The main disc was [disc] one and then we had other songs that we played a different night that we added to the package, and that was our first live experience, the first anyone could have Slayer live unless it was a tape-trading kind of thing from way back when. So it was kinda cool, you know, we were proud of it.
The release was intended to give them time to decide what their next album's style would be. Text in the book The Great Rock Discography said that it was released after the band had gained popularity, saying "Slayer had finally made it into the metal big league and summing up the first blood-soaked chapter of their career, the group duly released the live double set." It was also released to commemorate their 10th anniversary.
The album booklet includes a photo gallery with pictures dating back to 1982. The majority of the photos come from Kevin Estrada, who has said:
Usually I choose my favorite shots that I've taken, and then I give them to the band and the choose the ones they like best. It's funny, because you'd think Slayer would have a definite vision for what they want to do with the photos, but they don't. I say 'What do you want to do?' and they say 'I don't know, what do you want to do?' But it works well, because everything I do they're happy with. They like to work quick — they don't want to do any two-hour photo shoots — and our personalities work really well, because I work quickly too.
Thom Jurek, a staff writer for AllMusic, gave the album a rating of three out of five stars. Jurek gave notice to the album's sound quality, telling readers that it does not "capture the sheer overblown intensity of the unit in a concert setting," but that it comes closer than one may imagine. Jurek also gave note to how Rick Rubin made the two-discs sound like it were recorded at one gig, writing "Producer Rick Rubin stays out of the way; his production seems to be in terms of shaping the live sound to make it sound like this is all one gig."Entertainment Weekly's David Browne said that it was an "accurate aural snapshots of what it's like to be part of a crowd craning to see the action on a stage that seems two miles away." Browne also said that "they're perfect examples of the sad current state of the once-proud live rock album."Robert Christgau gave the album a star ("Honorable Mention is a worthy effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well like."), saying, "praise the Lord--I can hardly understand a word they're singing (Hell Awaits)." Joel McIver, author of The Bloody Reign of Slayer said that it was regarded as one of the best live albums released by a heavy metal band.
The album charted on three different charts. On November 9, 1991, it peaked at number 55 on the Billboard 200. On January 13, 1992, the album entered the Media Control Charts, where it peaked at number 77. It maintained a number on the chart until February 2, 1992, giving it a total of three weeks on the chart. On December 2, 1991 it entered the UK Album Charts, peaking at number 29. It stayed on the chart for two weeks.