"World Painted Blood" (American Recordings; 2009)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Metal demigods Slayer have a new release -- "World Painted Blood" -- and the music is a bold statement that's been lacking from the heavy music scene in quite some time.

"World Painted Blood" is full of classic Slayer style meaning and the CD rocked hard and heavy right from the strange start. The first track and title track begins with unrecognizable, eerie vocals that thankfully blossom into a great song right and that quality continues right to the last song, "Not Of This God" -- truly a masterful piece of metal.

"World Painted Blood" is blistering metal that rocks with such intensity, it reminds me of why I got into reviewing music in the first place: quality, heavy metal music.

Every metal fan, not just Slayer fans, need to go out and either buy this CD or download it (legally, of course). It is that good and it should be played loud and often and I have done both since I got this CD. I must admit, I am not such a big Slayer fan that I know everything about the band. What I do know is that I really like this recording, a lot. I like this release so much, in fact, I really do not want to finish this review, because I know it means it's time to move on to the next project!

Slayer and "World Painted Blood" fucking rocks so get off your ass, get a copy and BLAST IT!!  You will not be disappointed.

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"Christ Illusion" (American Recordings; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Slayer returns with its original line-up for the first time since 1990 and the result is just what you expected: More of the unrelenting speed, ferocity and controversy that made the band legendary in the first place.

Like Motorhead and AC/DC, Slayer sounds basically the same today as they did when began. "Christ Illusion" is heavy with the "chugga chugga chugga" rhythms, the wailing guitar solos and the screaming growl vocals of Tom Araya. Original drummer Dave Lombardo is back behind the drums kits here and his unique style seems to have brought a breath of fresh air to the band. To my ears, "Christ Illusion" sounds somewhat more inspired than the band's previous "God Hates Us All."

The lyrics here aren't the best in Slayer's career. Sometimes they try too hard to be shocking and the result instead is that they become almost comical. I mean, really, the whole satanic metal thing is such a cliché today, it's become something of a joke, hasn't it? That being said, however, the band's rage can certainly be felt throughout the CD, despite a few badly chosen phrases.

Overall, "Christ Illusion" is another rousing addition to the Slayer catalog. After 25 years, that's pretty damn impressive.

Slayer: Tom Araya - vocals, bass; Kerry King - guitars; Jeff Hanneman - guitars; Dave Lombardo - drums.

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"God Hates Us All" (American Recordings; 2001)

Reviewed by TBJ

It's been two years since Slayer graced us with a dose of Slaytanic Metal, but I'm happy to say it's been worth the wait. Even though I heard some Slayer songs here and there as part of movie soundtracks or whatever I can't say I was too excited. The songs were typically aggressive but something seemed to be missing. 

Well, as soon as I popped in this mother I was totally blown away by the sheer ferocity, something that seemed to lack in a couple of the band's more recent albums. Simply put, Slayer are saying, "Fuck nu-metal, we're back!" Anyone who had fears that Slayer would take the commercial, or easy, route can send their preoccupations out the window. "God Hate Us All" is exactly what the title promises. Slayer are sick of how the world works. Their lyrics are spiteful and Tom's singing has balls again; he basically threw his heart (and throat) into this CD.

King and Hanneman bring new ideas to the sound while maintaining the classic element that emanated in this band's prior, classic albums. I was never a Bostaph fan (I fucking love Lombardo), but something here tells Bostaph really is more than adequate for the job. 

I can't say "God Hates Us All" is a classic - at least not yet. But by the looks and the sounds of it, Slayer have once again become the brutal outsiders in a world of Glam (yes, nu-metal is the new Glam) and glitter. 

And that's just fine with me.

Slayer: Tom Araya - vocals, bass, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman - guitars, Paul Bostaph - drums.

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"Seasons in the Abyss" (American Recordings; 1990)

Reviewed by J. Kennedy

One question: What album managed the rare feat of continuing the Slayer juggernaut while still managing to further develop the bands musicianship? 

The answer? "Seasons In The Abyss." This album may well be my favorite Slayer album. "Reign In Blood" may always be THE Slayer album but this is by far my favorite. Managing to mesh the all out balls-to-the-wall thrash and speed of "Reign..." with the slower and more progressive doom laden riffage of  "South Of Heaven," this one had it all.

Opening up with the live favorite "War Ensemble," SITA hits the ground not just running but bloody well sprinting. Some awesome drum work from Dave Lombardo (who incidentally would leave the group following the subsequent tour and live album "Decade Of Aggression") carries this one though. Slayer have that rare ability to convince you that if you met them in the middle of the street (never mind a dark alley, that's clichéd!) they would rip your heart out and, instead of eating it, feed it back to you ... by shoving it up your ass. 

How lovely, I hear you cry! Well, this is Slayer. 

