The album begins with what are perhaps the two finest At the Gates songs, “Blinded by Fear” and the title track. “Blinded by Fear” was released as a video and received relatively frequent rotation on MTV. “Slaughter of the Soul” follows in a similarly speedy vein and features some of the band’s most complex riffs to date. “Cold” features an awesome solo from guest guitarist Andy LaRocque of King Diamond and Death fame. “Under a Serpent Sun” is the longest song on the album, for most of the others are under three and a half minutes. “Into the Dead Sky” is one of two instrumental tracks on the album and offers a brief respite before the onslaught continues. “Suicide Nation” begins with the sound of a gun being loaded and only sounds more violent from there on out. “World of Lies” begins with a surprisingly Sabbath-esque riff before tearing it up once more. “Unto Others” breaks up the thrashing with a seemingly random acoustic bridge. “Nausea” fully reveals the huge influence of Slayer on the band; see the insane whammy bar dive at the end of the guitar solo for proof. “Need” ends with an ethereal section highly reminiscent of Entombed’s “Left Hand Path”. The second instrumental track, “The Flames of the End” actually sounds a lot like the ending credits’ music in a video game before closing out the album with an unsettling wave a feedback. The bonus tracks on this particular edition will mostly be of interest die-hard fans. That said, "The Dying" is worth mentioning, for it was a song recorded for the album that had not been released on the original.
Like a lot of death metal, ‘Slaughter of the Soul’ is plagued by one initial problem: monotony. Save for a few tracks, first-time listeners will almost undoubtedly confuse some songs with others and maybe even forget about some entirely. After all, many death metal albums are sound-over-substance works in the regard that they are supposed to instill a certain mood rather than create memorable tunes. However, with repeated listens, one begins to see the quality in each individual song. This is what truly makes ‘Slaughter of the Soul’ a monolithic achievement in metal music: it combines the uncompromising vision of death metal with the melody and memorability of traditional heavy metal and thrash metal, all while retaining a higher sense of perception that eludes all but the greatest metal bands. Essential to death metal and thrash metal fans alike.