Slayer: All 10 Albums Ranked From Worst To Best

10. Divine Intervention

It's important to state from the outset that there is no poor Slayer album (except for Undisputed Attitude, which isn't original material anyway). Divine Intervention is at the bottom of this list partially due to the wealth of strong material elsewhere, but also because its the Slayer album that you are least likely to select if you're showing off the band to someone. Divine Intervention is, really, Slayer by numbers. After their incredible run of five masterpieces on the bounce (how many bands can claim to have achieved that?), this mid-1990s album begins to show a band that is treading water a bit. Of course it would have been easy for them to try to cash in on the alt-metal and industrial sounds that were starting to dominate metal at the time, and the band deserves credit for sticking to their guns, but in an era when even death and black metal no longer sounded new or threatening, Slayer's 1980s style just didn't seem scary anymore. It is also telling that Slayer's weakest album is their first without Dave Lombardo. His pounding drums, which fused the blastbeats of extreme metal with the complexity of avant-jazz, had pulled Slayer's crazy guitar work into pulverising and fascinating spaces during their classic period. Although there have been many monstrous drummers in extreme metal, all acknowledge the trailblazing approach and incomparable skill of Lombardo. Paul Bostaph does a great job, offering very powerful performances, but his style is more measured than the off-the-rails chaos of Lombardo. Again, this highlights that the major problem with the album is that it is too straightforward. There are good tracks here (Serenity In Murder; Killing Fields), but it's ultimately Slayer doing Slayer, only without the unpredictability that had made their sound so enticing previously.
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