Slayer - Christ Illusion (Cover Artwork)


Slayer: Christ IllusionChrist Illusion (2006)
American Recordings

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

A week. I listened to it for a week. Not straight, mind you. Just a track here, a track there. A few minutes here, a few sighs there, a couple "Hail Satans," two bike rides to work and twice in the car. And even though the return of Dave Lombardo to the lineup had me excited, the album has me rollin.
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A week. I listened to it for a week. Not straight, mind you. Just a track here, a track there. A few minutes here, a few sighs there, a couple "Hail Satans," two bike rides to work and twice in the car. And even though the return of Dave Lombardo to the lineup had me excited, the album has me rolling my eyes and praying for some sort of sweet release. Though Dave's drumming fucking kicks ass.

Slayer has always been a guitar band. Breakneck ultra rhythmic palm-muted chords, screeching riffs and hyper melodic solos played in the wrong key to make them sound like random guitar noise. Dave's job was to keep the time, and I don't blame him for leaving. He's way too good of a drummer to be stuck ripping double-time beats and double bass breakdowns. Any semi-talented chump can handle those stick duties. And while this album gives Dave a better chance to shine, I find it full of way too many open chords and drop-tuned bass notes. Not to mention Tom Araya's vocals turned from tortured howl to grumpy fat guy growl.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh. Reign in Blood came out in 1986. A year after I was born, and exactly 20 years ago. To this day that album tears shit up and gets props like mad ass-hungry whores. I mean it's no Funohuse in `69, but double bass and satanic lyrics during the reign of Reagan is pretty wicked. The band is legendary. They've had a pretty good track record (even with that guy from Testament drumming for them). But to me, Christ Illusion sounds like everyone except good old Dave is tired of being in Slayer.

Kerry King and John Hanneman have broken tons of ground with their guitar work, but Christ Illusion sounds like it was recorded in between two naps. In fact, the intro to the near five-minute long "Catatonic" is so slow and laid back that it's putting me to sleep right now. But maybe I'm just cranky because there aren't any songs around two minutes in length. My colon is just not ready to handle these lengthy four-minute mid-tempo, um, I dunno, love ballads to Satan. Gone is the edge of yesteryear, gone is striking fear into the hearts of the listener (although I hear this band rips shit up with bus seat advertisements). The ultra-slick production makes me bored. I miss Rick Rubin. That man knew how to make something loud and clear and yet still threatening.

But the album isn't full of throwaway snorefests. Track number nine, "Cult" shows that Tommy can still howl and shriek and that all the dudes can brutalize a breakdown as well as speed it up fast enough to make your thrashy little ears bleed. It's easy to see that this was the song they wanted to debut on 6/6/06. The guitars are a little more spastic. The riffs are a little more hectic. The drums, well, the drums keep pace for the whole album. But at least Slayer shows that they can still slay something, even if it is only one song on a ten-track album.

And even if you snored your way through "Flesh Storm," "Catalyst," "Jihad," and "Consfearacy," you'll get your kicks as the album closes with the aforementioned "Cult" and "Supremist." The end track gives us some good old-fashioned speed riffing as well as some rounded out soloing straight outta `86 and a muscular display of the band's new obsession with slightly dynamic breakdowns. I mean, I don't think Public Enemy's gonna sample anything from Christ Illusion, but we're all down with that rap-metal thing anyway now, aren't we? Shit, "She Watch Channel Zero" was a good song though.

In the end, Slayer is Slayer -- an ever-evolving band that's been around for about 25 years and I can't expect them to put out the same album they put out 20 years ago, even though I wish they would have.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Prodigalson (December 21, 2009)

I find their lattest three records better than anything in the 90s (excluding seasons) and hell awaits. Just a little weaker than the classics.

Electrickle (February 21, 2007)

Slayer has always been way too simple for my metal tatstes. Give me Rust In Peace or Master of Puppets any day over any album Slayer has done. That includes Reign In Blood, which is good for a couple of listens every now and then.

Misanthropic_Generation (January 16, 2007)

I strongly disagree with the silly review. This album flat out rules, the only boring song is Catatonic, everything else sounds great, Flesh Storm, Catalyst, Skeleton Christ, Consfearacy and Supremist are by far the best songs on the album and they're as good, if not better, than the old stuff, Reign in Blood included, and by far too.
Btw: First blast beat EVER recorded by Slayer on "Supremist"...you can tell Lombardo's truly back.

