I hardly know her!
*special introductory paragraph!
*Show No Mercy
*Haunting The Chapel EP
*Live Undead
*Hell Awaits
*Reign In Blood
*South Of Heaven
*Seasons In The Abyss
*Decade Of Aggression Live
*Divine Intervention
*Undisputed Attitude
*Diabolus In Musica
*God Hates Us All
*Christ Illusion
*World Painted Blood
Kings of thrash. One of the leading originators of speed/thrash metal, these guys have for the most part opted to stay true to their aggressive roots, playing intense in-your-elbow stutter guitar heavybutt noise instead of caving in to the demands of an alternative nation the way that Metallica and Megadeth did (not that I would ever knock Metallica, but you gotta admit that Load isn't exactly "difficult listening"). At first, all their stuff sounds really similar - the early stuff is breakneck speed chunkachunkachunk with a wailing evil guy yelping on top, and the more recent stuff is midtempo eerie note-driven (and occasionally speed chunkychorkachopa) heavy meddle with a bitter angry screaming man - but the more you become familiar with the individual songs, you discover hooks that you never dreamt were there. Then the next thing you know, YOU'RE HOOKED!!! It's so very easy to become a Slayerholic because, between all the generic boom-chick boom-chick thrashin', there lie some of the finest little spooky guitar breaks that this world in my head has ever fancied regarding.

Reader Comments (John Cable)
Yes, I will admit that Load isn't difficult listening. I will also admit that it's shitty. And perhaps heavily watered down.

Show No Mercy - Metal Blade 1983.
Rating = 9

By today's standards, this is about as threatening as a cuddly little teddy bear, but at the time, it musta been something else! I like to call it "Just like Metallica's Kill 'Em All, but evil-riffic." This is to say that, just like that first Metallica opus, Show No Mermaids alternates between speed metal and more midtempo blues metal sorta stuff, but in a totally tight and aggressive manner, with hot lyrics like "I tear your flesh to shreds / Burn holes throughout your mind / Your eyes now filled with blood / A victim of my force" revving 'round the turnpike of social consciousness.

And the music frikkin' tears the snow off the walls! Tear! Tear! Tear! So wild, free, and fun - upside down crosses or no upside down crosses (okay, upside-down crosses) but even without, songs like "Evil Has No Boundaries," "The Antichrist," and "Tormentor" would book ass all over Thrash Land. Yes, the leadwork is uglier than a woman who is even one pound overweight, but it fits the insanity of the riffs. How could anyone apply normal scales to music this mucked up and screamy?

And no, Tom Araya's voice hasn't quite made it out of puberty yet, but that's one nifty Dio scream he emits at the end of every few verses, oh?

Reader Comments
Between this and Kill'em All there really is no competition. Kill'em All is superior. Not all great bands succeed the first time, and this is the evidence. Thankfully Slayer changed their style. (Jeremy Callahan)

At least Slayer wrote their own tuines for their debut - Metallica's freshman effort was 20% cover tunes. Slayer's originality and feel are extremely wicked, and the production is slightly, SLIGHTLY worse than kill 'em all.

Advantage: Slayer
Look, Jeremy Callahan, you stupid fucking degenerate prick, you are a discrace!! I bet the 20% cover tunes on Metallica's KEA you are talking about are Am I Evil?, and Blitzkrieg, right dick? Well THOSE ARE NOT PART OF THE ORIGINAL ALBUM ASSHOLE!! They are bonus songs that were added on later, and any common idiot knows they were originally released on the Creeping Death single.

And just to cover my own ass here, if you weren't referring to those songs, you're still a moron, because Slayer was influenced by Metallica. Jesus, you're dumb.

In conclusion, I recommend you stop sucking dicks for five fucking minutes and educate yourself! Thank you, have a wonderful day.
Jesus Christ, that last guy's a bit angry isn't he (Paul Leach)? I could make some comment about the pain of not having a girlfriend leading to getting your kicks being blatantly abusive on the interweb for no solid reason, but I won't stoop that low. Oh, actually, I just did.....SORRY!!
Damn this album kicks so much ass. Prindle is right. Nobody gets scared with it today but still. Is so cool. And those solos are hilarious. I don't consider them a bad thing. They are funny as fuck. This was THE scary album in those days haahaha now is like funny as fuck but it still kicks asses. Really. When you think about it, evetryhing about this album is funny. Araya's voice, the lyrics, the solos. I remember buying it used years ago for 3 bucks. I have never spent $3 so well in my life. This stuff is just too good.
Yeaah!! It DOES tear. It's really interesting listening to stuff like "Antichrist" and "Crionics", cause to me they sound more like a really sped-up version of Priest or Maiden with less noticeable hardcore influence than the later, more brutal, thrashtastic Slayer I'm used to. I love it to death! Every song rocks ass. And I dig Tom Araya's high-pitched scream thing! I enjoy the hell out of the entire album. And the production is AWESOME for the conditions it was recorded under. Before I actually heard this album, just looking at the cover art and packaging, I was expecting more Venom-style production, cause it looked pretty low-budget to me. A bit too much reverb on the vocals, but that's fairly typical of a lot of early metal albums. 9/10
1983 was a great year for metal! like kill em all, show no mercy and the queensryche ep!! kill em all had the fastest riffs, ugly production, shredtastic solos and it has a fucking bass solo by cliff burton! show no mercy has ugly production, fast riffs, and shredding. queensryche's ep has ugly production, fast riffs, and the lady wore black!. so there is my big 3 on metal's finest. y recurda........ QUEEN OF THE RYCHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Haunting The Chapel EP - Metal Blade 1984
Rating = 8



Hi, I'm Chaim Bergstein, producer of TV's You Think You Can Dance? Fuck You. And this EP finds Slayer "showing no mercy" with three new tracks that ditch the cartoony Satanism and crank up the musical aggression five-hundred fold. Here's where modern Slayer begins, and it begins UP YOUR FUCKING ASS!!! The awesomely brutal, fast, catchy and mean "Chemical Warfare" is even more vicious than the Dead Kennedys song of the same title, and the awesome 'doodly-doodly-doodoo-dee!' riff of "Captor Of Sin" gets stuck in my head so often, it might as well be some guy's dick in my ear. The title track is a bit more 'stock,' as Metallica (brain surgeons) might say, but the two other songs were, are, and always will be among the most face-smashingly hooky and enervating songs ever to emerge from the minds and fingers of Los Angeles' Slayer, from San Francisco.

Tom Araya's voice still stinks though. That would be remedied soon!

Reader Comments

Robert Chaundy
Far superior to Show No Mercy, and Chemical Warfare is better than any track on Hell Awaits too. Not sure Araya's voice improved that much by that album - it was just bad in a different way (and hilariously badly mixed).

Really sorry to hear about Henry - he was an integral part of your site & will be missed.

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Live Undead - Metal Blade 1984.
Rating = 8

Although I can't call this an essential part of your collection (five of the seven tracks are from Show No Mercy), I also can't claim that it doesn't totally kick the carpet right out from under the puppy dog bowl. They tore in the studio and they tore live. Plus, you get to hear a live version of the first song they ever released, "Aggressive Perfector," so that's pretty cool. They really should have waited a few more years before releasing a concert album though, if you ask me!

Reader Comments
Not a real live record. Live studio with some bs crowd noise added. I don't know why people make fake live records. It must be hilarious to the band? Slayer rules. (Joshua Fiero)
Is it just me, or does "Aggressive Perfector," or the studio version at least, sound exactly like hardcore punk? From the relatively clean guitar sound, to the tinny drums, to the ranting singing - everything about it except the solo just SCREAMS punk to me! Or am I an idiot? Oops! Bad question to ask on the Prindle forum!
Now let me clear things up here. Someone wrote that this was a "fake" live recording. NOT true. Sure, it was in some sort of studio, but those are REAL fans cheering them on. It was recorded in '83/'84, when the band was just starting out. So OBVIOUSLY Slayer didn't have the funds to play big arenas yet, and I'm sure their fan base wasn't that huge yet. This is very underground shit we have here, especially back then. So anyone that is planning on getting this and was turned off because you think it is fake, rest assured it is real. It may be short (23:14), but it's worth every second of it; I highly recommend it. (Brion Briggsh)
I don't know much about slayer but I'm pretty sure they (like metallica) were influenced by VENOM. As far as I know venom were the first brutally satanic thrash band. They're obviously heavly influenced by motorhead but their twist was to have incredably offensive satanic lyrics. Black Metal is a classic. (Neil T. Wiger)
This live album made more trips to Moorhead Senior High School with me than any other tape (circa 1991-93). This release actually will keep a guy warm when he's walking to school in 10 below zero Minnesota winter! I wore out two cassettes of this gem inside of two or three years. A true Slayer masterpiece recorded with there true fans and friends present! Slayer's tone on this thing just kicks ass. This is probably my favorite live album (aside from chilhood favs like Kiss - Alive). Slayer used there old equipment on this -- Jeff had his mutilated black Les Paul, Kerry with his BC Rich Mockingbird and Dave Lombardo doesnt let his Tama kit get any sleep on this total thrashterpiece. Buy it if you don't own it. It's in my top ten favorite metal albums -- so 5 out of 5 stars. Grab your Walkman, we're going for a walk!
I used to have a dub of an advanced copy of this recording. This was way back when it was only issued as an EP with like 6 songs or something. The tape was hilarious. Between each song the crowd had to be totally quiet (yea might hear some coughing or even giggling!) then the Engineer would say “ok” and about 20 kids would start screaming “SLLAAAAAAYYYYAAAARRRGHHHHH!!”. As soon as the song was over they’d all be quiet again. Of course later on in my life I realized that almost ALL live albums recorded in the 70’s and 80’s were completely fake but at least this one was truly live without any overdubs.

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Hell Awaits - Metal Blade 1985.
Rating = 9

Killer. Oh my. Holy cow. This is some intense thrash here. Sounding like they've aged about ten years since Show No Mercy, the band here conjures up seven of the most threatening, intense and epic metal songs in their entire discography. Ugly, bitter, nervous and hateful, the riffs come and come again, all drenched tightly in the stutter-death sound that so frightened Tipper Gore and her gasbags back in dusty ol' '85. The gleeful silliness of the first album is gone. This stuff is nuts. Lengthy and well-developed heaviness all around. Go guys.
Reader Comments (Ms. Jennifer A. Wilson)
the first slayer i ever heard. "Necrophiliac" terrified the shit outta' me. "At dawn they sleep" is impressive as hell too. (The Chameleon)
Wow....this is one mean, brutal album. just..whoa...pure evil. I really enjoy "Kill Again" and the way Tom screams at the chorus "Homicidal Maniac!!!". "Necrophilac" and "Hardening of the Arteries" are great too. Great cover, sick demented lyrics (more so than reign in blood), good guitar playing. I give it a 9. (Nima J)
oh man, oh man, oh man. This is insane, and i love it. From the intro to the title song, with its satanic ravings, to the end of "hardening of the arteries," you'll love this album. Like other Slayer albums, it'll get your adrenaline rushing, especially the heaviest one in my opinion "Kill again." Slayer once again proves their genius in this album, and i will have to give it a 9, only because of Reign in Blood, which is one of the greatest albums out there. (Clay Butler)
Go buy this friggin album. Dis one is a perfect "10" (pestilence)
My first Slayer album, I didn't know what to expect. Before this, I was listening to Ozzy, Metallica, Priest, Maiden. As soon as those weird screams came on in the beginning of "Hell Awaits", I was fucked up! All the way through to the end this album hits you like a ton of bricks and you will never be the same! This is an evil album, and probably their best...Tom's vocals are at their peak, so are the solos, which soon deteriorate into junk on Reign...the drumming is nuts as always. Sheer terror, the title of the album sums it all up.
This album just kills!!! I heard it when it first came out in 85 and still listen to it today,after this one,I collected SLAYER albums up until DIVINE INTERVENTION.I give it a 9,their second best! Best song:KILL AGAIN. (Robert Chaundy)
I personally enjoy the debut more than Hell Awaits, but this is a breakthrough and no mistake. Not perfect though...

