Holy man open up your eyes
To the ways of the world you've been so blind
As the walls of religion come crashing down
How's the ignorance taste the second time around?
- New Faith.
Released on the 10th of September, 2001, God Hates Us All is a thrash metal album by Slayer.
Hate and disgust at religion is the recurring theme throughout the album, as evidenced by the controversial album cover which shows a blood-splattered Bible. The lyrics are as direct as the cover art; Slayer are not afraid to let their views be known in harsh and unforgiving verse.
While it is not a good idea to let music like this consume your life and fill it with the messages within, we all feel extreme anger and disgust at humanity at times. Angry metal music like this can be one way of helping us deal with it.
The first track, Darkness of Christ (1:30) is an introduction more than a musical piece. The distorted-sounding lyrics of the track speak of a World were religion has collapsed, leaving man to face the harsh truth of reality. Many songs on the album seem to be about what might happen if Christian morals were lost and anarchy reigned. Unlike most introductions, especially metal ones, this is worth listening to because of a strangely-addictive backing beat, and because it leads nicely into the next track -
Disciple (3:35) is a song that attacks the mindless drones of Christianity and their beliefs, calling them hypocritical, sheltered and blind. It instead advocates a radically-different philosophy of hate and anger - but with freedom. Whether you subscribe to this radical view or not, musically this track is blistering and skillful. The album has opened wonderfully.
God Send Death (3:45) is a disturbing (but what do you expect from Slayer?) track that talks about how God seemingly refuses to save his peoples from genocide and pain however much they plead and endure. The thrash style of the previous song continues, but is musically different enough to still be enjoyable.
The next track, New Faith (3:05) is slightly more controlled and less "thrash". It speaks of a new faith that replaces Christianty after its death as described in Darkness of Christ, and why this faith is superior to the old religion. The new faith represents indulgence over abstinence.
Cast Down (3:26) is a track about how disenchantment with the American Way and system can turn people to drugs and wasting away. Once they're in this situation, the song says, society abandons them and doesn't want to know - "Just a statistic in the shadows of the real world". The strong metal style that is so consistent throughout the album continues in this song.
Threshold (2:29) is a track about hate and anger as a way of life, and about how it can consume and overwhelm an individual. As is typical of metal bands, there doesn't seem to be any justification supplied for the hate and anger - it's just the way things are!
Exile (3:55) appears to be about what happens when all this hate and anger is focused on a particular individual. Whoever inspired this song was spineless, stupid, self-righteous and repulsive according to the lyrics. This is one of the fastest, most 'pumped' songs on the album and is great to headbang along too (if you're into that sort of thing).
Seven Faces (3:41) is a track about someone that embodies the Seven Deadly Sins - they thrive and desire lust, greed and avarice. This is probably the calmest song on the album, but that's not to say it's in any way tame.
Bloodline (3:36) is probably the last of the really strong songs on the album. It's about an individual that embodies evil and all that comes with it - pain, death and destruction. The individual rejects faith and morality and embarks on an orgy of destruction, "preparing to reign for a thousand years".
Starting with a disturbing woman's scream, Deviance (3:08) is a song about a deviant Christ intent on inflicting pain and evil on the World rather than the other way around. The musical style of the song isn't as strong as many of the other tracks on the album, and is a mixture of thrash and non-thrash metal.
War Zone (2:45) is a short, thrashy track about a brutal war to which there is no answer - at the summit of this war stands another, says the song.
Payback (4:32), the last track on the album, is another track about hate against one person, like Exile. The song offers a graphic description of the hate and violence that the singer would like to inflict on this person, and is by no means pleasant. An angry musical style accompanies it.
Here Comes The Pain (3:03) is a track about an anarchy of destruction and pain in a land devoid of morality. One can imagine that this is a direct result of the collapse of religion described in Darkness of Christ.
If you like thrash metal and Slayer, and you are willing to accept the graphic lyrics that go with it, then this album is one of the pinnacles of the art. Angry teenage boys (myself included) lap this up.