If you like Slayer's God Hates Us All, Seasons in the Abyss, and Show No Mercy albums, or if your a fan of thrash metal in general, you'll love:
Slayer - Christ Illusion
I just want to point this out now: I will rarely have a new album as "Album of the Day", but there are key points to this album that I want to point out about why this album is great, but the immediate impact it has had on the metal community, in the music world, and in it's real-world impact.
While it is hard to say, in any shape or form, that this is going to go down as one of Slayer's best albums (musically, it's no Reign in Blood or Seasons in the Abyss), it will be marked as an important moment in metal history for one reason; It made the Billboard Top 10 in it's first week. Never in the history of Slayer has one of their albums debut so high, let alone reach the Top 10! This is a phenomem that must be pointed out now so that, in later time, we can either laugh at how we reacted, or stand in awe that we were able to predict and nail the point on the head as to the reasons why.
We start with the point as to marketing of the album. Now, while this is suppose to be an album review, I want to point out that I will get to that last, only because this is what is making this album big right now. The marketing was phenominal! Countless ads in magazine and the internet, a high-profile tour with Lamb of God, Mastodon, and Children of Bodom on the Unholy Alliance Tour. Let alone the soon-to-be infamous press caused by the bus ads put in California which were taken down in one town, causing widescale press.
Speaking of free-press, 6/6/06 gave Slayer even more reason to be excited as, while the album didn't come out when it was suppose to and only the single, "Cult", was through Hot Topic stores only, the National Day of Slayer contribuited to the ongoing press, thanks to a fan.
Slayer did exactly what bands today should, and that's use every major media outlet possible to market your album! They got free press, but they also had a deal through Hot Topic to have the "Cult" single sold through them exculsively, the limited edition apperal, or the in-store apperances, not to mention the fact that they are selling the album for $10, Hot Topic, like it or not, has helped out Slayer more than us, the "old-school" fans, can enjoy, but they have done it; they made Slayer big again. But that is not to say MySpace had no part. Yes, everyone has one of those damn things, and Slayer streamed their entire album on it!
So, onto the album. I've heard it twice and, I must say, it's not living up to the hype to me. The main problem that people, in general, have with these kind of high-profile releases from old bands is that there is no real way to voice your opinion without being slaughtered for the first year. The overall hype for an album can cloud judgement over the actual album.
The album gives you, what else, Slayer! The insane guitar work of Kerry King, the double-base drums of Dave Lombardo is back, Jeff Hannmen's writing is back, and Tom's bass and vocals are back, as angry as ever! The album delivers some insane tracks, "Flesh Storm" and "Catalysty" offer up the classic thrash we all know and love, while "Skeleton Christ" and "Eyes of the Insane" offer slower tracks, reminsenct of Seasons in the Abyss-era Slayer. The true controversy comes from "Jihad", written to the perspective of the 9/11 hijackers. Lyrically, the song is something I recommend listening to with the lyrics sheet out so you can actually realize what Tom means when he says, "Fuck your god".
Overall, the album get's a 4.2 out of 5. It delivers the Slayer we all know and love, but still leaves you wanting some more.
BUY THIS ALBUM!