You see, I try to listen to this kick-ass thrash album that so raises the blood pressure of these good people... and all I hear is drums. About half as loud is the bass, and about half as loud again are the guitars - combined. And Tom's singing is a LONG way off his best here - a lot of the words just aren't coming out right, and wouldn't do until the 1990s. The band sounds like it's playing a quarter of a mile away, which I'm sure wasn't the intention at all.

But sound quality isn't everything - these riffs are some of the most strangulatedly catchy of all, and the lyrics are completely, giddily glorious in their nastiness. As Tom says, people happily watch and laud violent films, yet fear the corruption of a generation the moment Slayer and Body Count codify the stuff in musical albums. Why? Hear no evil do no evil??

A slight shame that the title track is such a blatant re-write of Tarot Woman, I suppose... but it still kicks like a seething mule named 'Hatred'. As does nearly everything else. And At Dawn They Sleep is without question my joint-favourite vampire song of all time (with Annie Lennox's Love Song for a Vampire, naturally).
I forgot to mention this Mark, It might be of interest. If you have an old vinyl copy of Hell Awaits play the very beginning of side one backwards manually with your fingers and listen to the secret message.
Sheesh. This is VERY close to the 10. I really do feel like I'm cheating it, with the 9 that I'm obligated to grade it as. I gave Show No Mercy a 9 too, but on the whole, this album has a greater impact, and it really, truly almost stands neck-to-neck with Reign in Blood which I award the 10, BUT this album fucking shreds...almost as much. On some days, I even prefer this to Reign in Blood, even though it doesn't have the same full-speed-thrash-attack effect. To my ears, this album is the most striking of all Slayer albums. Very unique and intricate, and totally psycho too....jesus christ these lyrics are violent out-of-control! The people who were complaining about Reign in Blood being too extreme and samey-sounding throughout, should listen to this album 9 or 10 times through, to catch all the smart arrangments and awesome riffs. Er! ...except the people who were criticising/taking too seriously the lyrics to "Angel of Death"...those people should stay away from the Hell Awaits lyrics booklet, but still listen to it! The arrangments are more drawn out, and they're usually repeated enough times to where, if you stop paying attention for 2 seconds, you won't get totally lost in the thrashing, which is easy to do on Reign in Blood, especially if you're not acclimated to the style yet. Takes time. This one has pretty long songs, with lots of parts, and the guitars are mixed a little lower, making the bass more audible than most other Slayer albums. The guitar tone is killer, but it's different. It's got more of a ringy buzzy sound than other Slayer albums. On here, Slayer were still indie label, and this was a fairly low-budget recording, but I think it sounds great! I LOVE every single song, especially t! he title track, "Necrophiliac", and "At Dawn They Sleep", but...shit man, they're all awesome! Ooh yeah, oh more thing, look at the cover art, and tell me, is that demon thing, the one on the right side, ripping off it's dick??? I swear, you can see his hand, but if you look closer, you'll see it's got...a dick (?) in it's hand!! Weird.

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* Reign In Blood - Def Jam 1986. *
Rating = 10

This is without exception the finest speed metal album I've ever heard. And by "finest," I mean "most interesting, threatening, hooky, speedy, intense, and exciting of them all". All the songs are pretty similar, but the discriminating ear will quickly take note of the minor rifferences.

And good giggly wiggly, does it kick ass! Tom's voice is lower and meaner, and the music is topspeed at almost every moment, slowing down only for minor variation of theme (like the middle bit in "Angel Of Death" that Public Enemy sampled for "She Watch Channel Zero") or sinister effect (like the shiveringly morbid "Postmortem"). There's never a dull moment, and it's over before you know it, so you just keep listening to it over and over and over again. urn it up loud. One thing, though - for some reason, Slayer (or possibly Rick Rubin?) chose a guitar sound and production style that is more insulated and rackety than "heavy." But once you get past that aspect, the speed of sound riffage will flap your diddly-widdly. Especially "Altar Of Sacrifice" - awww man....

Evil? Probably not. Fun and catchy? Very very much so. If you have even a passing interest in heavy metal, this record is a necessity. Never again will you foolishly claim that "Rage Against The Machine kick ass" or "Tool really tear 'em up" or "That Nine Inch Nails guy isn't a sissy little fruit boy." Reign In Blood gets the Prindle badge of honor, and that's nothing to take lightly! (even though I also gave it to Buckner & Garcia's Pac-Man Fever)

Reader Comments
A hearty "hell, yeah!" to giving Reign In Blood a 10.
If you have to own one Slayer album this is the one. "Angel Of Death" is their masterpiece and the best song on the album because it isn't like the rest of the album. Whereas "Jesus Saves", "Altar Of Sacrifice", "Reign In Blood", and the other fast tunes are basically "metalized" hardcore punk tunes, "Angel Of Death" has real chords which in my opinion separates speed metal from the monotone of Hardcore (or rather the Hardcore of bands like Suicidal Tendencies and Minor Threat....there's more than one kind of Hardcore if you ask me...).

On the down side the solos suck. They're all blindingly fast and don't show any melody or....for that matter...any train of thought. It's like Kerry and the gang said, "Let's slap a bunch of random notes together and call it a solo." Did they take guitar lessons from Greg Ginn? Slayer has improved on soloing in subsequent albums but solos are still their weak link.

And though El-LUMP-O says this is the best speed album ever, he is incorrect. This isn't a speed album. O sure it's speedy alright. But it's not a SPEED album. Actually this album is where Death Metal first truly reared its ugly head and later bands, particularly Sepultura, seized upon as a blueprint. But I can see how Mark with his Punk roots would categorize it as a speed album. Me, with my Metal Roots, sees things differently. The classic speed album would be either Exodus' Bonded In Blood or Anthrax's Among The Living. But to each his own... (Ms. Jennifer A. Wilson)

oh yeah-also one of the best..... (Louis Sweet)
I'd like to let you know that this is my favorite site on the web. You have a great no-nonsense way of reviewing that beats the hell out of Rolling Stone and Spin. It was your review that prompted me to buy Reign In Blood. Holy fuck, that was one of the best purchases I've made in my life. SPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!!! They fucking stuff a carnival of pure intensity and violence into an under 30-minute album. I wasn't too pleased at first, but the more you listen, the more things jump out at you. It is very addictive. Don't worry about the satanic shit, it's more fun than anything. I have to say, though, I still think my Tool CDs are awesome. One last thing I need to say... The song "Raining Blood" has THE fastest guitar riff ever played in the universe. I guarantee there were bloody human chunks splattered all over the walls in the studio after they recoreded it. And when Tom's voice comes in; "Trapped in purgatory..." That will make you want to take your hands and crush your own skull into a million pieces out of sheer amazement. I would never kill myself to music, or kill myself for that matter... but if I ever did, I would do it to Slayer. (Nathan Brewer)
easy 10 here. fast, heavy, catchy. although, i do disagree with what Louis said. Macabre and Sadus played waaaaay faster than that. (The Chameleon)
Like Louis Sweet, I got this album based completely on his review, Prindle's review.. and all those damn good reviews for this album. Before I get to the album, I've never been a Slayer fan. For a long, long time I thought all Slayer were, were like 4 guys playing two power chords over and over as a guy screamed about killing into a mic. But, Slayer, and this album are damn good. When I got this album..I was like "What the fuck??". I had heard "Angel of Death" before (which is probably the best song on the album) but when I heard the other songs I wasn't pleased. I was like "why the hell did i spend 16 dollars on this?". But I was wrong, each song may seem to sound exactly alike to the untrained ear. The more you listen the more you want to hear. This album is the perfect musical a's very addictive.And the songs are top speed and filled with such anger and hate and all that good stuff. This album is so damn heavy and mean..and in a good way. The only problem I have with Reign In Blood is that the solos aren't really that good. Sure I was very impressed by the speed of the solos..but to me..they sound just like random notes with no melody what so ever. But anyway, despite that..... if you have no desire to ever listen to Slayer or that kind of speed metal..just pick up this album or listen to it at a music store..and you'll be very impressed...eventually. Because I never liked Slayer at all you people that think Slayer is just are very wrong...get this album and you'll see just how wrong you are.
Add me to the list of people who bought this album only based on your review. The first time I listened to this album, I was shocked. From the opening, crushing guitar of "Angel of Death", to the freaky rain sounds at the end of "Raining Blood", this album just kicks ass all over the place. Aside from those two songs, the best on the album have to be "Altar of Sacrifice", "Jesus Saves", and "Postmortem". Some really scary shit on this album. And all the time I'm thinking, is it really possible to play guitar that FAST? Aside from anything by Metallica, this is the best heavy metal album I've ever heard (or thrash, or speed metal, or whatever the f*ck you call it). The only negatives are that everything is so similar it almost seems like one 30 minute song (albeit, one AMAZING 30 minute song!) and I don't much care for the vocals. (Nima J)
Alright, it just doesnt get much cooler than this. My friend got this album and i thought he was deranged and insane for getting it, but oh how i was wrong. About a month later, im in the store getting just like he did, and you know why?.........IT KICKS ASS!!! "Angel of Death" is one of the coolest songs in existence, not to mention almost every single one of them. The only song that isnt awesome to me is "epidemic", but even that song is ok!! From "Piece by Piece" to "Jesus Saves" to "Raining Blood", this album is pure speed to the exxxtreme, and i thoroughly think that any metal fan or hard rock fan will love this album. I give this sucker a fat 10!!!!
I'm gonna have to disagree with just about everyone on this page. At best, I give this album a 7. Wait, hear me out before you e-mail bomb me!

