements. So with the release of the most heavily anticipated metal album since Metallica's And Justice For All, Slayer progresses to the next logical plateau in their career as the ultimate speed metal band. Reign In Blood found the band setting land-speed records, South Of Heaven polished their songwriting to a razor edge, and Seasons In The Abyss seals the deal stylistically. This full-on hell-on-earth varies in tempo, splicing some of their fastest material with more slow n' heavy grooves that chill ya several layers below the bone. In doing so, Seasons clocks in just over forty minutes (with almost no lead tape between the songs), finally breaking the band's blackened thirty-to-thirty-four minute stopwatch. However, some things rightfully remain the same: songwriting credits shared equally between Hannenman/King/Araya, Dave Lombardo's panic drum fills, and crystal-clear production courtesy of Rick Rubin. This is everything a Slayer record is made of. If you're not on it, you're probably alone. Blackened slaytanic ritual odes of speed: "Expendable Youth," "Dead Skin Mask," "Skeletons Of Society," "Born Of Fire" and especially the title track (possibly their finest song to date).   |   |  

Slayer built a rabid following with faster-than-light thrash metal, eerie, disturbing lyrics, and bassist/singer Tom Araya's screamed vocals. 1986's REIGN IN BLOOD, a blinding metal classic that clocked in at below a half hour in length and was produced by Rick Rubin, put the band on the metal map. Although Slayer was a bunch of longhairs, it wasn't uncommon to see hardcore skinheads slamming away at the band's shows. But 1988's SOUTH OF HEAVEN alienated many of Slayer's punk fans, as the group slowed their speed metal to a Black Sabbath-like crawl.

1990's SEASONS IN THE ABYSS follows its predecessor's formula. The album was embraced by metal-heads everywhere, eventually earning Slayer its first gold-certified record. The furious opening "War Ensemble" is a throwback to Slayer's earlier speed metal direction, while the album-closing title track is a murky, swarming chunk of metal. Other standouts include the chilling "Dead Skin Mask," which dealt lyrically with notorious killer Ed Gein, "Blood Red," "Expendable Youth," "Hallowed Point," and "Skeletons of Society." For fans of extreme-metal, it doesn't get any better than Slayer's SEASONS IN THE ABYSS.   |   mtv   |