For anyone who remains unclear about the relationship between hardcore punk and speed metal, Slayer's hommage to their roots on Undisputed Attitude hammers home the point with relentless fervor. The band attacks some of the terse rants from its formative years (selections from the likes of Minor Threat, T.S.O.L. and Verbal Abuse) with a ferocity that's as raw as that of Slayer's mentors' yet as refined as you'd expect from 14-year veterans of precision metal. Most of the tracks pummel past like a speeding thermonuclear reaction, but a couple (notably D.I.'s "Richard Hung Himself") actually move slowly enough to show off some brutally graceful rhythmic shifts. Of the three Slayer originals, "Can't Stand You" approaches the light-speed (metal) barrier, while the newly written "Gemini" leaves room for brooding and a more complex instrumental workout. Some punk purists will undoubtedly cry foul, but when the dust settles it's hard to argue with Slayer's mettle. (RS 735)
(Posted: Feb 2, 1998)
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