#920: What was Slayer’s first Top 10 album in the US?

Q #1,916: What was Slayer’s first Top 10 album in the US?

A.

Slayer’s very first Top 10 album chart appearance came with the release of Divine Intervention in 1994, shooting up to the #8 spot. Despite being viewed as a more commercially successful album, the previous effort ‘Seasons In The Abyss’ only made it to #40 on the charts, which was still higher than the more die hard favorites ‘South Of Heaven’ at #57, and ‘Reign In Blood’ at #94.

‘Divine Intervention’ sold a monumental 93,000 copies in its first week, which more than likely served as a warm welcome for new Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph. The album would hold the top spot for Slayer releases for twelve more years, finally being unseated by ‘Christ Illusion’ in 2006 which would hit the chart at #5, and their newest album ‘Repentless’ which is now the highest charting release in the band’s catalog at #4. That means that drummer Paul Bostaph has two top ten albums with Slayer, while Dave Lombardo only has one; the same amount of top ten records that Gary Holt has with the band.

Their record label thought the album lacked a “hit song” prior to its release, but selling 90K records in one week was a good start. It was Slayer’s first album in four years, and as a result the album was given far more production time than any record they had done previously. Even with Paul Bostaph injecting new energy and life into the tracks with his furious fills and explosively aggressive style, the songs appear to be far more deliberate in nature. With the band taking so much extra time on the songs’ execution, they felt that they could’ve paid more attention to the overall post production of the record, and have commented that this would be the number one contender for a re-master should the opportunity ever present itself.

Half of the ‘Divine Intervention’ was performed on the band’s first home video release, ‘Live Intrusion,’ in 1995, which likely helped propel the album to its eventual Gold status.

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