Divine Intervention (album)

Last updated
Divine Intervention
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 27, 1994 (1994-09-27)
Genre Thrash metal
Label American
Slayer chronology
Seasons in the Abyss
Divine Intervention
Undisputed Attitude
Serenity in Murder EP
SIM album Cover.jpg
Cover of the Serenity in Murder EP, released on August 28, 1995.

Divine Intervention is the sixth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on September 27, 1994 by American Recordings. The album's production posed a challenge to the label, as its marketing situation drew arguments over its explicitness; to give them time to decide over its style, the band released the live album Decade of Aggression . [1] Since it was released nearly four years after its predecessor Seasons in the Abyss (1990), vocalist Tom Araya said there was more time spent on its production compared to the band's previous albums.


Divine Intervention was the band's first album to feature Paul Bostaph, replacing original drummer Dave Lombardo. Its songs' origins came not only from television shows, but were also inspired by various other subjects including Rush Limbaugh and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Its cover artwork was painted and designed by Wes Benscoter as a re-imaging of the band's early "Slayergram" graphic. Although so much time was spent on its production, Kerry King has expressed his disapproval over the album's final mix, saying it should have had more attention.

Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, Divine Intervention peaked at number eight on the US Billboard 200 and number 15 on the UK Albums Chart, selling over 93,000 copies in its first week of sales. It was later certified gold in the United States and Canada, and was followed by the EP Serenity in Murder.

Writing and production

Tom Araya said that "when we did Divine Intervention, this was the last conference we ever had with a record label where they sat us down and sold us the idea of how they wanted to do "Divine", and how they were going to do this with the cover... and all these different ideas for the album. Then one guy looked at us and said, 'But we need a hit song.' And we said, 'But you've got eleven songs, and if you can't find a hit in one of them then you're shit out of luck because that's what we're giving you.' So we're like saying to them, 'Right, you write the fucking hit song and we'll record it.' That shut the guy up and that was the last time we had any kind of meetings like that!" [2]

Araya described "For this one, I just kind of got inspired by watching TV. That gave me a whole lot of ideas. The whole idea about the dude with Slayer in his arms was brought about because reality is scarier than anything you can make up." [3] The production of the album posed as a challenge to the record company, "how to market a group whose gore-soaked, extreme music is anathema to radio programmers." It is the company's first attempt to "hit the thrash band's core-audience of rabid enthusiasts with a fan-orientated marketing assault." [4] Araya related: "We decided to take more time to bring this one together. We actually went into the studio with more written material than the past. We completed three out of seven songs outside the studio. We all sort of felt it was important to do it slowly. After the last tour, we had the intention to take the break." [5]


The College Music Journal said that "the band deals almost exclusively with realism" in the album, and noted that it "shocks and splatters like a severed artery, painting crimson pictures of murders, necrophiliacs, and the ravaged, chaotic world they inhabit". [3] Both the mixing and mastering were criticized, with guitarist Kerry King saying that the band should have "paid more attention to the mix", [6] and Araya saying that it "is the one (if any) that he would not mind re-mastering". [7] Neil Strauss from The New York Times explained many of the album's origins. "213" was described as a "love song" by Araya, which was something they had never done before. The song was named after serial killer and sex offender Jeffrey Dahmer's old apartment number. "Dittohead" begins by criticizing the legal system for "being too lenient on killers". The song "ended up not denouncing the system but advocating its permissiveness". [8] "Sex, Murder, Art" was said by TheState.com to feature "roars about a maddening relationship and his 'pleasure in inflicting pain.'" [9]

King said that the album contained origins relating to "war stories" and "explorations of madness". [10] It is Paul Bostaph's first studio album with Slayer, resulting in Alex Henderson of AllMusic saying that it is a "positive, energizing influence on Slayer, which sounds better than ever on such dark triumphs as 'Killing Fields,' 'Serenity in Murder,' and 'Circle of Beliefs.'" Henderson also said that they "focus[ed] on the violently repressive nature of governments and the lengths to which they will go to wield power". [11]

Artwork and packaging

The album was issued in a clear jewel box with a die-cut cardboard O-card. It included sixteen pages, which fold out to be a poster, which displays the cover art. Both the disc and the disc tray feature — as described by Chris Morris — an "image reflective of the mania displayed by the group's fans, and exemplary of American frequently deployed shock tactics: a kid carving the band's name into his arms with a scalpel." [12] Mike Bone from American Recordings said that "we captured this not only by photography, but with video — him actually doing it." [12] The front cover was painted and designed by Wes Benscoter, an American artist who would later paint the covers for the other Slayer releases Undisputed Attitude and Live Intrusion . [13] [14] [15] The album sleeve features for the second time the backronym Satan Laughs As You Eternally Rot. This phrase was first used on the vinyl edition of the album Show No Mercy where it was carved into the runout groove of the record. [12]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [11]
The Deseret News favorable [5]
Entertainment Weekly B [16]
Metal Forces 7/10 [17]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [18]
Rock Hard8.5/10 [19]

