It’s with mixed emotions that we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of SLAYER‘s classic fourth album, South Of Heaven, which was released on July 5, 1988. It’s been just over two months since the passing of Jeff Hanneman, whose handiwork is all over the masterpiece, the guitar legend wrote the music for the entire album (three with Kerry King) aside from the JUDAS PRIEST cover of ‘Dissident Aggressor’. To this day the glorious title track which smashes into ‘Silent Scream’, ‘Mandatory Suicide’, ‘Live Undead’, ‘Ghosts Of War’ and the haunting closer ‘Spill The Blood’ are timeless classics that will endure forever.
But how does one follow-up what most people consider the greatest thrash album of all-time, Reign In Blood? The band certainly threw us for a loop with the first notes of the title track, a slow building bruiser with an infectious lead, possibly the band’s finest anthem aside from ‘Angel Of Death’. “Bastard sons begat your cunting daughters” … pure extreme metal poetry.
South Of Heaven – Slayer’s second collaboration with Rick Rubin – peaked at number 57 on the Billboard 200 album chart and on November 20, 1992, became the band’s second album to be certified gold in the US.
BraveWords asked guitarist Kerry King recently about how South Of Heaven has stood the test of time.
“Yeah, that’s always historically been not an album I hate,” King said, “but in between Reign In Blood and Seasons (In The Abyss), it’s my least favourite of the three. At the time, that’s one of the only times we went out of our way, before we wrote any songs, to say, ‘all right, I don’t want it to be like Reign In Blood.’ Not because Reign In Blood sucked or because we were tired of doing that, but because it was so fast we needed things to offset it with live. So we wanted to explore the heavier side of Slayer without having eighty-percent of it being light-speed.”
Here’s a toast to the Jeff Hanneman-driven South Of Heaven!
This year marks DANZIG‘s 25th anniversary and a series of live dates in the U.S. and in Europe will be announced shortly.
A message on the official DANZIG web site reads: “Don’t dare miss this landmark milestone event as DANZIG hits the stage this special year and he’ll be bringing special guest and former MISFITS bandmate Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein on most of the shows. For European fans this will be the first time ever that Danzig and Doyle will be performing live together on stage. Overseas fans most definitely will not want to miss this!”
Glenn Danzig last year performed his “Legacy” career-spanning set featuring songs from DANZIG, SAMHAIN and MISFITS, in a number of U.S. cities. In addition, he played four DANZIG shows where was joined by Doyle Von Frankenstein as a “special guest.”
DANZIG is putting the finishing touches on the as-yet-untitled covers record for a 2013 release.
Florida death metallers CANNIBAL CORPSE have issued the following update:
“Next year marks our 25th year as a band and we are going to celebrate it all year long! Keep an eye out for special releases, new merch designs and announcements! For now, you can check out our 25th-anniversary logo [see below] which will appear as a sleeve print on all our merch printed in 2013. You can pre order shirts with this print now along with our 2013 calendar that features the uncensored Vince Locke art from our 12 releases and marks all of our release dates, birthdays, our favorite horror film release dates and more! Everything can be found here. We never would have made it 25 years without all you die hard fans, get your horns up and blast your CORPSE records all year!”
CANNIBAL CORPSE‘s twelfth studio album, “Torture”, sold 9,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 38 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band’s previous CD, “Evisceration Plague”, also opened with 9,600 units to land at No. 66. That was more than 50 percent higher than the opening tally of CANNIBAL CORPSE‘s 2006 CD, “Kill”, which entered the chart at No. 170 after shifting more than 6,000 copies.
“Torture” was again produced by HATE ETERNAL‘s Erik Rutan at his own Mana Recording Studio in St. Petersburg, Florida as well as Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, and features the maniacal cover art by longtime CANNIBAL CORPSE artist Vincent Locke.