Most of this album is non-stop open E with stop-starts here and there, but not very much to keep me interested. I went into this album preparing to be blown away, cause Mark's usually right on track, and I love thrash, but I was very dissapointed with this album until very recently. Its sort've grown on me, but its still far from "The Greatest Speed Metal Album of All Time", IMHO. Granted "Angel of Death" is great, but other than "Alter of Sacrifice" and "Jesus Saves", every other damn song on this album is boring as hell. Tom uses almost the exact same vocal rhythm on every single track, which further adds to my snorefest. I love thrash, but this album in no way goes on my top ten thrash albums. Get Anthrax's Among the Living, Metallica's AJFA or Exodus' Impact is Imminent. All of which I enjoy immensely, and consider far superior to this. (Dave)
Beautiful job on breaking down Reign in Blood. It's probaly one of the most important death metal albums of all time, and by far one of the best. First Slayer album I ever heard and it's a fucking masterpiece. "Enter to the realm of Satan"/"Four-hundred thousand more to die"...couldn't have said it better myself. (Michael Rohm)
Good and bad for this one. On the good side, yeah, the music IS pretty addictive. I got this (also) due to your review. On the bad side.. well, if they want to make scary music, they have to set a mood. Playing 300 mph will *not* set an eerie or evil mood. Black Sabbath's first album - that's a mood. This isn't frigtening at all. It's good, and I'm not complaining - like a couple other people on this page, I just thought Slayer were four guys who played fast as hell and screamed about death, Satan, etc.. well, they *are*, BUT, I didn't know I'd like it as much as I did. If you're looking for something truly scary and evil, this isn't it. If you're looking for something loud, catchy, and definately bound to piss off parents, neighbours, etc.. this is for you.
people make me laugh when they say do not take the messages seriously or it is just a gimmik.First of all,you do not joke with satanism or sing about it if you are not into it .satanism definately drives the music they definately live out there dark side fantasies thru there music and who knows they most likel lived some of there musics realities. If you listen to Slayer you are definately into some errie thoughts or live em out just like they sing I am and there music and lyrics kik ass. The power of satan is real. (Drew Johnston)
I just bought this album two weeks ago. Three words: boring bloody mess. People seem to compare this album a lot with Metallica's Master of Puppets, as being the cornerstones of thrash. I truly don't know why! If you listen to them side by side, you'll hear a band with immense talent, groove, and a sound so heavy its makes Hatebreed look like shit. And then you'll hear Slayer: A band that can't write a fucking riff to save their lives. Solos that were probably made up as they went along. The opener, Angel Of Death is alright, although Battery seems to knock its ass to Hell. Tom's voice is great, you can actually understand what the hell he is saying, unlike a band like Sepultura. To me, this record doesn't seem to go anywhere, no direction in the songs. It almost seems each song ended because they screwed up or couldn't think of a way to end it. I listen to Master of Puppets, I shed tears during songs like Orion or Sanitarium, or the first solo in the title track, so much emotion thrown in the songs. Metallica wrote some heavy fucking music with a heart, meanwhile Slayer can only play fast. That's really the only thing they going for them on this album. If you want some speed, check out Fight Fire With Fire, or Dyers Eve for Christ's sake! (Pat D.)
Gonna have to change my mind about this one. Mark's definitely right- this one takes a while to grab you. While I still wouldn't say this is the "Greatest Speed Metal Album Ever" or even "Slayer's best album", Reign In Blood is still a fun enough listen, especially when dodging traffic on the interstate at rush hour. The only real problem I have here is that some of the songs on this album have no personality whatsoever, and are quite dull when compared to the standouts "Angel of Death", "Altar of Sacrifice", "Jesus Saves", "Epidemic", "Raining Blood" and "Postmortem". The other tracks, while not bad, just don't hit you as hard as those, or have as memorable riffs.

By the way, Mark, if you get a chance, pick up the remastered version of this CD. It has the studio version of "Agressive Perfector" on it. Damn, does that song RULE! What a riff! Anyway, old version...8....remastered 8.5..... (Andrew Pazulla)
Certainly musically influential, but the lyrics can be a bit ridiculous; there's no sense of irony. Seems like shock value for the sake of shock value to me. Also, no musical variation. "Angel of Death" is a macabre classic though.
This is the most intense album ever made. Fuck Metallica, Slayer are still the kings. Their new albums kicks ass also

Oh yeah, for that Drew Johnston guy, you're a faggot '' (Roland Fratzl)
The cover of "Angel Of Death" that Slayer does on this album is inferior to the original by Thin Lizzy. HA!
The best metal album of all time,right next to MASTER OF PUPPETS , which also came out in 86.A perfect 10!!!
I bought this album in England, in 1986 on import. It is still one of the best I've ever heard. It saddens me that Slayer are still pushing records out today, and that the alternative/metal press refer to them as 'Gods' because their music of today could not hope to match the ferocity of Slipknot, etc. But this album was the perfect antidote to wanky 80s metal like Motley Crue and WASP - a superbly produced, ultra heavy sonic blast of speedy death metal that has served as a blueprint for virtually every decent metal band since. Don't fooled by the Slayer of today (followers of fashion, basically) - they were once true leaders. Buy this then die. (Daniel Lawrence)
In response to

Slayer of today couldn't hope to match the ferocity of Slipknot? Slayer of today are followers of fashion? Have you actually HEARD the Slayer today? First of all, on the ferocity thing, how can you not think that Diablous En Music is ferocious? Goddamn man, go listen to "Bitter Peace" and try not to let your ass get kicked out the door and onto the street. From a strictly musical standpoint, King and Hanneman are still able to play lightning speed and pump out the faster-than-hell riffs when needed. Paul Bostaph is amazing as well. How can you say they're not ferocious? Okay, so their latest album was more 90s, but it was also SO heavy, mean, and just rockin'. Slayer makes Slipknot look like some pansy Matchbox 20 kinda band. I don't see how they're followers of fashion, being although they are different, they're still playing the intense, in-your-face, screaming, metal they always were. Bands like Slipknot could only dream to try to keep up with bands like Slayer. I don't really know what your definition of ferocious is, or how Slayer has followed fashion. Whatever, I don't want to turn this into a debate site. I'll just say this much: You can say Slayer were once a lot more intense, you can say that maybe in the past decade they haven't been as exciting, but to say that they're not ferocious and accuse them of following some fashion just makes no sense.

[Address deleted]
1.This record is shit
2.I don't care how cool or evil they want to think of themselves, lyrics like "Auschwitz...showers that cleanse you of your life" and "to benefit the Aryan race" should've had them arrested or at least ban this record.
The above poster ([Address deleted]) is example of concervative or pretentious morons taking music way to seriously. "Should have them arrested or at least banned" ?? What the hell? Alright, Tipper Gore, go and jump off a bridge or something. Ohh and about the Slipknot comment, Slipknot can only DREAM to be this heavy and evil and kick ass as this, comparing Slipknot to Slayer is like comparing Black Sabbath to Limp Bizkit for cryin' out loud.

Anyway, this is a great album, fun and heavy and raw and hell and is my favorite Metal album, next to Kill Em All. 10/10. (Pat D.)
To the poster above who claimed that Slayer should have been arrested for writing "Angel of Death"---if you had actually read all the lyrics and got the meaning of the song, you'd easily realize it is NOT praising the holocaust. Slayer write about such things because it fascinates them how evil and ruthless the human race can be/has been. Jeez, i mean Tom Araya is Jewish for pete's sake. Duh.

[Address deleted]
Hey, me again. I'd like to comment on my previous comment and the replies to it.

First, about the music. I admit that calling this record "shit" was a little silly of me, considering I couldn't name a better death\speed metal, it's just not a genre I like listening to since I gave it up at about the 7th or 8th grade. Now about the lyrics to "Angel of Death". I got this album in vinyl about a year ago from a friend (don't ask me why), and the first time I read the words I was so horrified I felt I was getting pale and my eyes were wet. Right then I went to Prindle's site to see what the man had to say about the album, or at least to see if someone mentioned the Holocaust references, and enraged by the praises this album received with no mention of the subject, I wrote my previous dumb shallow comment.

I guess metal lyricists would've been foaming at the mouth to see such powerful emotions stirred by their readers (listeners), and I guess that's what this genre is all about, shocking and horrifying. And I do agree that powerful music describing death can be quite cool and exciting, like their visual equivalents, horror gore movies. Now, I understand that Slayer weren't trying to give a message that the Holocaust was something good, but when young (or aging) metal dudes sing along with the lyrics "Auschwitz - the meaning of pain, the way that I want you to die", you can't help but feel that they aren't identifying with the victims, but with the murderous people that cause these deaths. Besides, even the actual mentioning of a real terrible slaughter that happened to real people in a kinda enjoyable (I admit), somewhat poppish (really) song that's supposed to make you jump and enjoy yourself is harmful in my opinion. It's like what they say about the negative effects of violent movies that are caused to children. Watching violence in an enjoyable manner numbs their moral senses, and they may begin to think that violence=cool. Same is with this. Growing up on this music probably won't make you think about the Holocaust as cool, but still it could numb your mind to not think about it as it really was, an inhuman crime caused to a nation and to humanity. The word "Auschwitz" itself should make you shudder, not make you think: "Yeaa Slayer rock on!!". The release of this record is truely a monument to USA's freedom of speech, which is hard to say about this case if it's good or bad. Probably if Slayer were more popular and known to the general public, and if whathisname's "singing" was a bit more intelligible, the consequences wouldv'e been different, as with Body Count's "Cop Killer" and such. Arresting or banning would be a stupid non-democratic thing to do, but a change to the lyrics to describe death in general as done in the other tracks could be better. Who cares what we hear him sing anyway? In any case he'd just go "jkgbjklbglkjbguluANGELOFDEATH!".

One question: where were the Beastie Boys then? These guys played "No Sleep Till Brooklin" with them, but when they were touring with Prodigy they canceled their show because they found the cool loopy track "Smack My Bitch Up" offensive towards women. Considering these guys are jews, it's strange they didn't say anything about "Angel of Death". Maybe they weren't successful enough then to have principles. And yes, as you probably noticed, I'm a jew from Israel.

P.S: No complaints about "Creeping Death" though.... (Matthew Teigen)

you're a very good writer, and you have some interesting ideas about rock music.

i just wanted to point something out to you: the song "angel of death," on slayer's "reign in blood" is about joseph mengele, the "angel of death" of the german reich (if you do a google search on "angel of death," you'll find a lot of sites about him).

slayer might argue that the song is intended to present mengele's war crimes as evil and atrocious, as perhaps a reminder of how the human condition can be lead so far astray. the thing is, you can tell araya didn't have this in mind. the style of the music and lyrics speak more to a fascination and celebration of mengele's medical experiments than anything else. of course, one can't prove this...but it's a very strong feeling that i have. the amount of detail araya goes into regarding mengele's "science," his tone of voice, and his obvious relishing the poetics of description ("auschwitz...the meaning of pain...the way that i want you to die! slow death...immense decay...showers that cleanse you of your life!") all make me cock a very serious eyebrow.

also, i remember once in junior high school seeing a kid walking along with a slayer shirt depicting a skull wearing a german ww2 wouldn't surprise me if there were other anti-semetic references in lots of other slayer songs and paraphanelia.

i sort of think one needs to consider where a band is coming from lyrically, no matter how cool their death metal might be...

let me know what you think (Pat D.)
Its not Slayer's fault that some of their demented fans cant get the meaning of the song. When you say things like "sickening way to achieve the holocaust" and "Sadistic, surgeon of demise" how is that praising the holocaust? Seems to me that Tom is disgusted by what the guy did and this is a song written out of anger. By the way, you can laugh at the idiot Neo Nazis who follow the band because of this song even more now, since obviously they never read the lyric sheet for it. LOL.

I wish people would read the lyrics before dismissing the band as Nazis or satan worshippers. (Robert Chaundy)
'Angel of Death' is Hanneman's song, not a group composition. People seem to concentrate on Araya a little too much when discussing this song but he's only singing it. If you want to get to the bottom of it you need to separate the two rogues. Araya's lyrics, which appear almost exclusively on Seasons in the Abyss and Divine Intervention, are the most humane any member of Slayer has written - unequivocal 'war is hell' polemics (good ones too). Hanneman on the other hand is much more ambiguous: Compared to 'Angel of Death', 'The Final Command' and 'SS-3' might sound like John Denver, but they show the same kind of dubious fascination with the Nazis/Wehrmacht. Add to that the Slayer Eagle logo and there's no pretending there isn't a distinctly unhealthy side to it. The sound of a German-American coming to terms with his past? Maybe. If you want some balance, always consider 'Behind the Crooked Cross', which is a much more measured take on the Nazi war machine. It's a very difficult call (maybe someone should just ask him), but imagine you were writing a song about the Holocaust: you could either take the safe, holier-than-thou approach and tsk about how bad it was (er...we know) or you could try to make its horror tangible, alive. I can't see any point in writing a bland song (or writing a bland book or making a bland film) about it - you've got to take the bull by the horns and try to do something original and that is what Hanneman did. It treads a mightily fine line, granted, but morally it gets home. It doesn't change the way people think. The horror is obvious.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Angel of Death, I'm glad it's there. It's an important landmark. It got people talking. And I suspect what gives so many people problems is the fact that its music is so great - if it had been rubbish people would probably have ignored it.