The next few tracks carry on with this greatness. The riff in "Blood Red" is enough to make grown metalheads weep and be forced to use their copy of the liner notes to Priest's "British Steel" as a tissue to dry their eyes. Ah, the metal of it all! "Spirit in Black" is a good song but far from my favorite on the album. I know, however, that many - including Killswitch Engage axeman 
Joel Stroetzel - find it particularly good. It happens to be the metalcore band member's favorite Slayer track. "Expendable Youth" is next on the menu of metal. A killer riff makes this one a track to remember. It's a true headbanger and it's understandable why it was included in the set for the live album "Decade...." Tom Araya's lyrics are also pretty darn good. No introduction needed for the infamous "Dead Skin Mask," a song penned about the equally infamous Ed Gein - the man "who used to dance with the dead."
Apparently, this charming fellow would wear his victims faces as a mask while dancing in the night. Not one for the kiddies then. This track is made all the more effective by the chilling final passage in which a young child cries out for "Mr. Gein!" to let him out. Very disturbing. 

On the positive side of things, Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King perform some great echoed guitar work on this one. And Tom gives in one of his most convincing madman performances. "Hallowed Point" is a song which more obviously could have been on "Reign In Blood." You could call it a B-side but it's far from that. One of those many Slayer tracks which makes you feel as though you are being beaten about the face with an iron pipe. Moving things back to a more progressive standpoint is the mighty "Skeletons Of Society." This happens to be one of my more favored songs even written by Slayer. Good link between Lombardo's drumming and the guitar mastery which adds a slice of simple, straight-ahead rock to the mix. I don't see why this hasn't become a classic. It has everything; the catchy chorus even comes with the deal. 

"Temptation" soon speeds things up again while somehow (and I still haven't figured out how) managing to keep an air of slowness about the mix. That makes little sense, I know, but it just seems that way to me. Maybe it's just because in the more speedy Slayer songs, Tom sings/screams at about 200mph. In this one, he doesn't. 

"Born Of Fire" sets things up nicely for the finale - that being the awesomely constructed title track, a straightforward headbanging anthem for the masses, "Born of Fire" does just what it says on the tin: spreads like fire. "Seasons In The Abyss" is as epic a track as we will likely see from the guys again. It manages to take the listener on a journey into the unknown while still sounding familiar. 

In fact, the entire record is epic. Managing to merge the two classics, "Reign In Blood" and "South Of Heaven," was a  masterstroke. Who knows where the band would have gone next if Lombardo had not left. Still, he is back in the band now and we have the original Slayer back and primed to release a new album sometime in the near future. 

On to the next one then!

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"Reign in Blood" (American Recordings; 1986)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Of course, I've heard Slayer's music through the years, but I never really delved deep into the band. So, I thought now would be a good time to explore the legend of Slayer, especially since the band is coming to Ventura later this year (with Otep in tow).

The first thing I did was ask editor R. Scott Bolton which Slayer CD he would recommend and he answered "Reign in Blood" without hesitation. So out I went, bought the CD and what can I say? "Reign in Blood" blew my fucking head off! 

To say the music on "Reign in Blood" is tight is a major understatement. This shit cooks like a 747 taking off from start to finish with nary a breath between. Hard-driving, thundering, driven and thought-provoking unlike anything I have heard in metal music ... and this shit came out in 1986!

"Reign in Blood" is what heavy metal should be all about - no excuses, no compromise and no bullshit. The fast music and explosive lyrics mix together in an uncanny concoction of chaotic harmony that is fresh and alive even though this CD was originally released 17 years ago. 

"Reign in Blood" was remastered in 1998, and this CD features a remix of "Criminally Insane" that kicks ass. 

Now I'm ready for the Slayer show when they come to Ventura ... and I can't wait!

Slayer: Tom Araya - vocals and bass; Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King - Guitars; Dave Lombardo - drums.

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"Reign in Blood" (American Recordings; 1986)

Reviewed by TBJ

Rage. Anger. Hate. Aggression. All of these words come to mind when listening to this CD. Slayer. What better way to name a band that produces this type of music? 

In reviewing this CD, let me start with what you won't find here: melodic guitar leads, operatic or soft vocals, keyboards, soft acoustic interludes.

What you will find here - from the apocalyptic cover art, to the angry screamed vocals, to the faster than thou guitar riffs, to the pounding drums - is Metal. Not Motley Crue metal, not latter day Metallica heavy rock, but Satan-Laughing-As-He-Spreads-His-Wings Metal. 

Slayer is about the only one of the Bay Area bands that never had an MTV hit, but they still sell records by the truckload. Why, you ask? Plain and Simple, think of a good riff, speed it up times ten, add some Satan-spawned lyrics and voila!

"Reign in Blood" made history in such a way that even today no one has come close to recapturing the sheer anger and aggression these four guys captured in ten short songs. From the sarcastically realistic look at the Holocaust ("Angel Of Death") to a look at satanic rituals ("Altar Of Sacrifice") to pure twisted insanity ("Raining Blood"), Slayer conjured up a record that will probably never be surpassed in its genre.

No metal collection can be complete without this CD. Buy it. Live it. Join them.

Slayer: Tom Araya, vocals and (almost non-existent) bass; Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, Guitars; Dave fucking Lombardo, drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:20 -0400 .