Slayer: All 10 Albums Ranked From Worst To Best

9. Diabolus In Musica

Where Divine Intervention is Slayer-by-numbers, its follow-up Diabolus In Musica is the least "Slayer"-like album on the list. It effectively fails like its precursor for exactly the opposite reason, as it ventures too far from the band's original sound and finds them struggling outside of their comfort zone. Again lacking Lombardo, it is the album that (upon the original drummer's return) the band returns to least frequently. Only stand-out track Stain Of Mind, a down-tuned monster that sounds surprisingly fresh even today, has been performed consistently since. The problem with DIM is that it sees Slayer deviate from their template in the all the wrong ways. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a band pushing the envelope, and Slayer's predictability on Divine Intervention suggested a change was needed, but the band unfortunately fell victim to various irritating sonic and production trends of the late 1990s - none of which suit their sound at all. The most prominent of these, and the one that is most deplored by fans of the band, are the severely down-tuned guitars. When it works, as on the aforementioned Stain Of Mind and the heavy-as-f**k Wicked, Slayer sound refreshed and renewed. They are a far cry from the tired old-schoolers that phoned-in Divine Intervention, and sound like a thrashier version of 90s gods like Sepultura or Pantera. But when it doesn't work... Well, when it doesn't work, they come off as a poor nu-metal band. It's a criticism that many hardcore Slayer fans take issue with, as the band has always been defenders of the old guard, but it's true that their down-tuned guitars make them sound like a faster Korn at times, or less catchy Slipknot. In the hands of any other band, this wouldn't be such a bad thing - but it feels wrong from Slayer, and almost seems like an attempt to cash in on the sounds of the time. The album still comes out on top of Divine Intervention though, because pushing boundaries should always be celebrated over treading water.
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