AllMusic said that "instead of doing something calculated like emulating Nirvana or Pearl Jam—or for that matter, Nine Inch Nails or Ministry—Slayer wisely refused to sound like anyone but Slayer. Tom Araya and co. responded to the new environment simply by striving to be the heaviest metal band they possibly could." [11] By the album's release date, vocalist Tom Araya considered it to be their best album. [5]

Divine Intervention sold 93,000 copies in its first week, [20] [21] and by 2002, it sold over 400,000 copies in the US . [22] [23] It was reported that in the same year of its release, Kevin Kirk from the Heavy Metal Shop "ordered 1,000 copies of Slayer's Divine Intervention and sold every last album in a matter of weeks". [24] Although it is less accessible than its predecessor Seasons in the Abyss , Rolling Stone considered it to be their most successful album as of 2001. [25]

Track listing

1."Killing Fields" Tom Araya Kerry King 3:57
2."Sex. Murder. Art."ArayaKing1:50
3."Fictional Reality"KingKing3:38
5."Divine Intervention"
  • Hanneman
  • King
6."Circle of Beliefs"KingKing4:30
  • Hanneman
  • King
8."Serenity in Murder"Araya
  • Hanneman
  • King
10."Mind Control"
  • Araya
  • King
  • Hanneman
  • King
Serenity in Murder EP
1."Serenity in Murder" (live)2:37
2."Angel of Death" (live)4:52
3."Mandatory Suicide" (live)4:05
4."War Ensemble" (live)4:52

Chart positions and certifications


Personnel information can be verified at AllMusic. [13]

Related Research Articles

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer was an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, drummer Dave Lombardo, and bassist and vocalist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's final lineup comprised King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Drummer Jon Dette was also a member of the band.

<i>Reign in Blood</i> 1986 studio album by Slayer

Reign in Blood is the third studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on October 7, 1986 by Def Jam Recordings. The album was the band's first collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, whose input helped the band's sound evolve. The release date of the album was delayed because of concerns regarding the lyrical subject matter of the opening track "Angel of Death", which refers to Josef Mengele and describes acts such as human experimentation that he committed at the Auschwitz concentration camp. However, the band's members stated numerous times that they did not condone Nazism and were merely interested in the subject.

<i>South of Heaven</i> 1988 studio album by Slayer

South of Heaven is the fourth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on July 5, 1988 by Def Jam Recordings. The album was the band's second collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, whose production skills on their previous album Reign in Blood (1986) had helped their sound evolve. In order to offset the pace of its predecessor, Slayer deliberately slowed down the tempo on South of Heaven, and utilized undistorted guitars and toned-down vocals. South of Heaven was the band's last album released by Def Jam, although the rights were transferred to Rubin's new label Def American Recordings after Rubin ended his partnership with Russell Simmons. The album was one of only two Def Jam titles to be distributed by Geffen Records through Warner Bros., as Def Jam's then-distributor Columbia refused to release work by the band.

<i>Decade of Aggression</i> 1991 live album by Slayer

Decade of Aggression is a double live album by Slayer, released on October 22, 1991, through Def American Records and produced by Rick Rubin. The album was recorded in three separate places on three separate dates. Its working title was Decade of Decadence until Mötley Crüe registered the name. Three of the album's tracks were included in the box set Soundtrack to the Apocalypse. The album's reception was generally positive, with Entertainment Weekly and Robert Christgau both giving the album a positive rating. The album reached number 55 in the Billboard 200 and also charted on two other charts.

Hypocrisy (band) Swedish death metal band

Hypocrisy is a Swedish death metal band formed in October 1991 in Ludvika, Sweden by Peter Tägtgren.

<i>Diabolus in Musica</i> 1998 studio album by Slayer

Diabolus in Musica is the eighth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on June 9, 1998 by American Recordings. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman wrote most of the album's content, which has been described as Slayer's most experimental. It was the band's first album to be played mostly in C tuning, and named after a musical interval known for its dissonance. Lyrical themes explored on the album include religion, sex, cultural deviance, death, insanity, war, and homicide.

