A Review of the Album "Christ Illusion" by American Thrash Metal Band Slayer
An Introduction to Christ Illusion
American thrash metal giants or legends whatever fans want to call them have been around since 1981 and created music that has created controversy and even though they may seem like a one-dimensional band they are not a bad thrash band at all. Their 2006 studio album "Christ Illusion" is am improvement from their 2001 album called God Hates Us All. It also marks the first time in the band’s history that the original lineup reunited since 1990.
The Songs Flesh Storm and Catalyst
The album starts with the heavy song called Flesh Storm. The song talks about how the news media makes a huge profit about inhumane or violent news stories. There seems to be no cure for war but the best antidote for that is to start a peace movement. The anger and aggression in the music is evident as this band lyrically dives into the spirit of competition with the song called Catalyst. In life we will do what we can to set our own standards and live by our own values. Some of us know no other way to live other than to compete against others. In trying to interpret the album’s title, Slayer may be trying to suggest that the belief in Christ is just an illusion. There are those that say it is tough to prove the existence of GOD but the Bible says that GOD created human life and the world. Nonetheless, Christ Illusion is off to a rather solid start and it may be better musically than Slayer’s previous full-length album God Hates Us All which had come out in 2001.
The Songs and the Controversy Surrounding Christ Illusion
Amidst all of the controversy that the album has received, Christ Illusion for this writer remains a memorable album because I was told about this album by one of my former managers and it is quite a good album by Slayer even though they may be a one-dimensional thrash metal band. They are good at what they do and instead of excess profanity they use speed, technicality, and good songs to create a good album even for American thrash metal standards. Jihad in particular is one of those songs that has raised possibly the most controversy of all the songs in this album and the lyrics show why this is the case. Consfearacy is an anti-government song that discusses what happens when the economy falls down very far and the government ends up not being trusted by the population. As the lyrics say there is no one in control when the government is the enemy. Fast forward to today in 2018 and those of us living in the United States know which person utters such rhetoric. I think that this band knew back in 2006 what was going to happen to the United States as the population has been dumbed-down as they have become addicted to social media. Black Serenade is a song about someone that is driven by an insane mind as an evil force is looking at the straight in the eye and causing them pain and fear. Eyes of the Insane is a song that describes what a soldier has gone though and he is suffering through post-traumatic stress syndrome and he keeps seeing these flashbacks and he is not able to rest.
The Song Cult and Final Thoughts About Christ Illusion
Cult is a song that in terms of the riffing does not start in the usual Slayer style of speed but it builds up slowly. The song is once again a song about a criticism against established organized religion as religion is seen as being counterproductive to society.
Christ Illusion did so well that it ended up ranking at #5 on the US Billboard 200! How about that for a band that has been around in 4 separate decades and written such great songs as Seasons in the Abyss? Cult is the favorite song of my former manager Jeff Henderson and I am grateful to him for introducing me to this album. Cult was a way for the late Jeff Hanneman to analyze the flaws of religion and there are flaws when people get too involved in religion no matter the faith. Overall, “Christ Illusion” musically still has the speed the Slayer has been known for and they manage to at least slow things down a bit to make themselves seem musically more diverse but these guys have been known for speed, aggression, and lyrics about war, anti-religion, and politics. The best songs in Christ Illusion are several including Flesh Storm, Catalyst, Jihad, Black Serenade, and Cult.
© 2018 Ara Vahanian