South Of Heaven by Slayer

I have been fascinated with Slayer for a very long time. When I was in grade 6 or 7 I had asked my older neighbor (who happened to be a metal head) to make me a mix tape of the heaviest, metalist stuff that he had.

Slayer was on the tape. This is obvious right?

I spent a few years, ever night listening to that tape. For a while I had a ghetto blaster above my head that I would turn on as I went to sleep. Then soon I got a walkman and had headphones on every night. It was for a very large part that tape that I listened to. It was a great tape. The funny thing is that the tape had no song list, so I didn’t know I was listening to Megadeth, or Slayer, or Anthrax, or Prong until much later in life. I’m still finding a few of the bands on there. Light bulbs go off.

So, the album for today I have chosen to review is Slayer’s South of Heaven.

The title track is a staple to any metal fans diet. If you do not know this song, then you are not a metal fan. Seriously. It’s that staple.

The fury that rocks through your veins when you listen to this album is real. Fast drum beats from Dave Lombardo, the fascinatingly hard and fast riffs from Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, and Tom Araya belting out lyrics blows the lid off of many pots (and mothers) regularly.I laugh at this old photo.

I love the track Mandatory Suicide. Not particularity for the name, but everything together makes sense.

On angry days, I like to scare innocent people with Slayer. You know they’re wanting to stare and wonder and gawk, but you know they’re to afraid to do it. This is what goes through my mind.

I think the thing I like about this album is that every single song makes me think about dancing around in a circle throwing a few elbows.  Have you ever been there? I’ve had the chance to see Slayer rock a few times; yes, its epic. Kerry King’s goatee is getting pretty intense. I read an article on him where he explained the reason for braiding it now is because it would get stuck in his guitar. Badass.

Cleanse The Soul? Seriously? Is this possible to be such a crazy insane bits of solo mixed with the clearly searching lyrics of preparation of Tom? Badass, I’m not joking!

Whose with me on this? Which one of y’all have days where you need to be angry? It pushes me further. Does it help you? Get South of Heaven.

Pantera: A Lament

I remember when I was in gr 6 I got an older neighbor of mine to make me a CD. I knew he was into metal because he is also the same neighbor that inspired me to start playing the guitar. I said to him: “Make it as metal as you can, I want to learn the art.” And that, my friends, was the start. Shortly after I got an Epiphone SG and an amp, and well…

Now I know some of you dedicated readers (I know I kid myself into believing there are dedicated followers), you may be wondering where this is coming from. I thought this King Kabuz fellow was a sweet Jack Johnson loving hipster. Fear not, it is still me.

I was brought up on a steady diet of these guys. Friends of mind in High School thought it was cool to write the CFH you see on the skull’s forehead on their jean jackets, and prided themselves saying we were the ‘cowboys from hell’. Me, I’ve always been more partial to hellbilly, or just plain ol hick (of course I have grown up a little bit, now I’m more of a.. hmm. no idea..). But that’s getting into semantics, so we won’t dwell there.

Cowboys from Hell was my first album, I played that CD so many times. It would have been one of the CD’s I would take if asked the ‘if you were trapped on a desert island, and could only have 2 cd’s, what would they be?’ question. It was more of a way of life, an aggression that I had to get out of my system. Not to mention that it was very inspirational to me, making me want to go out and get shit done! Dimebag was, and shall always be, one of my most idolized guitarist.

He is one hell of a shredder, and I don’t think many would argue with that. But what I always loved about him was that he was all about having fun, supporting family and friends, and making damn good music! I read an article a long time ago with regards to his partnering with Dean Guitars. A lot of you may know that he had his own signature series, of the shape you see above in his photo, called the Dean Dimebag. I’ve watched countless videos on him, and he never fails to throw a plug in there for Dean Guitars. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of Dimebag.

I think that without Vinnie Paul things would never have been the same. Having that family tie in the band just makes it that much more stronger, if you ask me.Not to mention how great of a drummer Vinnie Paul is.

Another member of the band, Phil Anselmo, is a god in most metal heads minds. He has fronted this power band, but also gone on to do his own projects, most notably Down with the boys of Corrosion of Conformity and Rex Brown, the bassist for Pantera, but also fronted Superjoint Ritual, Arsen Anthem, and Necrophagia. I honestly have never heard the last two bands there, but Down and Superjoint are amazing!

Phil’s voice is what many have come to try and copy, its powering, thundering, and scary aggressiveness is unlike any other out there. It’s the perfect fit for any metal band.

But then, tragically on December 8, 2004, while doing a gig with Damageplan, a raged fan decided to storm the stage for reasons: ludicrous, and shoot Dimebag. I guess he felt that killing Dimebag would make right the splitting up of Pantera that he blamed on him.

This death was felt world wide in the metal community, fans, supporters, and fellow musicians alike all felt the pain of this.

But, forever shall his music remain in our minds, forever shall our spines tingle with furious motivation when we hear the killer guitar licks in 5 minutes alone.

Pantera, you shall always remain in my heart.