Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Ashing of the Christ


(See, that's how ya do it!  Just the swords!  No need for the biped goat-lord.)

HAUNTING THE CHAPEL
6/1984

A fourteen-minute long EP written, recorded and released to tie over the frothing, growling, growing long-maned masses who needed less Sayer and more Slayer, lest their roiling guts blast out of their stomachs and drench the carpets of their bedrooms like so much spilled beer.

"Chemical Warfare"--This live favorite is basically the aural equivalent of the "shot on shitteo" movies that were likely flickering in the background as Kerry and Jeff were songwriting. 

There is something fascinatingly horrible about being able to "destroy without destruction," to leave a trail of corpses fully-formed (if rendered grotesque, depending on the method of attack) and no messy blood for the ground to absorb.  To leave the masses confused, gasping, and vomiting.  To stare down in wide-eyed bliss and scream, "It's too late for you!  All your gas masks are obsolete!  You pissed on all that gauze for nothing!"

Slayer nearly qualify as a deadly agent themselves, playing with a grave purpose that signals their transition from NWOBHM fanboys to grim arbiters.  (Beware, guitar solos may cause fasciculation.)  I recommend sitting back, remaining still, and accepting your bloodless demise…"the lords of Hell await."

"Captor of Sin"--Starts off with a solo, so clearly we are in for some death from above.

Slayer do their very best with the hoary "Satan rapes random harlots, Antichrist baby bound to desecrate a womb eventually" theme.  I would definitely not want to be alone in any room--no matter the dimensions and lighting--with this Tom Araya. 

The Slayer vision of what Satan's boudoir looks like is pretty wild:  a floor constructed from at least three different materials, walls painted an array of palette-defying hues that affect the heart rate if stared at for too long of a time, and a bed with human limbs for posts and intestines for mattress stuffing.

Spread your wings as I penetrate your soul
Feel the fire shoot through your body as I slip into your throne



As a total work of art, "Captor of Sin" is far superior to The Jade Unicorn (both novel and film adaptation).  I would never have thought to refer to my vagina as a "throne"….but as a throne is a magnificently-kept place to sit upon, well, why wouldn't I?

"Haunting the Chapel"--Zombies attack a church chock fulla chumps?   This isn't a music record, it's the best horror anthology never filmed!

The zombies were also obviously never shot, as the subjugation is absolute and ferocious. 

Headbanging the air is for the weak.  Find-a-wall.  Or at least one that Dave Lombardo didn't fucking pulverize already.


While touring to support Haunting the Chapel, Slayer made a stop in San Antonio, TX.  A moment of truth awaited them.  They would need to become the real-life conquering villains of their songs.  A local metal band also named Slayer had been sowing their oats for a year, gigging faithfully behind their one EP and one LP.  Going by the same name as a band who'd released two well-received records on Brian Slagel's Metal Blade label,  that they were able to tour the country with, could have pressured boys with softer spines into relinquishing their handle.  But that ain't the Texas way.

So the two racket-gangs fought for it the old-fashioned way:  they played a gig together, on 11/30/1984 at the legendary San Antonio venue Villa Fontana.  Texas tried to mess with California Slayer, and California Slayer messed up Texas.  The alternate outcome would have permanently altered the landscape of American metal music, so why 11/30 isn't a sacred date to all of us who love excoriating guitar riffs played at cheetah-fuck speed while an octopus plays drums I have no idea.

(As to the fate of the newly-christened "SA" Slayer, their guitarist went on to play in a band with Neil Turbin.  When the bottom drops, it drops.)

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