God Hates Us All

Last updated
God Hates Us All
Slayer-GodHatesUsAll.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 11, 2001 (2001-09-11)
Studio The Warehouse Studio, Vancouver
Genre
Length42:14
Label American Recordings
Producer
Slayer chronology
Diabolus in Musica
(1998)
God Hates Us All
(2001)
Christ Illusion
(2006)
Alternative cover
Slayer-GodHatesUsAll-WhiteSleeve.jpg
In order for the album to be sold in more retail outlets, an alternative slipcase cover was created.

God Hates Us All is the ninth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on September 11, 2001 by American Recordings. It was recorded over three months at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, and includes the Grammy Award-nominated "Disciple". Guitarist Kerry King wrote the majority of its lyrics, taking a different approach from earlier recordings by exploring topics such as religion, murder, revenge, and self-control. The band experimented, recording most of the album in C# tuning, with three songs in drop B and two others with seven-string guitars in B♭.

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead guitar work. The lyrical subject matter often deals with criticisms of The Establishment, and at times shares a disdain for Christian dogma resembling that of their black metal counterparts. The language is typically quite direct and denunciatory, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and vocalist and bassist 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 current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.

The Warehouse Studio is a multi-media recording facility and photography studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, owned by Bryan Adams.

Contents

The album's release was delayed due to its explicit cover artwork, which led to alternative slip covers in some retail outlets, difficulties during mixing, and a change of distributor for the band's label. Despite this, God Hates Us All received positive reviews from critics and peaked at number 28 on the Billboard 200.

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

Recording

Slayer began writing lyrics for a new album prior to their appearance at the 1999 Ozzfest. However, every three to four months the band was distracted by commitments to Ozzfest, and worldwide "Tattoo the Earth" tour with Slipknot. [2] Guitarist Jeff Hanneman later admitted "that was the last break. Then we got our shit together." [3] The band's longtime producer, Rick Rubin, was too busy to work with Slayer, and felt "burned out"—unable to create intense music. [2] Araya and King had similar feelings about Rubin, and King remarked he "wanted to work with someone into the heavy-music scene, and Rubin's not anymore. I wanted somebody who knows what's hot, knows what's selling, knows the new techniques, and will keep me on my toes." [4] Rubin recommended two producers, although the first producer was not going to work out personality-wise according to Hanneman. [2] The band gave second candidate, Matt Hyde, a trial on the song "Bloodline", which appeared in the movie Dracula 2000 . The band was pleased with Hyde's work on "Bloodline" and hired him to produce the entire album. [3]

Ozzfest is an annual festival tour of the United States and sometimes Europe featuring performances by many heavy metal and hard rock musical groups. It was founded by Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon Osbourne, both of whom also organise each yearly tour with their son Jack Osbourne. The Ozzfest tour has featured bands of a variety of genres within heavy metal and hard rock, including alternative metal, thrash metal, industrial metal, metalcore, hardcore punk, deathcore, nu metal, death metal, post-hardcore, gothic metal and black metal. Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath have played the tour several times over the years.

Tattoo the Earth was a concert tour from 2000 to 2002 in the United States. The tour, with part of it taking place during the summer, posed a challenge to Slipknot in particular. The band performed onstage in masks, and even under the best circumstances, they found them uncomfortable. The band's drummer Joey Jordison commented, "Everyone passes out two or three times per tour. It never happens 'til the end of the show. People are like, 'I don't know how you do it with the mask on, let alone one-piece wool coveralls in 110 degree heat.' But it's the music that drives us, and we've built up a tolerance for it." Scott Alderman, the festival's creator, believed that the tour would help "catch the vibe" between the musical artists and the body artists, saying in a prepared statement, "Nothing represents the counter youth culture like music and body art. It is a statement of purpose and a passport to another way of living. We're simply creating a venue where it can be expressed."

Slipknot (band) American heavy metal band

Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. The band was founded in 1995 by percussionist Shawn Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray. After several lineup changes in its early years, the band settled on nine members for more than a decade: Crahan, Jordison, Gray, Craig Jones, Mick Thomson, Corey Taylor, Sid Wilson, Chris Fehn, and Jim Root. Gray died on May 24, 2010, and was replaced during 2011–2014 by guitarist Donnie Steele. Jordison left the band due to illness on December 12, 2013. Steele left during the recording sessions for .5: The Gray Chapter. The band found replacements in Alessandro Venturella on bass and Jay Weinberg on drums. After the departure of Jordison, as of December 2013 the only founding member in the current lineup is percussionist Crahan. Fehn left the band due to lawsuit on March 18, 2019.

