Various Artists

Straight to Hell: A Tribute to Slayer

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"Straight to Hell" was a song recorded by the Clash for their 1982 album Combat Rock, and the title was later recycled for a bizarre Western spoof by film director Alex Cox which starred Joe Strummer. It's also the title of Cleopatra's Slayer tribute album, in spite of those Clash associations and the fact that Slayer never recorded a song called "Straight to Hell." The song selection concentrates more on specific albums, rather than attempting a career overview -- of the 13 tracks, there are four each from Reign in Blood, South of Heaven (counting the two back-to-back appearances of that album's title track) and Show No Mercy/Haunting the Chapel. Unfortunately, the acts performing those songs are largely nondescript -- Brutal Truth is the only easily recognizable name -- and it's irritating to hear some of the songs reinterpreted as generic-sounding industrial-metal tracks (a Cleopatra standby for filler material). The best moments occur when bands are able to match the power of the original versions, which is a feat in and of itself, let alone putting one's own individual stamp on the material. However, those moments don't occur quite often enough for Straight to Hell: A Tribute to Slayer to avoid disappointing even the most ardent Slayer fanatic.

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