As for the album itself... yes, a lot of fun. Very very raw. The riff from 'Postmortem'... catchy. Exciting. But it does feel insubstantial. You can't properly get your teeth into it as you can with South of Heaven or Master of Puppets or Voulez-Vous. I suppose the crux of the matter is that it's really a hardcore punk album rather than a metal one (the nearest Slayer would get to recapturing this spirit is Undisputed Attitude).

Nine, ten, something like that. (Scott Campbell)
Quit blaming Tom Araya for the lyrics to Angel of Death. Blame the Nazi who wrote the lyrics - Jeff Hanneman. Just kidding. Hell, it's only rock'n'roll right? (Pat D.)
I'd like to point out to Mr. Chaundy that 'fascination' with something does not equal acceptance or following. I, too, am fascinated in a disgusted way with the Nazi regime, which if you read the lyrics to Angel of Death (see my last post), sure sounds like what Hanneman's interest extended to. He's trying to horrify and disgust people of the atrocities committed during that terrible time in human history. If he was truly a Nazi, the lyrics would say something like "Necessary ways to achieve the holocaust" or something to that effect.

[Address deleted]
1. Who gives-a-"curse word" that you are a jew from Israel, it dosen't give your opinion any more wight on the subject.
2. The fect that the Beastie Boys had no problem with the Slayer only goes to prove that the song isn't pro-nazi.
3. The singer is half Hyspanic- i don't think he would sing songs to glorify the aryan race.
4. i'm also a jew- who cares? no one...
I defy anyone to tell me that is isn't the best Slayer album ever. This album is an easy 10 ! A very important album in the thrash/speed metal genre. In my opinon the best album ever made for that genre. (Rob DelMedico)
the "nazi" comment based on Angel of Death is retarded. I'm not going to profess to knowing whether Hanneman is or isn't a Nazi (and honestly, I'm more inclined to believe the latter based on interviews).

But there's no way you could arrive at the conclusion that he is based on Angel of Death. Angel of Death, according to him, and well, based on people using actual LOGIC skills, is about Josef Mengele, and it's ABOUT him. It's not pro-him or pro-nazis.

he said he likes to paint pictures and let people decide for themselves. Which makes sense. No sides are taken in Angel of Death, although if any could be seen, it would be more anti than pro.

Once again, thin-skinned idiots who were horrified that Slayer didn't dumb down their lyrics and pander to the self-conscious idiot who had to see lyrics that said point blank "NAZIS ARE BAD", and idiots who think the mentioning of nazis or the holocaust in a song means you must be supporting it both assumed and assumed WRONG.
as musically impressive as reign in blood is, i just cant help but disliking this album. yes, im one of those 'thin skinned idiots' who was a bit turned off by angel of death.i know that its slayer and as thrash kings they arent gonna write pretty lyrics, but i dunno, i just cant help but feeling a bit pissed off about nonchalantly singing about mengele. i dont think they are really nazis or anything, but i guess its just too far for my blood. but hell, who cares whats in my blood, it really is a landmark album i suppose.ill just go listen to fugazi or some other wuss 'thin skinned' stuff.

cool little riff on raining blood though. (Rob DelMedico)
singing "nonchalantly"? Yea, god forbid someone WRITE about something. What's your opinion of people who makes movies about the holocaust? Oh my me! Zounds! (John Stehlin)
I think we all need to stop losing our shit about the 'Angel of Death' thing. There's plenty more evidence as to their dubiousness than the lyrics: how about the photo of Tom Araya in a guitar mag with a swastika on his guitar, or the fact that their fan club is called the 'Satanic Wehrmacht'? This doesn't mean that they are nazis, it means that they were using bonehead metal symbolism to try to get under people's skin and create an 'evil' mood for the album. Let's all cry about the Sex Pistols using swastikas ALL OVER THE FUCKING PLACE! Stuff like this is supposed to make weak-kneed folks like the Queen and Tipper Gore upset and appeal metal fans who just want to hear evil music. I don't really think it's that cool or even very interesting. If you think about it, it's kind of like shooting fish in a barrel to use the Holocaust to offend people; it would have been more impressive to do so by using lyrics and music to create an atmosphere that simply makes your skin crawl without resorting to clichés (pg. 99's 'By the Fireplace in White, for instance, is eerie and claustrophobic; it literally makes my skin crawl. Same goes for stuff by Isis and Pig Destroyer). Let's face it, they weren't smart enough to either create a disturbing MOOD (not merely disturbing lyrics) and/or not offend people who otherwise love their music. I think it was a stupid move by them, but I don't think it should be banned, or called out as 'nazi' music, it should be seen merely for what it is: SYMBOLISM, and cheap symbolism at that. If you want to talk about nazis, let's talk about Burzum...
i pretty much agree with what some poeple have already said, this album is fucking fast but thats it, a lot of it sounds pretty identical and ive listened to it several times and my opinion hasnt changed. PLus im a huge fan of 'look at us, we're evil' lyrics, but hey i can handle it. But, this album is NOTHING compared with an album like Anthrax's Among the Living. Now that is a fucking thrash album, with joey belladonna laying down some of the best metal vox ive ever heard. Fuck every song is a million miles an hour. hey mark dude why aint you reviewed any of Anthrax's shit? (Ryan W.)
reign in blood is NOT DEATH METAL!!!! it influenced it but it is not death. it is like saying motorhead is thrash. and all of you wimpy posers who say master of puppets is heavy - think again. master of puppets is easy listening compared to 95% of thrash.

this album is an undisputable classic - but is no way near the best ever. it certainly kicks every single metallica albums ass.

among the living is SHIT. bonded by blood is by no means the greatest speed metal album of all time - it is generic. dont get me wrong - its an awesome album, but its generic thrash. the greatest speed metal album is probably show no mercy, dark angel's darkness descends (if you have not heard this, do not call yourself a thrash fan) or Kreators coma of souls (three words - agents of brutality) oh and listen to coroner's R.I.P - greatest thrash album ever!

Mustaine owns all! (Ryan McKay)
Hey Mark, great site. Just wanted to add my two cents worth re: the Angel of Death debate. Firstly, musically, I was a bit disappointed. The riffing is fast, sure, but not terribly intricate or interesting; from a musical point of view Metallica's Master of Puppets or Megadeth's Rust in Peace leave this album completely for dead. Kirk Hammett and Marty Friedman (esp. Friedman!) can actually lay claim to being virtuosos of their instruments, too, something the Slayer boys sadly can't attest to. But, of course, Slayer isn't about musicianship and never was. It's about EVIL, and more precisely about inculcating a sickening visceral fascination with the feeling of evil. I must confess to a vulnerability to this - the fact is that this music does excite me, it gets the adrenalin going. But I also think it's very important to think deeply and clearly about the issues that our friend [Address deleted] raised. I don't think that this music should be banned, because I think that would certainly do more harm than good. But I do think it should be vigorously opposed in clear and strident terms. I really don't see how anybody in an objective frame of mind can construe "Angel of Death" as being anti-Nazi, anti- Mengele, or anti-Holocaust. That's fucking absurd. "Angel of Death" uses the Nazi imagery in combination with brutal, aggressive music to incite a feeling - that visceral feeling I mentioned. And it works too. But I think it's wrong. I urge any Slayer fan who thinks otherwise to take the time to digest something from the "other side", as it were. Try reading some of the Holocaust literature, especially Primo Levi's "If This is a Man". That particular book is so beautiful, humane and harrowing, I defy anyone to read it and to keep their opinion of "Angel of Death" intact. Slayer's music is about darkness, anger and hatred. All interesting (and exciting) states of mind, no doubt - but where do they lead? Incidentally, I'm not Jewish and have no particular affinity for the Jewish culture (I'm certainly not AGAINST it) - this shouldn't matter but obviously does to some people.
This album is good as hell people. Every person that talks shit about this album says the same thing. "Is simple, Master of Puppets is better and the songs don't sound the same". Look, this album came out un 1986. I don't know when the Death Metal appeared (I know Cannibal Corpse is from 1989) but I this was definitely what kicked asses in 1986. I've seen this this guys live and they are good. It requires a lot of energy and those that talk shit probably have never seen this guys live. What's the big deal about the fact that this is simple? Some people that complain because this album is "too simple", like Nirvana. That's being stupid. Nirvana was also simple.

About the lyrics, stop the shit. They don't give a crap about that. I mean. Lombardo is from Cuba and Araya is from Chile (Like me). Half of Slayer is foreign and Hispanic. They are not Nazis. You think they go to Nazi meetings or some shit like that? Hanneman just likes that shit because his grandfather or something was some crazy Nazi. What's the big deal about it?. A big number of people in the US have descendants that were slave owners.

Others complain about Araya's voice. That's what happen when gay people write reviews about Slayer. They want vocal talent in a Trash Metal album. Stop complaining and go home and listen to your American Idol CDs.

If you don't like them or you say they are not "brutal enough" fuck yourself. This is from 1986. If they are "too simple", hey, I listen to Dream Theater. In abilities and complexity they are 100 and Metallica and Slayer are 1. I like them but I also can like Slayer. Is fast and simple and that doesn't mean is bad. Slayer is great. It SOUNDS good and if it sounds good, then it IS good
This album is boring. I listened to it a bunch of times to get used to it but the songs are waaaaaaaaay to slow. This isn't thrash. I don't get how it is the ''Greatest Heavy Metal Album of All Time,'' according to MTV. Metallica's RTL and MOP are far better. + there are a ton of underrated thrash bands that are way more faster and satanic. Angel of Death is the only song I really like. It sounds killer when you put it FAST MOTION on Windows Media Player. So does Criminally Insane remix. Slayer is not all bad though. Show No Mercy is my favorite album of all time at the moment next to Darkness Descends. and Hell Awaits and Hainting the Chapel are great too. But it stops there.
Wow, I’ve been reading the other e-mails, and it’s like one big debate about the song Angel of Death. And what’s with people’s e-mail addresses getting deleted? Are people’s opinions that strong? Come on people it’s a fucking song! That’s it! If you read the lyrics closely, you’ll see that it puts an extremely negative spin on the holocaust, which usually means that they’re against it. Plus, the lead singer is Jewish! Just because the message isn’t spelled out in big bold letters, like THE HOLOCAUST WAS BAD, some people go and freak, and get all Tipper Gore on everyone’s ass. The sole point of the song, in my opinion, is to create an evil and threatening mood, just like every other song on this album. I really doubt that they take this shit seriously, and if they do, so long as they’re not killing people, or sacrificing children, or fucking goats on the alter, I don’t really care. Of course, if they lyrics do offend some people, I can understand that too, and that’s fine, but I think they should just understand that it’s just a song, and I sincerely doubt they’re a bunch of Nazis.

Ok, shit, I’ve written too much already, so I’ll try to make the rest of this brief. This is one seriously overrated album. There are very few melodies and vocal hooks of any kind, which make it a difficult and boring listen (it’s certainly not “fun”). A song can still be great without a lot of melodies, but it has to be creative, imaginative, and interesting. None of these songs are, so this gets a very low grade with me.