God Hates Us All was to be recorded in a Hollywood studio; however, the band relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia due to the availability of cheaper studio time. Hyde recommended a studio to the band—The Warehouse Studio (owned by Bryan Adams) as he had previously worked there. [5] The studio was altered to make it "feel like home" for Slayer; as opposed to the setting for, in King's words, the "lightweight Canadian pop singer". This consisted of adding incense burners, candles, dimmed lights and pornography on the walls. Two banner flags of two middle fingers were also hung up. Vocalist Tom Araya says "that was basically the attitude of Slayer in the studio. We had a red devil head on one of the speakers. We had a skull on another. That's the kind of shit we put up. Spooky stuff that makes you feel at home." [3]

Hollywood Neighborhood of Los Angeles in California, United States

Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry, including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.

Vancouver City in British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver is a coastal seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada with over 5,400 people per square kilometre, which makes it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America behind New York City, Guadalajara, San Francisco, and Mexico City according to the 2011 census. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada according to that census; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. Roughly 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage. Vancouver is classed as a Beta global city.

Bryan Adams Canadian singer-songwriter

Bryan Guy Adams is a Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer, guitarist, photographer, philanthropist and activist.

Hyde used the digital audio workstation Pro Tools during the engineering, production, and audio mixing stages of the album. Slayer members wanted to keep the use of computer effects to a minimum, only to include a small amount of delay and distortion. [2] As with previous recordings, the drum tracks were recorded first. Drummer Paul Bostaph follows a simple rule suggested by Rubin when in the studio: "The perfect take is the one that felt like it was going to fall apart but never did." Seven-string guitars were used on the tracks "Scarstruck" and "Here Comes the Pain," the first time Slayer had done so. King was at the B.C. Rich guitar company (manufacturer of his signature model, the KKV) and decided to borrow a seven string guitar. After writing one song, King ordered a seven string as he thought "there's no point having one tuning for just one song," so he wrote another, going on to comment "you don't have to be good to make up a seven-string riff." [3] The album features two songs on seven string guitars, four songs with guitars tuned to Drop-B and all other songs in C# Standard. [5]

Digital audio workstation electronic system designed primarily for editing digital audio

A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an electronic device or application software used for recording, editing and producing audio files. DAWs come in a wide variety of configurations from a single software program on a laptop, to an integrated stand-alone unit, all the way to a highly complex configuration of numerous components controlled by a central computer. Regardless of configuration, modern DAWs have a central interface that allows the user to alter and mix multiple recordings and tracks into a final produced piece.

Pro Tools digital audio workstation

Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation developed and released by Avid Technology for Microsoft Windows and macOS which can be used for a wide range of sound recording and sound production purposes. Pro Tools can run as standalone software, or operate using a range of external analog/digital converters and internal PCI Local Bus (PCI) or PCIe audio cards with on-board digital signal processors (DSP) to provide effects such as reverb, equalization and compression. Like all digital audio workstation software, Pro Tools can perform the functions of a multitrack tape recorder and audio mixer, along with additional features that can only be performed in the digital domain, such as non-destructive editing, using the Undo feature.

Record producer Individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Lyrical themes

God Hates Us All explores such themes as religion, murder, revenge, and self-control. King wrote a majority of the lyrics, which he based on "street" subjects which everyone could relate to, rather than "Satan this," "Satan that," and "the usual Dungeons & Dragons shit" from the band's previous records. [3] King told Guitar World :

Self-control, an aspect of inhibitory control, is the ability to regulate one's emotions, thoughts, and behavior in the face of temptations and impulses. As an executive function, self-control is a cognitive process that is necessary for regulating one's behavior in order to achieve specific goals.

Satan Figure in Abrahamic religions

Satan, also known as the Devil, is an entity in the Abrahamic religions that seduces humans into sin or falsehood. In Christianity and Islam, he is usually seen as either a fallen angel or a jinn, who used to possess great piety and beauty, but rebelled against God, who nevertheless allows him temporary power over the fallen world and a host of demons. In Judaism, Satan is typically regarded as a metaphor for the yetzer hara, or "evil inclination", or as an agent subservient to God.

<i>Dungeons & Dragons</i> Fantasy role-playing game

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.

