Vitamin String Quartet

The Evil You Dread: The String Quartet Tribute to Slayer

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Obviously, the punishing volume and intensity that define speed metal pioneers, Slayer, arrive in a more diluted form on The String Quartet Tribute to Slayer: The Evil You Dread. But that doesn't mean The Evil You Dread can't invoke similar feelings of tension, anxiety, and even aggression. These arrangements for violin, viola, and cello are often much slower than the originals, but by concentrating on the elaborate dynamics essential to Slayer's music, the album succeeds not only as a worthy tribute album, but as an outstanding illustration of the string instruments' adaptive qualities. Standouts include "Postmortem," with its grating electric cello solo; the menacing chord shifts of "Mandatory Suicide" and "Dead Skin Mask"; and "War Ensemble's reverb-drenched violins, which seem to plunge ever downward, spiraling with dizzying speed. The Evil You Dread will certainly provide a few casual thrills for the Slayer aficionado, but deserves more credit for rising above novelty by treating the band's music with respect.

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