And on a closing note, is it just me, or did‘s comments freak anybody else out. “The power of Satan is real?” I’m all for religious freedom (though I’m not a religious person myself), but that person sounds like he/she’s sacrificed some babies in his/her day. I’m also opposed to poor spelling and grammar, and on that note, he/she’d definitely get an F.

(about six months later)

Okay, I’m changing my mind about this one (but I’m not going to write a fucking thesis like I did with my last review). It really frustrated me that I didn’t like Reign in Blood, when so many others loved it so much, and I decided maybe I was being a little critical toward it. So, I went back and listened to it tentatively one or two times…And now I blow my speakers out playing Reign in Blood and Angel of Death at full blast! Ha, ha, ha! Hail Satan!

So, yeah, I changed my mind. Despite the lack of diversity, it’s a really fun record. Plus, they used it to get rid of the hippies of South Park, which makes it that much cooler.

And about the “hail Satan” comment, I didn’t really mean it. There’s only one god for me, and that’ my uncle’s old hunting trophy.

Man I must be wasted.

Speaking of people who like Satan, clog dancing and spinal piercing, you should all really go and pick yourself up a copy of Tenacious D’s debut album, right now!

Stop looking at me and get your ass out the door!
I just bought Slayer's 'reign in blood' and have been listening to it over and over in my car. one of my friends thinks slayer is evil but we tell her that they're being tongue in cheek. just look at the back cover, they're just having such a good time and Tom Arraya yells like a 15 year old. One other thing is that it's unfortunate that slayer is tossed into the 'metal' category, since it seems that 'reign in blood' has more in common with the misfits' 'earth a.d.' than some Pantera album or something like that. It's unfortunate that being in the metal category forces them to have to play that up and tour with a bunch of lousy underground metal bands making me never want to go to one of their shows.
If you ever get sent off to war and you're about to go into battle, this is the record you want to have playing as you lock'n load and prepare to face the enemy.This record makes you want to rip shit apart with your bare hands. (Dana Calkins)
OK, looks like there's a lot to be said from me (though most won't care much). First of all, Reign In Blood is not quite Slayer's best album to me... I Could see it tying with Seasons in the Abyss, which I consider to be their greatest work. However, 1986 was probably metal's best year: I still consider Reign In Blood to be a metal masterpiece, though it falls considerably short of Master of Puppets. I really think Metallica is the best metal band to have ever existed, and here's why: Metallica's classic lineup, anyway, kicks Slayers ass. James is an infinitely better vocalist; he has the best voice in thrash. He also knows how to really sing, when the time is right, and we can't forget that he's got the best rhythm guitar playing skills in metal (though that's not comparable to Tom, because he plays bass). Of course, if we want to compare bass playing, Metallica not only beats and kills Slayer in competiton, but stretches beyond serious comparison
I copped this album roughly a year after it's release. Classic. Over 20 years later, this album still slays.
Even going back 3 years ago when I was still in high school, this CD would have earned an easy 10. Now as I leave the excess testerone days behind, my musical tastes become considerably slower. Not that I won't pick up a cool thrash/metalcore album every now and then, but it takes more than speed to wow me these days. Shit's been routine, whatever.

Which is why Reign in Blood now reigns behind South of heaven in favorite slayer albums. 9 out of 10. Chemistry and energy are undeniable, but unfortunately, too many songs lack the depth and maturity they achieved on their later albums. Not like they were ever deep in the first place, but I think you catch my drift. Favorite songs are "Criminally Insane" "Angel of Death" "Postmortem" and the still highly impressive "Raining Blood."

That's it really, G2G.

David Dickson
Meh. It's pretty hard rockin', but it doesn't bowl me over.

I know--most fans would say "Well, listen to it again. And again. And AGAIN. And TWENTY MORE TIMES. And soon, you will get its GENIUS." But see, here's the thing: Every album I've ever been wowed by has given me a reason to listen again on FIRST listen. Ain't that odd?

Yah, I know: Everyone who read that is scoffing: "Hey asshole you can't like every album on first listen. Listen to everything at least three times before you judge itt dick cock sucker." But the thing is, I don't appreciate an album FULLY on first listen--I just get a general feeling that it's, well, SPECIAL. I may not LOVE it to high heaven, but if it's special, I get some tiny, subliminal voice saying: "Hey listen to it again. It's SPECIAL." (Examples would be Nick Drake's Pink Moon and Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited. Didn't really love either one on first listen, but just got the deep-down feeling they had something to them that was, somehow, timeless. Unique. Revolutionary. Chord-striking. And the rest is history, etc.)

Reign in Blood sounds like something I would eventually use as a guide album to learn thrash rhythm guitar. Do I hear that tiny subliminal voice telling me to listen to it again? No. But I do hear pretty professionally rockin' stuff that clearly was NOT recorded in a dormitory basement by the Drive Like Jehu singer. That's something, at least.

P.S. Hey Mark! Last week, I think I actually did, against all odds, found a single solitary underground thrash metal album that I like. Black Metal, by Venom. Not as insanely speedy as this album, but better riffs, I think. FAR FAR worse vocals. Possibly most unintentionally hilarious cover picture of 1982. Classic!

Add your thoughts?

South Of Heaven - Def Jam 1988.
Rating = 9

Having created the ultimate speed metal record, the Slaymen decided to not only return to the longer song stylings of Hell Awaits, but to calm down and give normal-tempoed metal a good go-round. Keen work, too! Even without the whiplash drumming, all ten of these eerie riffs'll give you one for the money and two for the show. It's definitely not as intense as the last couple of albums, but the songs are great. "Behind The Crooked Cross" and "Mandatory Suicide" in particular take me to Heavymetalville in a clean-oiled Volkswagen of screw.

Give the stuff a chance. I don't really like when the drums plod along and go "doobladoobladoobladoobla" and make it all sound really slow, but all the other stuff sounds pretty darn cool! Quit being such a stuck up indie rock guy.

Reader Comments
ID Software uses the intro to "Behind The Crooked Cross" in the ever popular game DOOM. (Matt Stumpf)
Is it just me or does this album seem poorly mixed? I mean listen to the intro to "Ghosts of War". Where's the bass tones ! You can barely hear Araya's voice, and the drums sound worse than the drums on And Justice For All. I mean listen to the solos on "Behind The Crooked Cross"! The drums sound like bongos! Plus, "Silent Scream" sounds like a poor man's "Necrophobic". (The Chameleon)
I was disappointed when I first heard this because I was comparing it to Reign In Blood. And Reign In Blood blows this album away. South of Heaven still is really good. It's not really as speedy and powerful as Reign In Blood, but it's still worth listening to. The problem I have with this album as well, is that it seems poorly mixed. Tom's voice isn't as powerful and strong. The guitars drown his voice out, and the drums don't sound good at all. And what happened to all those guitar wails turning into Tom screaming like the beginning of "Angel of Death" or towards the end of "Postmortem"? Still though, this album is undeniably good. "Behind the Crooked Cross" just kicks! (Tony Viviano)
everyone has greatly mistaken on their reviews of this one. This is Slayer at their very best. Reign in Blood was great, but this one is proof that Slayer are professionals. I don't know what people are talking about with the mix I found it to sound great. Tom sounds great. I was hoping to see Slayer go forward in this direction, but they seemed to regress back to their older stuff after this. (Nima J)
I got this album haveing the impression that it was gonna be anywhere near as good as Reign in Blood or Hell Awaits, but I was wrong. It is a pretty good album. There are a few songs that just kick tons of ass, such as "Silent Scream, Behind the Crooked Cross, etc.." but the rest of them are just merely pretty good. Another thing I remarked on this album is the fact that Tom Araya's vocals are a little weaker than other albums. Sometimes i like it though cause he's actually sounding like he's singing and i can dig it. So although it just doesnt compare to Reign in Blood (and nothing ever will) I still give it an 8 (Pat D.)
10! 10! 10!

This album is by far Slayer's best. And boy, does Dave Lombardo RULE on the kit. Just about every track on here has some INCREDIBLE drum fill. Plus, the drums actually have a bit of weight on this album. Not Igor Cavalera heaviness, mind you, but still better than RIB. Where to start? The title track rules. "Silent Scream" rules. "Live Undead" rules "Behind the Crooked Cross" rules. Starting to notice a trend?

I know I'm not being very objective here, but this album gets the most play of any of my metal collection. And I have a lot of great classic thrash albums. This album is far more interesting than any of them. It has an almost perfect mix of midtempo and speed metal. Some of the songs actually stick with you, unlike the way-too fast for its own good RIB.

BUY IT NOW! (pestilence)
Of all Slayer albums, this is the worst(not including Diabolus). I've heard lots of people who think it is the best. I don't consider an album the best when every second song has a riff that consists of open E, then minor third, that first, then open e. The riffs in South of Heaven and Spill the Blood are close to identical, and are both really easy to play. All the riffs are the same theres not any creativity here. It seems as if they tried to make an album solely by downpicking as fast as they could ( by the way, anyone who thinks Metallica is the king of downpicking, check out Live Undead. Yes, that riff is downpicking, probably the fastest song ever!) Anyway, it's shit, IMHO. "4"
I had the unfortunate displeasure to see this sloppy mess called Slayer way back in 1988 or '89, I think. I went to Madison Square Garden really to see Danzig, who was opening up for this rip off of Venom called Slayer. Danzig was decent, but man, did Slayer suck. They sounded like someone was dragging two metal garbadge cans down a brick road, and occasionally running over a cat in the process. They were so bad that the audience started ripping the seats out and throwing them at the band. The show was stopped about 45 minutes into Slayer......and no one really cared. Just a downright terd of a band, and you like these fat slobs? Yeah, they were all dumpy and fat too! Oh well, like a Cut the Crap, Halfway To Sanity, Outside the Gate, or Ballbreaker,.....everyone has some misses - otherwise I agree with your opinions on most other good bands listed here. (Robert Chaundy)
Eight rather than nine. Tom's voice sounds very weak all of a sudden (and would do on Seasons as well) and the guitars are nearly inaudible on some songs. WHY? this is meant to be a METAL band, isn't it??. Rick Rubin and Flemming Rasmussen have got to be two of the lamest producers ever to hamper great bands. While I'm on the subject, this is yet ANOTHER record from 1988 with tinny, rackety, downright crap production (Blow Up Your Video, All About Eve, ...And Justice for All, Operation: Mindcrime, So Far, So Good... So What! - what was going on? The Chinese Year of the Talentless Studio Hack??).

Still a great record though. Silent Scream, Ghosts of War and the two mighty bookends are awesome, and the band seems to appreciate tnat slow = heavy and menacing, whereas Reign-in-Blood-fast = cool and visceral but somehow unsatisfying; thus this predictable yet fantastic progression. That said though, they do sound ever so slightly tired at times, apart from Dave 'Lars Who?' Lombardo - jeepers that boy can drum.

And the guy who thought the intro of Ghosts of War sounded tinny... listen to 'Wish You Were Here' by Pink Floyd, and you may glean the logic. (Gil Fragoso)
This album rules. You guys don't know the good songs.

"south of heaven" is a very fucking evil song.
"dissedent aggresor" - great fucking song. you should listen to it and go fight someone.
yeesh! so many comments on the angel of death controversy! thanks rob chaundy for calling 1988 the great year for metal. though I disagree about the chinese new year of the hack producer thing. the production may suck but hey that is what they sell anyway! operation mindcime is the best metal lp of 1988 and so does justice, so far so good so what! and blow up your video! oh yes south of heaven is a 10!
Excuse me? What the fuck is this? There is no Slayer after Reign In Blood. Sorry

Keep up the good work though.