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

Oh btw, its Jeff Hanneman, not John Hanneman

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

this album is a masterpiece. song for song.

strungoutferriswheel (October 16, 2006)

i always found this band more amusing than anything

score is for reggie's cover of reign in blood

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

Warlocks are overpowered.

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

slayer is down for the devil, so fuck off "kids"

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

The Years Of Decay was a GREAT record, but So Far So Good So What was SHIT.

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

Rust in Peace isn't even the best Megadeth cd. So Far, So Good...So What! is.

SFSGSW>Peace Sells>Rust In Peace>Killing Is My Business. Then I stopped listening to Megadeth

Besides, Testament The New Order & Overkill Years of Decay are both better than anything the big four (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, & Slayer) ever released.

Anonymous (October 15, 2006)

For some reason that line always makes me laugh.
Okay, we get it Tom, you're "evil" and "scary". Although I heard that Kerry King writes most of the lyrics dealing with religion, and I probably wouldn't pick a fight with that guy.

Anonymous (October 15, 2006)

This shit is way too self-referential and fake...

"I made my choice... 666!"

Slayer 1986 would be laughing at these old dbags.


Jesse (October 15, 2006)

There's a difference between dissonance as a planned form of music and as a random noodling. Slayer very much knows what they're doing.

Anonymous (October 15, 2006)

Hands down, the worst, most overrated band in history. Playing fast, with no understanding at all of music, is not impressive. I saw a 12 year old kid in guitar center ripping solos just like slayer's once, and all these old guys were all impressed. but when someone wanted to jam with him he just kept ripping, with no rhyme or reason.. this is what slayer does, and they do it badly. Not to mention, aren't you guys a little bit tired of the whole hail satan thing? I mean.. seriously..

LeightonESmith (October 15, 2006)

metal bashing on a punk site.....

who would have thunk it??

JerryCola (October 15, 2006)

Hail santa!

Not-To-Regret (October 14, 2006)

I hate metal. Except Tool, Deftones, Early Sabbath etc... you get the picture. "smart" metal, not overly aggresive "meathead" metal.

Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

The best thing to do is go to k-mart and buy a 10 dollar slip n slide, get a few friends to come over, set it up in your yard, and play Reign In Blood while doing the slip n slide. That's what I did this summer. Score is for that.

feeeding5000 (October 14, 2006)

...I would have to say Celtic Frost -- To Mega Therion...

treos (October 14, 2006)

Sonic Firestorm takes reign in blood and master of puppets any day


freesandwich (October 14, 2006)

i cannot express how much fuck this band

Ianw (October 14, 2006)

I liked this album, but I guess I was probally just happy to hear them play some thrash again.

Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

And Among The Living owns Rust In Peace.

Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

Rust In Peace owns Reign in Blood and Master of Puppets...

better riffs, better arrangements, better solos...


Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

i don't know man. i thought this record was solid. not exceptional - its no seasons, but I don't think the dudes sound tired. I think they sound like slayer. word.

Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

soooo much better than new Hatebreed.

Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

3 stars is right. I dig Slayer, but it's pathetic that they've fallen back into the same stagnant groove. God Hates Us All was one of their best albums and had a hint of progression, but this shit goes to show that they'll never have anything new to say. Sad, but an accurate review--though the text seems to be more negative than the star rating.

BooyahMan (October 13, 2006)

This album sounds pretty influenced by Avenged Sevenfold.


SlackMFr (October 13, 2006)

I can't believe this band is still making albums. They sucked in the beginning and they suck now.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

Anyone who's old enough to have seen Slayer with Lombardo (before he left) shouldn't be getting their panties in a knot because the reviewer doesn't absolutely love the new album.

greg0rb (October 13, 2006)

Hey, Jesse is back! What's up, neighbor? Maybe we should name our bowling team Christ Illusion... what do you think?

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

Next time, don't waste half your review introducing a band most people have heard of. Much more boring than you claim some of these songs to be.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)


Really, Lombardo was a revolutionary drummer, but it was mainly for his speed. Since speed-wise there are a zillion faster drummers than him nowadays he really has nothing to offer than the same ol' mid-tempo kick turns to fast turns to faster kick pattern. Bostaph had a lot more groove going on.


Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

'"And even if you snored your way through "Flesh Storm," "Catalyst," "Jihad," and "Consfearacy" '

What the hell is wrong with you? Why even write that?
And why even mention the Stooges in your review about a Slayer album?

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

It's Jeff Hanneman, not John.
And why does everyone all of sudden not like Slayer?

theonetruebill (October 13, 2006)

Not to nitpick butFunhouse came out in 1970, the self titled Stooges came outin 1969.

This album is pretty awesome. Way better than God Hates Us All, that's for sure.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)


it's slayer. half these songs were meant to be on REIGN IN BLOOD.

don't talk about a record when you weren't old enough to see them WITH lombardo when he was in the band.

go back to reading pitchfork.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

ive been on this website for like 10 minutes and have read someone say "the lawrence arms are overrated" like 4 or 5 times on different threads. seriously shut the fuck up

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

the lawrence arms are overrated.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

Reviewer, you were born in '85. As a result, you are not allowed to have an opinion on Slayer.


Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

"To this day that album tears shit up and gets props like mad ass-hungry whores."


Snakes (October 13, 2006)

i'd have to say Master of Puppets, greatest metal albulm of all time, hands down.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

Reign in Blood v/s Master of Puppets, which album is greater?

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

fuck slayer! all hail TANKARD!!!

Deadpan (October 13, 2006)

I've only listened to this album once, and to be honest, all I can remember are the double bass-drum bits. Like, all the way through the album.

I'm going to see these guys play Manchester in November, mostly for a laugh. Death by sweaty metal fans? A likely consequence.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

slayer is teh suck

Cos (October 13, 2006)

Rick Rubin produced the last Noise Conspiracy album too.

We all know how well that one went over...

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

fuck this!,i'll be listening to Master of Puppets

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

funny thing is that the singer, tom araya, is a devout catholic. the norwegian black metal dudes take the whole satan thing alot more seriously.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

You know, my complaint was that this album sounded like they tried to re-write Reign In Blood and couldn't do it.

Dante3000 (October 13, 2006)

He also produced Beastie Boys and Saul Williams. Not to mention Jay-Z's "99 Problems".
So, he may not be amazing but he has worked with some big talent.
P.s. and Slipknot, but we're all allowed to fuck the goat at least once.

Dante3000 (October 13, 2006)

Does that dude on the cover have an eye patch? What is that supposed to be, Pirate Jesus?
And how does he wipe his ass? Slayer has some explaining to do.

Jesse (October 13, 2006)

How about Wildflowers? That album is one of the best sounding albums of all time. Yeah, Rubin's recorded some crap, but he's also recorded a whole lot of good stuff. And he's recorded it really well. Dude knows how to make an album sound good.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

Although the death of Corey Lidle is very sad, it would've been much worse if it was Corey Feldman.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

Jihad is the best song Slayer has ever written.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

i dont mean to be cynical, but can we collectively stop namedropping reign in blood. Statistically speaking, in the amount of conversations, across the types of people, and out of place contexts the name gets thrown around like its a fucking access card to captain obvious' gleanings from field observations of instantly agreeable statements regarding pop culture, there is no mathematical way that many people actually had the amount of formative experiences they give it credit for.

Every time someone mentions rick rubin, its 'reign in blood' this, 'reign in blood' blah blah. Dudes made shitty records. Unless you are Slayer, or Johnny Cash, Rick Rubin isn't going to make your shitty band sound better. Rick Rubin didn't make a pact with the devil. Maybe like a lesser demon, or a sketchy looking ticket scalper guy who pronounces it 'ticket mayster'.

Slayer made other records, and I don't remember in '92 people so happy about slayer spouting off such a safety record like reign in blood.

Fuck, how many peoples uncles namedrop reign in blood now......fuckin nutrasweet of metal accretidation. It's totally meaningless to me now. fuck.


Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

i agree, on this cd slayer sound old, tired and far less relevant, but mate this review is utter crap. it's crap in such a nebulous way as to preclude the provision of constructive criticism.
so i recommend just looking at the plethora of other reviews of this cd on the net for advice on how to improve.
good luck


Anonymous (October 13, 2006)


Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

fave slayer albs
1.) Reign in Blood
2.) South of heaven
3.) Hell awaits
4.) seasons in the abyss
5.) show no mercy

all the albums after these killers are not bad, but not too good or interesting and this one is a bit boring

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