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CD Review: Slayer - Christ Illusion Special Limited Edition

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Cover of Slayer's 2007 reissue/special limited edition of their 2006 album, Christ Illusion

Cover of Slayer's 2007 reissue/special limited edition of their 2006 album, Christ Illusion

Courtesy of American Recordings/HER Public Relations

The Bottom Line

Slayer makes up for releasing two versions of the same album less than a year apart with some nice additions that will please the hardcore fan.

Pros

  • Two new tracks help round out the length of the shorter original album
  • Overall feel of the album remains consistent
  • “Eyes of the Insane” music video makes the bonus DVD worth the watch

Cons

  • Many fans will wonder why Slayer couldn’t have released the two versions at the same time
  • Only small differences between the two versions of “Black Serenade”

Description

  • Released in 2007 on American Recordings
  • Contains two additional tracks and a bonus DVD
  • Bonus DVD includes music video for “Eyes of the Insane”

Guide Review - CD Review: Slayer - Christ Illusion Special Limited Edition

Last year Slayer celebrated the 20th anniversary of one of metal’s landmark albums with Christ Illusion, a powerful return to form that garnered them plenty of accolades. However, it appears that the first release wasn’t enough: witness the special limited edition of Christ Illusion. The two-disc set includes the full version of the original album, plus two additional tracks (the original, unreleased version of “Black Serenade” and a new song, “The Final Six”) and a DVD with three videos: “Slayer on Tour 07,” a five minute montage of tour video from early 2007; a live performance of “South of Heaven” taken in Vancouver in 2006; and a music video for “Eyes of the Insane,” directed by Tony Petrossian.

Because Slayer culled both “The Final Six” and the alternative version of “Black Serenade” from the original recording sessions (and would have included "The Final Six" if Tom Araya had not needed gall bladder surgery before he could complete the vocals), their inclusion in the special edition does not demand a suspension of sonic disbelief by the listener and they help round out what is, overall, a very short album. I can tell only subtle differences between the two versions of “Black Serenade,” but “The Final Six” stands as an excellent addition to this strong record. On the DVD, the best selection by far is the music video, filmed in the reflection of the twitching eyes of a soldier who cannot process the horror he sees in combat. The other two tracks are fun to watch, but “Eyes of the Insane” is the most powerful anti-war video I’ve seen since Metallica’s video for “One.” Overall, the special edition of Christ Illusion is worth the pickup if you’re a hardcore fan or haven’t yet bought the original.

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