Add your thoughts?

Seasons In The Abyss - Def American 1990.
Rating = 8

A step down only in that it sounds disturbingly similar to South Of Heaven. Lots of the riffs are just way too similar to ones already appearing on that LmnoP. Still, it's a perfectly worthwhile way to spend your time if you're really pissed off at your parent (or guardian) and think that serial killers are neat.

Many non-metalheads try to write these guys off as idiots, but dammit, I'm not a metalhead, and I love the way they put songs together. I find a tremendous deal of melodicism in their work, and even beauty amongst the wretchedness. Two guitars fighting against and alongside each other, tangling and untangling in masses of dark minor chords and low E's - why look for any deeper meaning in life? Thick and choppy as knives, but well-developed too! Notes into chords, wailing behind thrashing, repetition designed to hypnotize listeners into thumpy groove before a nicely-placed speed break kicks in and drives the whole tune to Arizona on a white whale. Good music. Real strong mean rock and roll. What are you, a Phil Collins fan or something? Go fuck yourself.

Nah, just kiddin'! :)

Reader Comments
read the lyrics to "seasons in the abyss" and then try it whilst being really stoned or trippin on acid (Pat D.)
I, too, do not like this one as much as South. However, I'm gonna drop this one to about a 6. Some of the riffs on here are just really irritatingly awkward. Wait, that's not entirely correct. The riffs combined with Tom's attempt at singing are irritatingly awkward.

Example #1 - "Blood Red"- I know this isn't very descriptive, but the riff to that song is SO dumb and weak. Ugh.

Example #2- "Expendable Youth". Dumb slow riff, and really awkward vocals over the top.

Example #3- "Dead Skin Mask" Another really awkward riff.

Example #4- The Title Track. Really dumb lyrics and vocals.

However, its not all bad. Perhaps the best Slayer tune of all time is on here, the phenomenal "War Ensemble". Now THAT is a fucking great metal tune. Ditto for "Spirit in Black", "Hallowed Point", the incredible "Temptation" and the fast "Born of Fire". All of those songs are exceptional, and make me wonder why the other tracks suck so damn much. Also, the mix seems to be a bit muddier on this one, which is odd, cause SoH came out two years before, and sounds much crisper.....Hmmmm.... (Nima J.)
Shit man, from the second i played this cd, i was hooked. War ensemble has to be one of the best Slayer songs out there. It's such a classic. This a change from South of Heaven, it ditches the calmed down vocals and goes back to some screaming. Seasons is probably one of two Slayer albums that people know about. And hell, it's for a good reason, it kicks so much ass. There's some catchy riffs in this one too, especially war ensemble. The other songs are great too like the title track, dead skin mask, skeletons of society, and so on. This album keeps up with the Slayer tradition of really kickin ass, it gets a 9 from me. (Nikolaos Sergakis)
Well Reign In Blood gets the 10 but Season In The Abyss gets an 8. Well you surely are missing the true work of the album. I'm not saying that I hate Reign In Blood it's an awesome album, but seasons does deserve the 10. Each SLAYER album I've listened to is great and the records after that have improved(except God Hates Us All & Show No Mercy which are good but no classics). It is a great rock record and deserves more respect. Your did a great review but damnit I am a METALEAD and proud of it. And I know some people who put down Dead Skin Mask because of its meaning and I've got to say When You People Are Rotting In Hell You Will Hear This Song. In Your Head. FOR ALL ETERNITY! (Robert Chaundy)
Does sound very very similar to South of Heaven: still using that chest infection guitar sound, still playing a little slower than they can, still sounding rather tired They do throw new things into the mix, like the twin lead harmonies on Spirit in Black and the brutal, slow, pounding beat of Skeletons Society which

...reminds me: Skeletons of Society = Expendable Youth and Dead Skin Mask = South of Heaven. Not similar, identical. They'd come close to repeating themselves plenty of times before but those two are just shameless retreads. Tut tut.

But overall it's an older, more chilled Slayer which tries new motifs rather than pushing the boring old murder/horror/hell buttons again. There's lots of war songs and war songs, as any fule kno, are Slayer's best songs. That glorious minute in the middle of War Ensemble is probably their all-time peak. Bottom line is that Seasons is a not-very-heavy album, but a very listenable one, and even when the melodies get dull there's always Dave 'Awesome' Lombardo to knock you out. But still no bass.

This was it - their last great album. Divine Intervention was weak, I don't like Diabolus nearly as much as I used to and God Hates Us All secretly stinks underneath its sounds-quite-cool surface. Ah well. Come 1991 and Sepultura would take on the mantle of Kings of Metal (held by Metallica 1983-1986 and Slayer 1986-1990). To their eternal credit, Sep are still miles ahead of the pack and are young enough to carry on for a long time.

Korn, bye bye. (Rob DelMedico)
Sorry to rain on everybody's parade, but not only is Seasons not a 10, it's towards the bottom of their collection in terms of quality, in fact, beating out only Diabolus and God Hates Us All.

I'm not sure what causes people to overrate this album, but one thing is for certain--this album tries to recapture a lot of the thrash magic they eschewed on South of Heaven (then again, it's not like there weren't any thrash songs on SoH--HELLO! "Ghosts of War"?) while keeping the new more palatable sound (yet done much better on SoH) of SoH going as well.

Unfortunately, we get a really mixed album here. "War Ensemble" is one of their better tunes of all time, yes. However, I really do wish they'd replace it in their setlist. I'm beyond tired of hearing it.

"Blood Red" and "Expendable Youth" are almost interchangable songs, very mundane, boring, and the riffs sound like Slayer trying to be the Rolling Stones. Whereas the slower numbers on SoH (Live Undead) were well written, these sound slapped together. "Spirit in Black" is an alright track but again, it's rather mundane by Slayer's standards and nothing much about the song grabs you by the head.

Now unfortunately, that's 60% of the first half of the album I've just tossed aside. They'd have to have a mighty kickass second half to save this album, right?

Well, they did. Other than the stupid "Temptation", all the songs on the second half smoke. "Born of Fire", "Hallowed Point", and the title track are all fine points.

but ultimately, I gotta say "big whoop". Compared to Divine Intervention (fuck you morons, this one destroys Seasons), Hell Awaits, Reign, South, Show...or just about any Slayer, this one just isn't great. It's good, but it's one of those sacred cows that needs to die. Reign in Blood is the only sacred cow this band needs, and it's worthy of it's sacredness. And stuff.
for the first time in slayer's music , solo's are not out of the game

Best compositions they ever achieved, the drumming is just awsome, the riffs are way too heavy and enough slow to make you trip along, one of the best metal albums in history. period
Prehaps the greatest of Slayers "commercial albums" its chock full of great songs and inventive riffs. Dead skin mask with its creepy spoken intro and almost majestic drumming must be the greatest on the album but Skeletons of society and the title track are great to. I think that Slayer in the nienties realised that they done the fast brutal stuff and now they wanted to try their hands on more slow scary stuff. That reminds me Prindle try to review Autopsy sometime their were the greatest doom/death band ever.
I have to say I liked this much more than SoH, it's heavier and faster. Also to Pat D who praised SoH and then complained about the "awkward riff" of "Dead Skin Mask". I have to check my books (I have tabs for SoH and SitA), but I believe it is the EXACT same riff in "Dead Skin Mask" and "South of Heaven" . Reign in Blood rules however.
Man, this is where it's at.

I just found out that it's LONGER than South of Heaven, but surely that can't be right? South of Heaven has one too many songs I reckon (Cleanse The Soul kicks ass, but the album just seems to drag by then), but Seasons is perfect. Sure, there aren't as many standout tracks like Angel of Death, Reign In Blood, South of Heaven, Mandatory Suicide or Spill the Blood, but I reckon it's the most consistent album Slayer have ever made! That's right! More consistent than Reign! Take that sweaty metalheads!

The production is also grainy, not sure if thats the CD or not... (it was brand new?) but I dig it anyway!

Kerry and Jeff are just shitting riffs! It's fucking cool! There's also a place on one of the last four songs where Lombardo's drumming actually gave me that fuzzy feeling you get when you're in love! I blushed and got a boner ^_^

I mean, I could be wrong but I reckon it's my favourite Slayer album. I can't work out if I'm just 'on the rebound' after being underwhelmed by Divine Intervention and Undisputed Attitude or not, but I'm 90% certain I love this album!

10/10 ALL THE WAY!

Add your thoughts?

Decade Of Aggression Live - Def American 1991.
Rating = 9

Fantastic double-CD roundup of their career. Really good live sound, swell song selection, and - well, heck, you know it rocks! Tom's voice doesn't hold up for the full ninety minutes, but that hardly ruins winners like "Chemical Warfare," "Hell Awaits," and the shred central classic, "Angel Of Death." Total rock action. Wish I'd been there. The greatest moment is when Tom addresses the crowd, "Hey, you guys in the front! If you see somebody go down, help 'em up. That's why we're here; to help each other out, alright? This next one's called WAAAARRRR ENSEEEEEMBLLLLLLLLEE!!!!!!!!" Sure is nicer than that line about "cunts who spread their legs" from Live Undead.

Reader Comments
Just want to say that if you ever get a chance to see a concert at the Orange Pavillion in San Bernardino, where part of this album was recorded, by all means do so. The place is just a tad bigger than a high school gym. Saw KISS there in '92, and there were no reserved seats, and on the floor there weren't even chairs, just pile on up! Almost lost my hearing that night. (Dave)
Shit bro, Decade of Aggression is the best live album any band has ever put out. Great sound w/o the over-dubbing. The actual concert experience is unbelievable, but this album helps to create the atmosphere without some big motherfucker trying to shove you into the pit. Love it!!
what r u talking about going pansy ever been n a pit the rule of thumb is to kik ass but always help em up.REign in blood (Daniel Lawrence)
This live recording punches me continuously in the face with metal glee!! After listening to this live album countless times, I can't express enough how much I want to see Slayer. The energy and intensity is perfectly captured. I don't know how they could have enough energy to blast through all the songs they do, but they somehow pull it off perfectly. The guitars are heavier than ever, the drums are pounding, and Tom sounds crazy. They do a remarkable job on "Hell Awaits", "Jesus Saves", "Spirit in Black", "Hallowed Point", "Raining Blood", and "Chemical Warfare" in particular. I just love the way Tom introduces some of the songs. Let me also add in, that when I first heard Slayer's guitar solos, I thought they were crap. But somehow after listening to them very carefully, it's absolutely amazing how well they fit the music. Not to mention Hannemean and King play almost note for note the exact same lightning speed solos as in the studio recordings, which is amazing. Great intense sound and great song selection. 9/10.
Is it just me or is one of the guitars way louder than the other on this album? The levels seem to even out on CD # 2, but that’s the one point that keeps me from giving this album a 10.
10/10 This is in my opinion the greatest Slayer record and a great point to start if you want to get into Trash Metal. It features their best songs and after this one, not one song came along that would be worth adding to a Greatest Hits of Slayer compilation. There are some missing here from previous albums, but still the set is excellent, they played it intense and to the point. The guitar solos are there note to note as performed on the albums (which is incredible in a way, because it sounds all like random noise in the first place but it isn't!) and Tom sings and screams everything in his adult metal voice and not the teenage squeek from Show No Mercy. This album is one of the best metal albums in the world and maybe also one of the most intense and original albums in music.
"Total rock action. Wish I'd been there."

I was there. The first CD was recorded at the Lakeland Civic Center on one of the final dates of Clash of the Titans. My first of many Slayer shows.

