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Slayer - "Eternal Pyre" (CD/EP)

Slayer - "Eternal Pyre" CD/EP cover image

"Eternal Pyre" track listing:

1. Cult
2. War Ensemble (Quicktime Video)
3. In the studio (Quicktime Video)

Reviewed by on July 25, 2006

"Cult stands firmly on its own and if the song is any indicator of what we can expect on the rest of 'Christ Illusion,' then fans are in for a treat"

On June 6, 2006 (6.6.06), Slayer released "Eternal Pyre" in lieu of their delayed upcoming album "Christ Illusion." However, "Eternal Pyre" is little more than a CD-single containing the new song "Cult" and a couple of video extras in Quicktime format. What more could a Slayer fan ask for besides the entire new album already?

"Cult" is what one would come to expect from modern day Slayer. The track starts off with some guitar work reminiscient of "South of Heaven" and "God Send Death" before launching into the meat of the song, which is mostly in line with what one would expect following "God Hates Us All." Cult brings in the typical Slayer heavy groove that is repeated with the chorus throughout the song before launching in to its pure speed-thrash metal tirade against Christianity. Just past its halfway mark, the song slows to the heavy groove in near-breakdown form before spiraling off into its second (of three) and most extensive guitar solo.

Lyrically, "Cult" is perhaps Slayer's most over-the-top attack on Christianity yet. With lyrics like "Religion is hate, Religion is fear, Religion is war, Religion is rape, Religion is obscene, Religion is a whore" repeated as a chorus three times throughout the song. The song further targets Jesus Christ by name throughout with lyrics such as "The target's fucking Jesus Christ; The one I'd love to sacrifice; I'd nail him to the crucifix." Despite the possible distraction of the over-the-top lyrics, "Cult" stands firmly on its own and if the song is any indicator of what we can expect on the rest of "Christ Illusion," then fans are in for a treat.

The videos included on the disc are live footage of "War Ensemble" and some in-studio footage from the making of the album "Christ Illusion." The live video of "War Ensemble" is a good bonus. The in-studio footage is decent as well, but may not meet expectations, as it amounts to only a minute and a half of the band jamming out the main riffs and grooves of "Cult" (without solos or vocals) with a few other studio shots thrown into the mix. It's a fun video, but one might wish for more meat and possibly commentary or interesting bits about the making of the album.

While the quality of both clips is decent (even if somewhat low resolution), they seem to have been added as an afterthought. When inserting the CD into your computer there is no menu that appears to allow easy access to this content. Perhaps that is a good thing, in light of recent malicious behavior of major labels (e.g. Sony) installing potentially damaging software on your computer in an effort to thwart piracy. In fact, I had my own misgivings about putting the CD in my primary computer and I first "tested" it on another computer for this very reason. In that respect, I was relieved when I was not confronted with any licensing agreements or installation prompts when trying to access the video content on the CD.

While it doesn't pack a lot of bang for the buck, "Eternal Pyre" serves its purpose well as a teaser for Slayer's upcoming album, "Christ Illusion." "Cult" is a great track that can easily earn its value is repeated plays. Although the videos are decent extras for die-hard fans, nothing can fully quench our watering mouths for the new album, especially after the taste of the first single.

Highs: "Cult" is a great preview of the upcoming album

Lows: The extras were a little skimpy

Bottom line: Eternal Pyre is little more than a teaser for the upcoming "Christ Illusion," but a good one at that.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)