METAL / Slayer

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

3 thoughts on “Reign in Blood-SLAYER-1986

  1. Pingback: World Painted Blood-SLAYER-2009 « thatdoesntsoundright

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