And the live version of "Hell Awaits" is by far superior to the recorded. I still get chills each time that intro comes in, culminating in the evil "Welcome Back".

Add your thoughts?

Divine Intervention - American 1994.
Rating = 7

They replaced their drummer, but that's not the real problem on this one. The problem is that several of these riffs just aren't as catchy as the ones Slayer wrote back in the gay '80s. Tom sounds angrier than a bucket of alligators, but the music clomps around in a circle more often than it pulls you in and shakes you silly. Kinda like they're trying to be more Tool-like or something. And a few of the songs are just terrible! "Serenity In Murder," for example, starts off cool but then slows down and makes us listen to SUNG vocals. Sung? By Slayer? No no no. "213," for another example, has a melody pulled straight out of Glenn Danzig's book of Things That Try To Sound Scary But Fail. Still, "Dittohead" kicks as hard as any other track recorded in NINETY-FOUR, and the title track is spooky keen like Ben Vereen.

It's basically a good album, but you as a music fan know how disappointing it can be when a great band only manages a good album. Buy it if you're already a fan. Otherwise, start your collection somewhere else.

Oh yeah! The spine-tingling cover artwork and repulsive arm photo inside are almost reason enough to buy the album. If only the music were a little better! Urgh!

A music war!

Reader Comments (The Chameleon)
Mark is probably right about how the bloody arm photo is perhaps a good enough reason to get the album if you're into that kind of thing, for me that wasn't enough. Although I'm young and these are the first Slayer songs I ever heard that I kind of liked back in 1994 when I was in 7th grade. Although they got me into Slayer with help from these reviews, these songs just aren't that good. No song really stands out in my mind. "Dittohead" is alright I guess, I actually liked "Serenity in Murder", because the music video was so cool, and the song is kinda of neat too although I guess they do "sing". I personally miss (although I don't remember) seeing all the smaller Slayer albums like Hell Awaits and Reign In Blood, where their label wasn't big, but they kicked more ass than they ever will again. (Clay Butler)
you give Load an 8 but Divine Intervention only a seven? You're fucked (Tony Burt)
Why can't people see that this is Slayer's best album. The best songs: Sex Murder Art, Dittohead, and Serenety In Murder. Serenity In Murder is the best song on theis great CD and dumb fucks don't understand it.
How come nobody has mentioned "Killing Fields"? This is one of my favorite Slayer tunes of all and that double bass at the beginning just rules. This was my first Slayer CD and it introduced me to the band very well. "Sex, Murder, Art", "Dittohead", and the title track are also great tracks. I especially like the lyrics of "Dittohead", very true. I give this one a 9 because Reign In Blood kicks too much ass. (Blackadder)
Having heard all of Slayer's work except Show No Mercy, I vote Divine Intervention as their masterpiece, with Hell Awaits and South of Heaven coming in a close second and third. The first Slayer song I ever heard was "213", when I was in the seventh grade. I was terrified and at the same time fascinated by the morbid lyrics and bone chilling guitars. I don't think Divine Intervention is a good place to start listening to Slayer, but for someone who's already a Slayer fan it is essential! Killing Fields is a classic, with the thunderous opening barrage of drums and the chaotic instrumentation that never gets old. Dittohead is about as fast as anything on Reign In Blood, and twice as powerful. The title track stands out as my favorite; a truly haunting piece. Circle of Beliefs is a scathing and well written critisism, and opens with vocals, drums, and guitars simultaneously; very memorable. In deference to your opinion, Serenity in Murder is one of my all-time favorite Slayer songs. I really dig the ominous, dirge-like sining in between the screaming and tidal waves of fiery guitar. Also, 213 stands out as their most perverse song ever. Between that and "Sex. Murder. Art.", I think this album is even more disturbing than Hell Awaits. The album finishes as fiercely as it began, with the fast pace of "Mind Control." To anyone who digs Slayer, but doesn't have Divine Intervention yet, GET IT!! It's scores a 10 in my book, with or without the pictures of the guy with the bloody "SLAYER" carved in his arm, which inspired GOD knows how many kids to do the same thing!
I just got this CD a couple of weeks ago, and I already like it better than South of Heaven or Seasons in the Abyss. This album is less accessible than either of those albums, and it is simply a better album. The intro to Killing Fields is outstanding, and Paul proves that he is a worthy replacement of Dave. Fictional Reality, Dittohead, Serenity in Murder, and 213 are outstanding as well. I read somewhere that "213" was Jeffrey Dahmer's apt. #, so that would explain the lyrics. Musically, it sounds like "Seasons in the Abyss II", and that certainly isn't a bad thing. This is probably my second favorite Slayer album, slightly ahead of Hell Awaits and behind Reign in Blood. (Robert Chaundy)
This is not good. Take each song in isolation and they're mostly pretty fair, but assembled as an album they just rattle along aimlessly until you fall asleep. It sounds more like a 35-minute cough than a musical album. That said, the first minute of Killing Fields is good, Dittohead and Mind Control are angry and fast enough to raise the blood pressure a little, and SS-3 is almost one of Slayer's great war songs. Not quite though. And '213' is just dreadful.

I don't think it's any coincidence that most of the songs on here are written by Kerry King. I hate to criticise the guy, but it's clear to me that Hanneman is the far more accomplished songwriter. And Bostaph sounds very green on the drumkit (fast-forward to 1998 to hear what he's really capable of).

I guess they were just running out of riffs and inspiration; no crime, but a rather sad spectacle nonetheless. To think this came out the same year as Awake... Get that baby first. 5/10. (Pat D.)
Rob Chaundy is right about Paul for a lot of this record, although part of that can be blamed on Rick Rubin's latest stab at pathetic production which makes everybody sound really sloppy. Take the beginning of Killing Fields, arguably Paul's low point in sloppy sounding ness on the album But i must really disagree on two tracks---Dittohead and Sex, Murder, Art. Dittohead is an absolute Bostaph tour de force with some of the most balanced and yet kickass drumming of his career. Hell, he even SOUNDS great unlike Killing Fields which leads me to believe somebody didnt put a whole lot of effort into engineering this album completely.

On the whole though, i'm not too keen on this album, partially because of the aforemention bad production. Oh yeah, i didnt even mention the guitars yet. Barely audible for a lot of the record. And as with most Slayer albums, you'll swear that Tom Araya never bothered to pick up his bass guitar during the recording sessions, because its just not THERE. As people previously mentioned, the variation among songs isnt that apparent either. I dunno, maybe some day it will grow on me. As of now, a 5.
This is a very good Slayer album, if it weren't for the hideous production. I don't know who's to blame, but that person did a good job fucking the sound up. It just sounds so tame compared to most of Slayer's other albums. The songs, though, are good enough. (Rob DelMedico)
Perhaps this is the voice of biase speaking, but I think this album is topped only by RIB and south of Heaven.

I for one love the production. It does make everything sound sloppy, but it has this creepy vibe that really enhances the album.

As for teh songs, the only song I dislike is Fictional Reality. Killing Fields rules, Sex. Murder. Art. is one of their best songs ever, and 213 just rules. I love this album to death. It's definitely not as accessible but more rewarding in the long run. Hard to believe a thrash album like this was released in 1994. Good christ I wish they were still making albums like this instead of God Hates Us All. (Phill Martinmaas)
Waaaay underrated. Not the Slayer anyone expected but very good in its own form. Seems more politically focused.

Dittohead, 213, Circle of Beliefs, Killing Fields, Serenity in Murder, its all worth listening to. That and Mind Control might just have the coolest fucking Slayer riff I've heard in awhile. (John Castiglia)
Your review is dead-on. I remember waiting 4 years for this to come out only to be let down. I think the problem is that they let Kerry King write the majority of the songs. Let's face it, Hanneman writes better stuff. I think it's because of his punk influences. I was hooked on Slayer since Reign in Blood. S.O.H. and Seasons are awesome and I was waiting for this album to come out to see how much they would progress. The songs go nowhere. Boring as hell. I remember driving back from 5 Towns College listening to this album and feeling disgusted. Not one good song. No "War Ensemble". No "Silent Scream". No "Face the Slayer" either.

Over the years, it grew on me. Plus, I know a lot of guys that love this record and got into Slayer because of it. So I guess it wasn't a total waste. Maybe there's a direct correlation between Slayer's song writing and Kerry King's hairline.
again, no talk about lyrical content! Slayer have political views; "Dittohead" is a pro-Rush Limbaugh song and you don't say anything about it?! This placed along a song about Jeffrey Dahmer and another about Reinhard Heydrich and a sliced up arm inside, weird.

Add your thoughts?

Undisputed Attitude - American 1996.
Rating = 7

Determined to get the lead out after that thumpity Divine Intergalactica album, the Slayfellows fill up a compact dick with covers of punk and hardcore tunes by bands like Verbal Assault, TSOL, Minor Threat, D.I., The Stooges and D.R.I. Fast and catchy, including a couple of old quickies written by Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman. Unfortunately, (a) the thick processed guitar sound just doesn't work for raw hardcore, (b) Tom can't scream hardcore for shit, and (c) the one new original, "Gemini," is pretty rank and features the same sleek stupid vocals that ruined "Serenity In Murder" on the last record. Just yell, dammit! Don't start your Slayer collection with this one either. It beats Guns 'n' Roses' Spaghetti Incident, but it's still just a covers album.

Reader Comments (John Fiero)
I read a review somewheres of UA (I think it was on the Microsoft Music Central page), and the idiot who wrote it called Minor Threat a "fringe act!" Can you fuckin' believe it? Probably a Hootie and the Blowfish fan, or something. Sheesh. (Guido Marrocco)
Slayer goes punk? Just one thing to say "FUCKING SELL OUT"! Whats next? Slayer covers Green Day's Greatest Hits? Get back to metal or else you will join Metallica and lose fans from all over the world!
I think Undisputed Attitude is the greatest album of all time! I'm not even that big of a Slayer fan, I like a lot of Crass, and Minor Threat. But this album fucking R U L E S ! ! I encourage anyone who is reading this that likes old school punk to buy it! it is amazing! (Kim Borgholt)
The import undisputed attitude has Suicidal Tendencies' "memories of tomorrow" and G.B.H.'s "Sick Boy",in addition to lyrics, in English AND Japanese (for those who give a flyin' fuck),it costs $30.00- slayer is the baddest but ,ripoff city for us Slayer fans who have to have it all,w hy not give everyone the same record and not make people like me pay outta the ass- "DDAM" is bad ass. (Jon Poirier)
The new Beethoven...the Black Sabbath of the era...Hail the mighty SLAYMEN. (Robert Chaundy)
Why does everyone rag on Undisputed Attitude so? It's amazing! I know nothing about hardcore punk - sorry if my ignorance offends - but virtually every song here is brute gobbing melodicism made flesh! Yow! And only Slayer could play them like this! Even the weak ones are over before you know it (always a good idea to make bad songs really short), so no harm done there. Ddamm and Guilty of Being White are especially naughty and catchy, but hell, these songs are just pure ENERGY! So fantastic!

