Category Archives: Slayer

World Painted Blood-SLAYER-2009

Obviously this is quite different from Reign in Blood. It has been a long time for our thrashers. More “mature” lyric writing (“Americon”?), cleaner production, tighter playing, fast and precise solos, which are not all over the place is what struck me the first time I heard this.

Heed the Warning

I am sorry but, no. I do not like Slayer all that much in this avtar. I did not listen to Christ Illusion and God Hates Us All, and I have hardly listened to anything they did after Seasons in the Abyss not being much of a Slayer fan. I think it would be accurate to say that I am more of a Reign in Blood fan than a Slayer fan. Even more precisely I am a fan of “solos all over the place screeching their guts out without any conventional sense of scale or melody, heavily distorted almost beyond recognition” which is what was going on in Reign in Blood. Here they sound normal. The production is not muffled and does not add to the music (in a dirty black metallish sense) beyond being clean. The dirtiness is all gone. You can hear every note the guitar plays and each drum beat is thumped out in your face. Also, they have gone mid-tempo in some of the songs some of the time and on the whole are a lot slower now (which is not a bad thing per se).

The whole point being, I do not like Slayer being normal. The chord progressions are expected and do not jump out unexpectedly. Obviously I cannot expect them to be doing Reign in Blood all the time, the band does have to progress (why not? Motorhead?) but still. It all comes down to a question of choice; if you want thrash metal well done, here is one new album you can listen to. But if you want something new, look somewhere else. It is 2009 and this kind of music has been done to the death. But still in the end it is Slayer and they kick ass!!! There are some very good thrash riff headbangers on here, complete with “mature” themes to back them up, no more Satan!! Extremely well-executed (I would expect nor accept anything less from such wily veterans like King, Hanneman and Lombardo anyways), this is your destination for quality metal well done. Also when they go all slow, those parts are extremely well done, and those parts were actually the best part of the album. Tracks specially recommended are “Human Strain”, “Playing with Dolls”, and “Snuff” (which has my favourite all over the place guitar!!)

There you are. Not something I shall listen to much after some days, but well done for the regular fan and metal head. A nice package. Nothing new, but then what is?

-Baba T

Reign in Blood and yet more murderous SLAYER music reviews HERE

Headbanging METAL reviews HERE.

Show No Mercy-SLAYER-1983

The forgotten debut, and for good reason. If Reign in Blood has to be compared with Master of Puppets, in terms of maturity and songwriting skills of the respective bands, then this album can be very easily compared to Kill ‘em All.

Yeah, yeah, its scary.

Yeah, yeah, its scary.

To put it more directly, this is just the start for Slayer, and the X factor that made Slayer, well, Slayer, is almost absent on this album. The only thing that shows the later direction is the speed and some of the riffs. The rest of it is mostly middle of the road thrash, and like it or not (this to the Slayer fans), quite similar to the Kill ‘em All brand of thrash metal, albeit, more Satanic. (I am not saying they were influenced or they tried to rip that one off. its just a little similar).  The solos are also very similar to the Kirk Hammett type of soloing on, let’s say, Whiplash? Instead of the atonal, raging and frantic solos, bearing little or no relation to conventional melodic sense, we have solos which are, well, generic. Think Seek and Destroy from Kill ‘em All, think Anthrax, think Megadeth. Also, the while the production of Reign in Blood was crystal clear, this is badly produced. The vocals are too high in the mix, while the rest of the guitars sound muffled and coming from somewhere else. You know what I mean. The black metal ethic of production. Think Venom, early Bathory.

So no, if you are going to listen to Slayer, please start with Reign In Blood, and unless you are a very big fan, you are welcome to end it there. Listening to recordings after Reign in Blood, I realized that whereas Metallica kept reinventing themselves, Slayer kept doing the one trick (well, ok…..3 tricks??) pony they rode to success on Reign in Blood. So a yay! for Reign in Blood, yet again, and a Nay! For the cartoonish mess that is Show No Mercy.

-Baba T

If you are convinced, then check out Reign in Blood and other SLAYER reviews, HERE.

Feeling manly? More METAL reviews HERE.

Reign in Blood-SLAYER-1986

The Controversial Cover

The Controversial Cover

Yes. Reign in Blood. The epitome of ugly atonal thrash. The highlight of Speed Metal. The most famous metal album ever. (As famous as Master of Puppets, I guess).  I am not a big Slayer fan, in fact, if asked to choose between the Metallica/Megadeth form of metal and the Slayer brand, I would inevitably pick the former, but at times when I am in the mood for this brand of metal, Slayer is the band I would pick always.

Whereas Metallica at this point of time (1986) where playing complex, carefully calculated heavy melodic symphonic thrash metal, Slayer took the diametrically opposite route, preferring to play thrash metal that leaned to the hardcore punk side. Short songs (not lasting, on an average more than 3 and a half minutes), absolutely chaotic, frenzied solos, and an absolutely rampaging rhythm section is what marked out Slayer from the herd and inspired the genre we know now as Death Metal.

Tom Araya prefers to spits out his vocals in a casual manner, rather than strain his voice overmuch by screaming; that makes them different in retrospect, us weary metal-heads being used to “vocalists” scream and grunt and howl their guts out. He does take his voice to the high points occasionally though and it does sound despairing and hopeless, thereby complementing the riffs and mood of the atonal guitars, therefore, no complaints. The time signatures change abruptly, sometimes they go along steadily, but then the solo busts out of nowhere which gives Dave Lombardo the signal to absolutely, fucking smash his kit into oblivion.

The greatest song that Slayer, I think, has ever done, has to be on here, and it is named “Raining Blood”. Right from the ominous guitar screams in the beginning with the rain in the background, to the cathartic finale, you just do not get a chance to stop your head from banging. This is the undoubted highlight and the definition of Slayer. “Angel of Death” is the other highlight, featuring the most intense riffs that the dual attack of Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King ever spit out of their ugly dissonant nihilist guitars.

The main thing to lookout for would be something which struck me the first time I listened to these guys. It is the solo. Just listen to the guitar solo at the end of Raining Blood. Please. That is Slayer. Something you will not find anywhere else.

-Baba T


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