I definitely wanted to put more realism in it, more depth. God Hates Us All isn't an anti-Christian line as much as it's an idea I think a lot of people can relate to on a daily basis. One day you're living your life, and then you're hit by a car or your dog dies, so you feel like, "God really hates me today." [4]

The song "Threshold" is about reaching one's limit with a person in a situation where one is about to break—and are about to blow up as they get "under your skin", while "Cast Down" features a fallen angel who falls into drugs. [3] "God Send Death" and "Deviance" take up the idea of killing people for pleasure. Both songs were written by Hanneman. Having read several books on serial killers, Hanneman came to the conclusion he could only kill someone if they really "pissed him off", and decided he was unable to kill someone he did not know just for power. He later admitted he was trying to get into that person's mind; "why do they get off on it? Without being angry, just killing for the sake of killing and getting off on it. I just wanted to get into that mindset." [6]

While other members went to local pubs, Araya spent his free hours reading factual books regarding serial killers, including Gordon Burn's Happy Like Murderers: The Story of Fred and Rosemary West. Araya was seeking inspiration, and aimed to sound convincing while singing the lyrics, avoiding himself to sound like a gimmick. [3] Araya sang the lyrics more "over-the-top" than done on previous albums, as King's writing style is more "aggro." [4] This resulted in Kerrang! reviewer Jason Arnopp describing the album's lyrics as "so packed with foul and abusive language that it sounds as if D-12 and the Sopranos family were going head-to-head in a celebrity swearathon." [7]

Cover art and album title

God Hates Us All was originally intended to be named Soundtrack to the Apocalypse. However, Araya suggested that the title would be better used for a box set, which the band released in 2003. [8] The phrase God Hates Us All originates from the song "Disciple", during which the line is repeated over the chorus. The lyrics are in reference to God's allowance of acts such as suicide and terrorism, while seemingly doing nothing to prevent them [2] [5] (see problem of evil). A member of the heavy metal band Pantera suggested using "God Hates Us All" for a shirt design after King played the song to the band. King agreed, although he thought the phrase would have more impact as the album title. [9]

The original album cover depicts a Bible spiked with nails placed in a pentagram star shape, covered in blood with the word "Slayer" burnt across it. The liner notes intersperse the lyrics between passages from the biblical Book of Job, partly crossed out with a black marker. The idea was suggested by the band's record company, although King wanted more time to develop a better cover. King's concept for the cover was to show nails in the shape of a pentagram, and have them miss keywords in Bible verses so it appeared as if it had been created by a sociopath who knew where every word appears. He later complained that the outcome was typical of "a record company with absolutely no idea what the fuck they were going to do", and said that the cover "looked like a seventh grader defaced the Bible." A slip insert was placed in front of the covers in major retail outlets. [10]

Reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic 80/100 [11]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [12]
The A.V. Club 7/10 [13]
Christgau's Consumer Guide Rating-Christgau-dud.svg [14]
Entertainment Weekly B+ [15]
Los Angeles Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [16]
PopMatters 7/10 [17]
Q Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [11]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [18]
Rock Hard 8/10 [19]
Spin 8/10 [20]

God Hates Us All was set for release on July 10; however, concerns regarding audio mixing, the album cover, and the band's label—American Recordings—changing distributor, caused the release date to be delayed until September 11, 2001. [21] The release drew a connection to the September 11 attacks, which was the second time Slayer caused controversy towards one of their releases—the video for "Seasons in the Abyss" was filmed in Egypt and released prior to the Gulf War. [5] In its week of release, God Hates Us All debuted at number 28 on the Billboard 200, [22] and sold 51,000 copies. [23] It entered the Canadian Albums Chart at number 9, and debuted at number 18 on the top Internet album chart. [24] As of August 16, 2006, the album has sold 304,000 copies in the United States. [23]

God Hates us All received generally positive reviews from music critics. On Metacritic, the album has a score of 80 out of 100 based on 12 reviews. [11] Kerrang! 's Jason Arnopp described the album as "easily Slayer's most convincing collection since Seasons in the Abyss," awarding the album five out of five. [7] Rolling Stone 's Rob Kemp wrote the record was "Slayer's most brutal record since 1986's immortal (or undead) Reign in Blood," describing the music as "galloping double-bass-drum salvos" which "switch on a dime to furious double-time pummeling, as ominous power chords and jagged shred solos slice and dice with Formula One precision." Kemp awarded the album three and a half out of five. [18] AllMusic reviewer Jason Birchmeier commented that "nearly 20 years into their evolution, Slayer have abandoned the extravagancies and accessibility of their late-'80s/early-'90s work and returned to perfect the raw approach of their early years. A near flawless album," and that Araya's performance possibly makes "the most exhausting Slayer album yet." [12]

