In Brief

* * * Slayer, "God Hates Us All," American Recordings. Hard-core and hellish as ever, the godfathers of death metal solidify their place in the "heavy" hall of fame with their eighth studio release, a combative collection of anthems that maintains the drama of their "Reign in Blood"-era sound and spikes it with thrashing punk riffs and even some industrial beats. Merciless and rhythmic, "God"--like most of the recordings from Slayer's almost two-decade career--provides a brutal blueprint for longevity that many of today's nu-metal grumblers would be wise to follow.

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Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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