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     It is a beautiful thing when a band begins to find its own identity, and that is exactly what happened with this record. While Slayer's previous effort, Show no Mercy, had obvious influence from contemporary metal bands, especially Iron Maiden and Venom, Haunting the Chapel was the beginning of the distinct Slayer sound that so many know and love today. The guitar riffs were heavier and and darker and even a bit atonal, the bass was less present and was now contributing to the percussive rhythm section rather than being its own entity, the vocals were much more harsh, and the drums were more complex and extreme, showing Dave Lombardo's capabilities. 

     This record is very heavy, but to merely describe it as that would be an injustice. This was a time when Slayer became a lot more technical, writing riffs and solos that were (and still are) mesmerizing and brutally fast. Also, the lyrics became much more dark, displaying Slayer's ever-present desire to push societal norms and exploit taboos. 

     All in all, this record is where Slayer became Slayer-- a band that can produce innovatively heavy sounds and make anyone want to bang their heads. Also, as I mentioned in my introduction, I am a big slayer fan, and this album is so important to me that I got it on clear vinyl with red splatter and listen to it almost every morning. It always makes me pick up my guitar and bust out a Slayer-esque riff.

 

[Edit]  I tried to attach a picture of the record for anyone who wants to see, but it keeps saying that the file is too big.

 

  

     

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I would be so happy if Slayer had stayed like this for 3-4 albums instead of going Reign in Blood so quickly...  They topped the speed and violence at that point and then felt they had to move on, but what I really like about HtC and Hell Awaits is that they have this brooding atmosphere - the whole thing is really dark, not necessarily bloody and violent and full speed all the way through.  I liked the themes of mystery and mythology, undead and magic, as well as serial killings and the like, feels like that kind of stuff fell out as Slayer became a bit "cool" after signing with whatever label it was (EMI?  Can't remember).  Anyway, HtC is seriously good, that and HA are my top 2 thrash.  Bordering on death metal, some of this stuff...

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I would be so happy if Slayer had stayed like this for 3-4 albums instead of going Reign in Blood so quickly...  They topped the speed and violence at that point and then felt they had to move on, but what I really like about HtC and Hell Awaits is that they have this brooding atmosphere - the whole thing is really dark, not necessarily bloody and violent and full speed all the way through.  I liked the themes of mystery and mythology, undead and magic, as well as serial killings and the like, feels like that kind of stuff fell out as Slayer became a bit "cool" after signing with whatever label it was (EMI?  Can't remember).  Anyway, HtC is seriously good, that and HA are my top 2 thrash.  Bordering on death metal, some of this stuff...

Absolutely. Early Slayer is much darker and more ominous sounding, and featured actual songwriting instead of the high speed mish mash of unrelated riffs that they string together on RiB.

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14 hours ago, welkyn said:

I would be so happy if Slayer had stayed like this for 3-4 albums instead of going Reign in Blood so quickly...  They topped the speed and violence at that point and then felt they had to move on, but what I really like about HtC and Hell Awaits is that they have this brooding atmosphere - the whole thing is really dark, not necessarily bloody and violent and full speed all the way through.  I liked the themes of mystery and mythology, undead and magic, as well as serial killings and the like, feels like that kind of stuff fell out as Slayer became a bit "cool" after signing with whatever label it was (EMI?  Can't remember).  Anyway, HtC is seriously good, that and HA are my top 2 thrash.  Bordering on death metal, some of this stuff...

Man, I really wish they had stayed like this for a little while too. I guess I should just appreciate their progression of identity, but it would be great to have another record like this or "Hell Awaits".

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I really don't get into RiB aside from Angel Of Death and Raining Blood. From time to time Postmortem does it for me as well I suppose. For me South Of Heaven is the album RiB could and should have been (also the last good Slayer album). SNM, HtC, and HA are my favourite Slayer records by a long way. Those records are dripping with menace in a tangible way. It's a shame they moved away from that.

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4 hours ago, RelentlessOblivion said:

I really don't get into RiB aside from Angel Of Death and Raining Blood. From time to time Postmortem does it for me as well I suppose.

Haha, holy shit, another one XD I know someone else (besides me) who's exactly the same way.  Funny that...

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