Today in Metal: ‘Diabolus in Musica’ by Slayer turns 16 years old

Posted by on June 9, 2014


Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. 16 years old today, Slayer experimented a little with the release of Diabolus in Musica.

This is just a super heavy Slayer album in terms of sound. The late Jeff Hanneman had a huge part in the change of style for this album, but the heaviness remains. Although this was around the time when Slayer’s popularity was waning to non-fans, as a lot of metal was in the 90’s, it’s still a very heavy album. The bass drum triggers on the album are deep, and incredibly powerful. This is Paul Bosthaph’s second album with Slayer, and although he’s a different kind of drummer than Dave Lombardo, the drumming is still very powerful in general. The opening track “Bitter Peace” is the track that really keeps the Slayer feel, but taking a modern edge to things. There are still tons of riffs on the album that are powerful, but in a different, slower, and more groove oriented sense.

This album is Slayer’s attempt at trying to move with the times in 1998. The album sounds a lot like a Slipknot or System of a Down record more than a Slayer record in terms of groove. If you’re into that sort of thing, then mission accomplished, but it really only has trace elements of the Slayer style. A lot of this album is going to be hard for traditional fans of Slayer to stomach. It’s certainly not a thrashy album either.

Favorite Tracks: “Bitter Peace,” “Overt Enemy,” “Desire.”

In my opinion, this is a Slayer album for non-Slayer fans. This is an album for a teenager that was just getting into what the scene was back in 1998. If you’re going to give this album a try, throw out everything you think you know of Slayer, because this is much different. Basically, if you like late 90’s, early 00’s metal, you might like this one. If you don’t, you’ll most likely find this album to be a betrayal of style. What do you think about Slayer with a different sound?

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