<i>War at the Warfield</i> 2003 video by Slayer

War at the Warfield is a concert video by Slayer which was released on July 29, 2003, through American Recordings. Recorded at Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, California, on December 7, 2001, it is the band's second video album. The DVD's contents were announced by MTV on July 25, 2003. It is the last release by Slayer with drummer Paul Bostaph, who left due to a chronic elbow injury. Bostaph was subsequently replaced by the original Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. War at the Warfield was well received by critics, debuting at number three on the Billboard DVD chart, and sold over 7,000 copies in its first week. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling over 50,000 copies in the United States. It also won a 2003 Metal Edge Readers' Choice Award for DVD of the Year.

Slayer discography Band discography

Slayer was an American thrash metal band formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, who recruited vocalist and bassist Tom Araya, and drummer Dave Lombardo. Slayer's first two albums, Show No Mercy (1983) and Hell Awaits (1985), which were released on Metal Blade Records, did not chart in the United States. The band was then signed to Def Jam Recordings by Rick Rubin, who produced Reign in Blood (1986). The album helped Slayer break into the Billboard 200 for the first time, peaking at number 94. After South of Heaven (1988), Slayer signed to Rubin's new label, Def American, and released Seasons in the Abyss (1990). After the album was released, Lombardo departed Slayer and was replaced by Paul Bostaph.

<i>Christ Illusion</i> 2006 studio album by Slayer

Christ Illusion is the tenth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on August 8, 2006 by American Recordings. It was the band's first album featuring all 4 original members with their drummer Dave Lombardo since Seasons in the Abyss (1990), and also marked the first time since Divine Intervention (1994) that they recorded songs in D# tuning. The songs "Jihad", "Flesh Storm", "Catalyst", and "Consfearacy" were recorded in D# tuning, while "Catatonic", "Eyes of the Insane", "Skeleton Christ", and "Supremist" were recorded in Drop B tuning and "Black Serenade" and "Cult" in C# tuning.

Eyes of the Insane 2006 single by Slayer

"Eyes of the Insane" is a 2006 song by the American thrash metal band Slayer, taken from their 2006 album Christ Illusion. The lyrics explore an American soldier's mental anguish following his return home from the second Gulf War, and are based on an article entitled "Casualty of War" in Texas Monthly magazine. "Eyes of the Insane" was written by vocalist Tom Araya during pre-production for the album. The song was generally well received by critics, and also peaked #15 on the Danish singles charts.

The following is a comprehensive discography of Apocalyptica, a Finnish cello metal group. As a band, they have released nine studio albums, that have charted in their native Finland, Austria, France, and in the United States. In addition to their nine studio albums, also released are two compilation albums, one soundtrack, one live album and three DVD albums.

Triptykon band

Triptykon is a Swiss extreme metal band from Zürich, formed in 2008 by Thomas Gabriel Fischer, founding member of the pioneering heavy metal bands Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Apollyon Sun.

<i>World Painted Blood</i> 2009 studio album by Slayer

World Painted Blood is the eleventh studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. It was released through American Recordings and Sony Music on November 3, 2009 and was produced by Greg Fidelman and executively produced by Rick Rubin. It is the band's only album produced by Greg Fidelman. With much anticipation for the album after 2006's Christ Illusion, members of Slayer began revealing information about the album beginning in early 2009.

<i>Endgame</i> (Megadeth album) 2009 studio album by Megadeth

Endgame is the twelfth studio album by American heavy metal band Megadeth. It was produced by Dave Mustaine and Andy Sneap and released through Roadrunner Records on September 15, 2009. Endgame was the first album to feature guitarist Chris Broderick, following Glen Drover's departure in 2008, and was the band's last studio album with bassist James LoMenzo; original bassist David Ellefson rejoined the band several months after the album's release.

<i>The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria</i> 2010 video by Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax

The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria is a live video with performances by Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax, the "big four" of American thrash metal. The concert took place on June 22, 2010 at the Sonisphere Festival at Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria. It was shown at 450 movie theaters in the United States and over 350 movie theaters across Europe, Canada, and Latin America on June 22, 2010.

Adrenaline Mob band

Adrenaline Mob is a Heavy Metal supergroup formed in early 2011 by singer Russell Allen, guitarist Mike Orlando and drummer Mike Portnoy. The band's current lineup consists of Allen, Orlando, and drummer Jordan Cannata.

<i>Repentless</i> 2015 studio album by Slayer

Repentless is the twelfth and final studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. It was released on September 11, 2015, and is the band's only album recorded without Jeff Hanneman, who died from liver cirrhosis in 2013. Gary Holt replaces Hanneman as guitarist. Drummer Paul Bostaph also makes his first appearance on a Slayer album since 2001's God Hates Us All. It is also the only one the band released on Nuclear Blast and was produced by Terry Date, replacing Rick Rubin after twenty-nine years and nine studio albums as their producer or executive producer. The six-year gap between World Painted Blood and Repentless was the longest between two Slayer albums in their career. This would also be the band's final studio album before embarking on a farewell tour in 2018–2019 and eventually disbanding.

