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SLAYER - Soundtrack To The Apocalypse


In celebration of the band’s two decades of existence, the long-awaited box set has finally arrived, delivering the definitive collection of one of metal’s most important and influential acts. Discs One and Two serve as “best of’s” with the appropriate “Angel Of Death” opening up the proceedings. It’s quickly followed up with re-mixed, rearranged version of “Criminally Insane” as well as a remake of the band’s debut track, “Aggressive Perfector”(both previously only available on Reign In Blood’s re-issue). Disc Two, which covers the Paul Bostaph era, also features eight rare tracks taken from various soundtrack compilations and Japanese imports, including EXPLOITED, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, and IRON BUTTERFLY covers. Of the Japanese import material, “Unguarded Instinct” and “Scarstruck” are two of the better tracks and could have easily substituted for any number of songs on the U.S. versions of Diablous In Musica and God Hates Us All. “Wicked” and “Human Instinct” on the other hand, offer two of the slowest songs SLAYER has ever written so you can understand why they were not included on any albums given the band’s reputation for speed. Disc Three, “The Shit You’ve Never Heard,” sees the band digging deep into the archives for some real rarities such as the earliest known recording, a live version of the never before released, “Ice Titan,” which draws upon an IRON MAIDEN influence (a riff was later used as part of “Altar of Sacrifice"). SLAYER then revisits Tom Araya’s garage for two classic versions of “The Antichrist” and “Fight ‘Till Death." There’s a slew of extremely rough live songs that take up the majority of the disc but there is also the original version of “Piece By Piece” complete with Araya’s bass intro. Jeff Hanneman breaks out some old home recordings of early renditions of “Raining Blood” and “South of Heaven” with the songs in their earliest stages. Disc Four, the DVD dubbed “Shit You’ve Never Seen,” offers some of the rawest SLAYER material available with an almost bootleg quality to them. “Die By The Sword” and “Aggressive Perfector” feature the band in full spikes, leather and corpsepaint. The video footage improves somewhat with three tracks from the first show for Reign In Blood complete with some entertaining in-between song banter from Araya. The next three tracks feature pro-shot footage from the band’s Clash Of The Titans Tour. There’s a variety of somewhat pointless skippable interview footage and award cermonies but the DVD closes with the reunited original line-up playing in front of legions of French fans. Also included is a comprehensive, well-researched color booklet in which many lesser known facts and photos are revealed, including many honest insights from the band from everything from their infamous lawsuit, crowd violence, lyrical content, and the possibility that I might be reviewing a box set from a band called WINGS OF FIRE. The expanded “Ammo Box” edition features larger sized pages for the book, a wall tapestry, a live bonus disc of the reunited original line-up presented in the blood pack. All in all, Soundtrack To The Apocalypse is an excellent collection from one of metal’s most notorious acts. What better gift to give someone on Jesus’ birthday? (American Recordings)