Soundtrack to the Apocalypse

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Soundtrack to the Apocalypse Review

by Thom Jurek

If ever a metal band deserved the box set treatment, it's Slayer. Love them or hate them, their accomplishments in the thrash metal subgenre is pretty much unequaled. For over 20 years, Slayer have remained doggedly and stubbornly persistent in their approach to playing the heaviest, loudest, and darkest metal in America. Compare them to the higher profile Metallica and Megadeth, and laugh: Slayer have grown musically without giving an inch to the populace, while the aforementioned bands have become artistically lost in increasingly MOR recordings, and hopelessly entrenched in their popular culture image -- Metallica -- or have imploded altogether -- Megadeth. Many of the Nordic black metal bands owe them their allegiance for influence and sustenance; Slayer broke open the door in America for underground music to be heard outside the small ghetto it began in, without sacrificing its street cred or audience Soundtrack to the Apocalypse's Deluxe Edition is a whopping four CDs and one DVD. Discs one and two feature tracks from Reign in Blood, and all the albums that proceed from it, and includes bonus cuts previously only released in Japan, and cuts from soundtracks -- "In-a-Gadda Da Vida" from Less Than Zero, "Disorder" with Ice-T from the film Judgment Night, "Human Disease" from Bride of Chucky, and more. Disc three is, appropriately, titled Sh*t You Never Heard because that's what it is -- 16 tracks that have been unissued anywhere -- from rehearsals, to in-concert recordings, demos, and one "No Remorse," a collaboration with Atari Teenage Riot, from the Spawn soundtrack. The fourth disc is a DVD of concert recordings, an electronic press kit video for Diabolus in Musica, and an appearance at the Kerrang magazine awards. The first three cuts on the DVD are live in California from 1983, and document Slayer's earliest live appearances. The set comes packaged in standard CD-size format, in a plastic sleeve that folds out into a single rectangle. The enclosed booklet, though smaller in size from the deluxe version's, nonetheless contains dozens of rare photographs, and quotes from the band and media, with fantastic and exhaustive liner notes -- including a full biography and fans' appreciation of the band by Marc Pasche and Eric Braverman. Don't expect either to win a Grammy for liner notes, or for the set to, either. Herein lies a document and a testament to the grand rebel tradition in American underground rock; it will gain no acceptance outside its niche, but that niche is growing, and it is here to stay. This is the very item Slayer fans have been waiting for, and it is worth your hard-earned cash.

blue highlight denotes track pick