It's easy to love Slayer. Hey it's right there in the title -- they slay. But the pioneering L.A.-area quartet hasn't played all aces, even discluding that inessential covers album. So it was with a measure of relief that I noted the results of a Metal Injection poll (above, as of 04.03.09), which ranked 1990's riveting Seasons In The Abyss the second best Slayer record. I'm a big person, so I can put aside the vaguely stubborn universal acceptance of Reign In Blood as the band's masterpiece. Yeah you're welcome.
The results are a bit misleading though, since the poll asks for the reader's favorite non-Reign album, as opposed to a numbered ranking of Slayer's oeuvre. So I see how few Metal people would select Diabolus In Musica as the silver medalist (agreed), but had the poll followed the latter format, I bet the lithe and vital Diabolus lands behind Seasons and South of Heaven. It definitely would not reside in the basement below the arid, tuneless Divine Intervention. And it rips heavier and more consistently than God Hates Us All, a silly record also hampered by hokey, borderline-juvenile lyrics. And come on, Hell Awaits is Slayer on training wheels, friends. Even with the slight but lame nu-metalisms (ick Araya raps on "Stain Of Mind" and "Love To Hate"), Diabolus is catchy, heavy, and classic, with a furious opening and a deadly finale. Like Reign In Blood, right?