Review by Luka on May 6, 2001.
The early 90’s officially marked the end of the tremendous commercial success of thrash metal. The explosions of the 1990 masterpieces: Painkiller, Rust In Peace, Seasons In Yhe Abyss, Arise etc. died out as fast as they grew. Each metal giant now faced a choice. Metallica, Megadeth and Iron Maiden were taking the lighter and more melodic path, Sepultura was getting accustomed to the commercial nu-metal style with "Roots", and others like Testament went for the more extreme paths of death metal. Slayer, on the other hand seemed to keep their style more or less exactly the same as on the previous album. Did the "tried & true" method work?
Hell no. What were they thinking? Divine Intervention is one of the weakest Slayer releases ever. The album, while faster and more aggressive, seems like a second rate rehash of the Seasons In The Abyss material, with the faintest hint of punk. The guitar is really distorted and it’s hard to make out the riffs. The solos are the usual short and pointless King/Hanneman crap. I don’t think they’re ever the same twice, if you know what I mean. The lead guitar, however, has a nice sound and there is some really cool melody to be found here, most notably on the title track and "213".
All the songs seem lifeless and monotonous and it’s really hard to tell them apart. Tom Araya’s voice alters very little throughout the disc and he’s changed his style from the spoken-word form from "Seasons..." to a somewhat annoying deafening scream. There’s seemingly nothing different with King and Hanneman’s playing, but the new drummer, Paul Bostaph, is just amazing and breathes a bit of life into the otherwise boring album.
Bottom Line: It’s not a CD you wanna listen to again and again.
Rating: 6 out of 10