Not all critics were impressed with the album. Blabbermouth.net reviewer Borivoj Krgin dismissively labeled the album as "another failure on the band's part to take the initiative and reinvent themselves." Krgin described King as "the weaker and less inventive of the two main songwriters" (King and Hanneman), feeling the album followed "a familiar direction that almost always sounds tired and forced" as a result of King being the album's main songwriter. Krgin also singled out Araya for criticism, and called the vocalist a "hollow shell of his former self, boasting a singing style that is monotonous, devoid of creativity and at times virtually unlistenable." Krgin awarded the record 6 out of 10, and ended the review by observing that "Slayer's rapidly diminishing record sales (Diabolus In Musica has shifted less than 300,000 copies in the US compared to 600–700,000+) as a sign that the band is in dire need of a new lease on life." [25] The Washington Post gave it a mixed review, stating, "Of course, what Slayer says isn't supposed to be nearly as important as how it says it: The riffs are all overdriven and suffocating, and that's a conscious decision. In its simplest form, a song like "Exile" could pass for Motorhead pushed through the blades of a lawn mower, but that's selling Slayer short; guitarist Kerry King actively fights the groove that naturally comes from playing heavy rock-and-roll." [26]

The song "Disciple" received a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Metal Performance" at the 44th Grammy Awards, the band's first nomination. The members cared neither about the nomination nor the award ceremony, and although they did not expect to win, thought it was "cool" to be nominated. [27] The ceremony took place on February 27, 2002, with Tool winning the award for their song "Schism". [28]

Bostaph's departure

Prior to Christmas 2001, Bostaph sustained a chronic elbow injury which hindered his ability to drum, resulting in his decision to leave the band. [29] His third-to-last performance with Slayer was recorded on War at the Warfield . To date, Bostaph has not viewed the footage; he has likened the experience to "breaking up with a girlfriend," and wants to move on with his life. [30] Bostaph does not regret his time spent with the band, and described the period as a high point in his career. [31] Bostaph eventually rejoined Slayer in 2013, once again replacing Dave Lombardo. [32] Without a drummer the band were unable to finish their God Hates Us All tour. Hanneman contacted original drummer Dave Lombardo almost ten years after his departure, and asked him if he would be willing to play for the remainder of the tour. [33] Lombardo accepted the offer, and played for the remaining 21 shows; however, he did not take on a permanent position with the band. [31]

Following the tour, the band continued their search for a permanent drummer, and sought solicitation via demo tape and snail mail. Interested fans sent video recordings of renditions of the songs "Disciple," "God Send Death," "Stain of Mind," "Angel of Death", "Postmortem/Raining Blood," "South of Heaven," "War Ensemble," and "Seasons in the Abyss"; complete with résumés. [34] The band listened to hundreds of demo tapes, and created a "good pile" and "ungood pile," though the "ungood" was much larger. Those whose performances the band were pleased with were offered an audition in Dallas, San Francisco or Peoria, Illinois; many applicants, however, were unable to attend due to flight costs. The band auditioned roughly two to three drummers a day, and their top choice was one of Lombardo's recommendations. [27] However, the band ultimately returned to Lombardo after deciding that they could not find a drummer who suited the job; Lombardo re-joined Slayer and attended music festivals worldwide to promote God Hates Us All and record drums on the 2006 album Christ Illusion . [33]

Track listing

No.TitleLyricsMusicLength
1."Darkness of Christ" Kerry King Jeff Hanneman 1:30
2."Disciple"KingHanneman3:35
3."God Send Death"
Hanneman3:45
4."New Faith"KingKing3:05
5."Cast Down"KingKing3:26
6."Threshold"KingHanneman2:29
7."Exile"KingKing3:55
8."Seven Faces"KingKing3:41
9."Bloodline"
  • Hanneman
  • Araya
  • Hanneman
  • King
3:36
10."Deviance"
  • Hanneman
  • Araya
Hanneman3:08
11."War Zone"KingKing2:45
12."Here Comes the Pain"KingKing4:32
13."Payback"KingKing3:03
Total length:42:14

Bonus DVD materials

Personnel

Slayer
Production

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"Jihad" is a song by the American thrash metal band Slayer which appears on the band's 2006 studio album Christ Illusion. The song portrays the imagined viewpoint of a terrorist who has participated in the September 11, 2001 attacks, concluding with spoken lyrics taken from words left behind by Mohamed Atta; Atta was named by the FBI as the "head suicide terrorist" of the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center. "Jihad" was primarily written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman; the lyrics were co-authored with vocalist Tom Araya.

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

Repentless is the twelfth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. It was released on September 11, 2015, and is the band's first album since the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 2013. Gary Holt plays the guitar in his place while drummer Paul Bostaph makes his first appearance on a Slayer album since 2001's God Hates Us All. The album is also Slayer's first one to be 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 is the longest between two Slayer albums to date.

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