<i>Straight Out of Hell</i> 2013 studio album by Helloween

Straight Out of Hell is the 14th studio album by German power metal band Helloween. It was released in 2013 and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind.

<i>Seasons in the Abyss</i> 1990 studio album by Slayer

Seasons in the Abyss is the fifth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on October 9, 1990 by Def American Records. Recording sessions began in March 1990 at Hit City West and Hollywood Sound, and ended in June 1990 at The Record Plant in Los Angeles, California. It was the band's last album to feature their full original lineup with drummer Dave Lombardo until his return on the group’s 2006 album Christ Illusion. Seasons in the Abyss' musical style has been compared by critics to the band's previous two albums South of Heaven (1988) and Reign in Blood (1986).

This is the discography for British heavy metal band Halford.


  1. Daniel Bukszpan, Ronnie James Dio. The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal
  2. "SLAYER Frontman: MUSTAINE Talks A Lot Of Sh*t, Apologizes For It, Then Continues Talking Sh*t" Archived September 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine . Blabbermouth.net. 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  3. 1 2 CMJ New Music Monthly. January 1995. pp. 25–27
  4. Billboard. July 23, 1994. p. 14
  5. 1 2 3 Iwasaki, Scott (1995-01-27). "Vocalist sings the praises for 'Divine Intervention'". The Deseret News.
  6. "SLAYER's KERRY KING Has No Interest In 'Jesus Metal' " Archived November 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine . 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  7. "SLAYER Frontman Answers Fans' Questions" Archived June 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine . Blabbermouth.net.
  8. Strauss, Neil (1995-02-20). "Death and Madness Remain the Basics in Slayer's Repertory". NYTimes.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-11. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  9. "State, The : SLAYER'S ARAYA RELISHES IN MACABRE AND SICK". TheState.com 1995-03-24. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  10. "SLAYER's KERRY KING: 'We're Not Close To Hanging It Up'" Archived April 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine . Blabbermouth.net. 2006-01-15. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  11. 1 2 3 Henderson, Alex. "Divine Intervention - Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  12. 1 2 3 Billboard. July 23, 1994. p. 19
  13. 1 2 "allmusic ((( Divine Intervention > Credits )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  14. "allmusic ((( Undisputed Attitude > Credits )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  15. Live Intrusion (Compact Disc). Slayer. American Recordings. 1994.CS1 maint: others (link)
  16. Sinclair, Tom (1994-09-30). "Divine Intervention Review". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved 2012-07-30.
  17. Arnold, Neil (1994-09-27). "Slayer - Divine Intervention (1994)". Metal Forces . Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  18. Palmer, Robert (1995-02-09). "Slayer: Divine Intervention : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone . Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  19. Kühnemund, Götz. "Rock Hard". issue 89.
  20. "SLAYER: 'World Painted Blood' Debuts At No. 12 On BILLBOARD Chart" Archived 2010-05-26 at the Wayback Machine . 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  21. Harris, Chris (2006-08-16) "Rick Ross Sails Past Breaking Benjamin, Takes Port Of Miami To #1".
  22. "Metal/Hard Rock Album Sales In The US As Reported By SoundScan" Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine . Blabbermouth.net. 2002-04-30. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  23. "Metal/Hard Rock Album Sales In The US As Reported By Soundscan" Archived 2002-10-30 at the Wayback Machine . Blabbermouth.net. 2002-03-09. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  24. "Salt Lake City's Heavy Metal Shop Struggles To Survive In Internet Age". Blabbermouth.net. 2005-11-23. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  25. 2001 encyclopedia "Slayer". Rolling Stone Music. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  26. "Divine Intervention - Slayer | Billboard.com". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  27. Hung, Steffen. "Australian charts portal". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  28. Steffen Hung. "Austria Top 40 - Hitparade Österreich". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  29. musicline.de / PhonoNet GmbH. "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". musicline.de. Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  30. Steffen Hung. "Dutch charts portal". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  31. Steffen Hung. "New Zealand charts portal". charts.nz. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  32. Steffen Hung. "Swedish Charts Portal". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  33. Steffen Hung. "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". Hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  34. "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyHit.com. 2000-03-16. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  35. "Gold & Platinum - November 24, 2010". RIAA. Archived from the original on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  36. "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): 2xPlatinum". Cria.ca. Archived from the original on 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2010-11-24.