I want free money! Says it all really, doesn't it? Shame Gemini had to be so crap, though. Roll on Diabolus!!
I love Slayer but damn, this album sucks hard. The remakes suck and the Slayer originals suck. I can get about halfway through this and then it just gives me a headache and I have to turn it off. Just such a bunch of repetitive shouting. If you must, do yourself a favor and go find the originals. Minor Threat isn't a white power band, despite the stupid song choice that Slayer makes here. And I don't know what the fuck Verbal Abuse is, but I'd suppose they must be OK. The Stooges remake is a complete pile of shit. Like it needed different words. Christ.
Slayer are sellouts for doing punk/hc covers? They are simply paying homage to the bands which influenced them. Anyone who was a Slayer fan during the mid to late 80s (or at least well read about the band) should not be surprised by UA. Their affinity for punk and hardcore music is no secret. Where do I begin? Tom, in a 1986 issue of Metal Mania (not to be confused with a modern mag of a similar name) made several remarks about Reign in Blood being "like punk" and liking Black Flag and the Circle Jerks. Jeff used to sport a Dead Kennedy's "Frankenchrist" T-Shirt. In their early days, one of the members state that their music is "Punk meets NWOBHM". The chorus of "Evil Has No Boundaries" shows a HC/punk influence. Should I even mention the stickers that Jeff used to have on his guitar (DKs, Wasted Youth, DRI)? Find some old photos and you'll see what I'm talking about. Oh, and to that brain surgeon who made the "Green Day" remark - miss me with your ill-informed nonsense. Listen to Minor Threat, GBH and D.I. and tell me if they sound ANYTHING like Green Day. Educate yourself before spouting off -- then you won't sound like some ill-informed, pre-pubescent herb who recently graduated from shopping at Hot Topic.

Add your thoughts?

Diabolus In Musica - American 1998.
Rating = 8

Slayer have changed. This album is different than the others. It's still intense and screaming and menacing, but it's also bass-heavy, grooving and, well, darn '90s! No more the weird scraggly reverbed Slayer guitar sound; the new production may make them sound more like their competitors, but it also makes the music a hell of a lot more headbangin'. Very heavy mix with a lot more "funk" than "punk" in the drums. Not that this is "funk" music - I'm not trying to frighten you away or anything. But you'll be surprised how some of these tunes -- I guess I'm specifically thinking of "Death's Head," "Stain Of Mind" and "Love To Hate" -- will make you sway your hips as you bang your head. Very, very cool. Repetitive riffs that drag you in and kick your ass. Mind you, it's all MIDTEMPO, and if there's any complaint to make about the record, that's it.... Four or five songs have speed bits in them, but there are no straight-up hardcore tunes. And why don't I care? Because for the first time in AGES (heck, some might say "ever"!!! -- But those people would be wrong and I'd kick their children in the balls), every single track on here has a distinctive hook that you'll have stuck in your head for ages. There are no tunes where you listen to it, think to yourself, "Hmm. Sounds like Slayer!" and wait for another masterpiece like "Behind The Crooked Cross." Aside from possibly the weird and almost directionless final track, all of these tunes sound like at least a little bit of effort and thought went into them.

I hesitate to say this, especially since I'm not a metalhead and metalheads might get really mad at me for doing so, but I personally enjoy this record as much as ANY previous Slayer record (with the exception of Reign In Blood, of course, which is one of my favorite records of all time by anybody). I'm honestly drawn into every single song -- even if a song has a less interesting middle part or something, all of the main riffs are terrific. Simplistic as always, but very catchy and mean. And yeah, the "funky" thing takes a couple of listens to get used to, but once you do, Hooee! And it's not like they've COMPLETELY changed. Tom's still mad as hell, the riffs still sound like they're going to strangle you in the nose, and the drummer (Paul Bostaph, who debuted on Divine Intervention) is still beating the shit out of his set. What really sets the record apart, at least to my pop-hungry ears, is its consistency. Even the tunes with only one or two chords are hypnotizing enough to make you go "heck yes!" Oh, who am I kidding? Slayer have always written simplistic riffs. And that's part of their charm. Their songs don't change every four seconds like Napalm Death or early Sepultura (ha! I named two of the, like, NINE metal bands with which I'm familiar! ha!) -- they have enough parts to stay interesting, but they stay ROOTED. Like a good song would. Something to hang your hat on.

Okay, so let me conclude. Not every Slayer fan will enjoy this. Again, it's a bit different from the others. But that's GOOD! Remember how great their first album was? And then their second album was a lot more intense and serious, so it ruled? Then their third one was all screaming speed, so it ruled? Then their fourth one was slowed down and a little less intense, but it was progression, so it ruled? Then the next two were too similar to that one, so they were slightly disappointing? Well, then. Be happy. They're exploring new territory, but still keeping their edge. With a VENGEANCE. What an old bunch of guys to still be this tight and angry! Please give it a few listens. I probably haven't heard it enough times yet to honestly give it a 9, so don't be pissed at me if I lower it to an 8 at some point. But right this second, after a mere six listens, I'm in love with the damn thing. It has a couple lagging minutes, but certainly no more than South of Heaven or Hell Awaits, which is to say not much at all. But it IS pretty darn midtempo. So prepare yourself for that, if you haven't already.

Did I mention that Jeff Hanneman wrote nearly all the music on this one? He's a good songwriter! One other thing before I shut my stream-of-consciousness ass and go review the crappy new Van Halen album -- "Love To Hate" is a rap song. Maybe it wasn't intended to be a rap song, but it's a rap song. Possibly the heaviest rap song ever recorded. Man, do I love it.

Reader Comments (David)
I am a guitar teacher, and a huge Slayer fan. Having seen Slayer many, many times over the last 12 years, I can honestly say that Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman CAN play lead guitar quite well, and they haved nailed those "horrible guitar solos" from the first three albums almost note-for-note every time I've seen them.

Also, as Mark states, it is very difficult to play "normal" guitar leads over these aggressive, atonal riffs. You see, many of the rhythms incorporate odd chromatic movement, like starting with an E5 chord, then pedaling palm muted E notes between an F# - G - A - Bb - F# slur for three bars before ending the riff on Bb5 - A5 - G5 quarter-note triplet resolution in the fourth bar.

How do you play a lead over something as screwy as that?

Well, most guitarists would play some E minor scale licks, since E is the note the rhythm guitar plays most, but to my ears, it would sound kinda boring. The next thing the average guitarist would do is to maybe play some diminished 7th arpeggios, a technique Slayer has (thankfully) used sparingly. Diminished 7th arpeggios are usually cop-outs used by neo-classical shredders when they can't think of anything else to say or play. Like master wanker Yngwie Malmsteen.

What Slayer does, however, is to pretty much play "harmonically incorrect" runs over every chord or note change. Much more often than not, it works perfectly. Now, I'm not neccesarily saying they do it on purpose, but it's so brilliant that they had to have worked those early solos out before recording them. Even the whammy bar noises they play work over the guitar rhythms. Either that or they're the biggest idiot savants the guitar realm has ever fucking known.

Hope you can understand this shit. I tried to keep my explanations extremely simple. Most people I've tried to tell this to look at me like I'm some sort of madman. (Nima J)
Wowee! Rarely have i seen a comeback that hasn't been an absolute piece of shit. This was quite a surprise. I wasn't expecting Slayer to come out with a new album, but this kicks ass! Hell man, no more semi-heavy distortion of old, now we got in your face you-will-die distortion! This is a great album. Tons of great songs on it, my favorite being "Bitter Peace." Another thing is, I have never ever heard Tom scream like this before! its awesome! All in all this album is very adrenaline-pumping, and I salute Slayer for having such an excellent comeback. Get's a 9 from me (Steven Samuelson)
Once again Slayer proves their attrition! Of all the metal bands from the 80s they are the real deal. After being a loyal fan since 84 I FINALLY saw the live this year and must say it will live in my memory forever. As far as the new album goes, it is my favorite since Reign in Blood and has renewed my zeal for this incredible band! (D.W.)


IT WASNT HIM!!!!!!! (Pat D.)
Damn Slayer for going in this direction. We don't get enough of this crap from Korn and Machinehead, Tom?

Probably the most annoying thing about this album is Mr. Araya. On the tracks that he spews lyrics like the old days ("Bitter Peace", "Love to Hate", and "Stain of Mind), the vocals are acceptable, and dare I say it, those tracks rule. But on the other tracks, like Mark mentioned for Divine Intervention, Tom tries to sing. And biy, that gets old real quick. Its not like I hate the man, rather, on the past albums I grew to enjoy his vocal attack. But like Dave Mustaine, Araya just CANNOT sing. It sounds like a shrieky kinda whine when he does.

The other annoying thing is that nobody does thrash anymore. NOBODY. Sepultura have been doing that Chaos A.D. sound to death for their albums following it. Pantera stopped being thrash when Dime decided to sleep with his damn effects processor and play really slow. Of course, both Metallica and Megadeth are now hard rock. Now Slayer have embraced this new wave shit brought to us by those no talent fuckheads Head and Munky from Korn who play 7 strings to fool teenagers into thinking they can actually play.

While this is not as bad as any Korn release, I still don't like it, other than those great tracks listed above. 5.
Absolutely one of the best albums of all time, up there with The White Album, Sabotage, Fair Warning, All the World's a Stage, Mr. Bungle, Piece of Mind, Diary of a Madman, Master of Puppets, Made in Japan, Spirit (yes, Jewel), Back Home Again (yes, John Denver), Never Say Die, Speak of the Devil, Born Again, Caress of Steel, Hammer the Chicken Machine, Operation Mindcrime, Killer, Welcome to my Nightmare, Hemispheres, A Farewell to Kings, 2112, Heaven and Hell, and Number of the Beast. Slayer is unquestionably the most intense band in the world. No question. There is no band in the world with as much integrity as this band. NO ONE. And that is the most important thing in the world. Integrity. I have a fork stabbed through my scrotum by the way.
Although Slayer have changed their sound a little on this release, they still play very hard and at times fast. Tom Araya has been one of my favorite metal singers throughout all of Slayer's catalogue, and I still like his singing on this one. I'd give this one an 8. And to Pat D., if you're looking for a band that still plays thrash, look no further than Overkill, who still play fast, angry, and out of control like all the good bands of the 80s did. (Peter Ross)
Slayer sucks. Sepultura sucks. Cannibal Corpse sucks. Marilyn Manson sucks. All them friggin' Satan worshippin' cocknuts should be castrated, have their vocal cords pulled out, have their legs, arms, and fingers broken, get shot in the head and thrown into a huge-ass bonfire all at once. That way they'll get a taste of what hell is really like. There, I said it. LONG LIVE THE REAL ROCK 'N ROLL! (Pat D.)
I'd just like to point out to the rather ignorant Pete Ross that Sepultura are different and do not glorify satan worship---at least on beneath the remains and beyond. They are rather politically inclined.
I have a few tidbits of info for all of you ridiculing faggots, # 1. slayer has gotten where they are now with little or no airplay from pussy program directors. #2 speaking of which you don't keep putting out killer albums for 20 years if you aren't making a lot of fucking money! #3 If you want to talk about copycats lets talk about Korn, Godsmack, and all of these sissy bands, that I'm sure if you asked all of the new heavy metal bands who were they influenced by, they would say SLAYER!!!! I'm reading all of these so called Slayer fans mail on this sight, and some of you are making me fucken pissed off. Judging the best band on the planet is pretty shitty you dumb ass critics. I've got an idea for all of you, check it out, put on your favorite SLAYER song, turn it up really fucken loud, and enjoy! Because I love seeing the looks on non SLAYER fans faces when I'm blasting my eardrums o! ut to some kick ass GEMINI or ANGEL OF DEATH!!!!!!! 1 more thing to all the people that have rude assed comments about SLAYER on this web site---fucking blow me !!!!!!!!!!! Go listen to Mary Chapin Carpenter or some Waylon Jennings you stupid jackoffs

THAT'S RIGHT, SLAYER FUCKEN RULES AND YOU KNOW IT! WORDS TO LIVE AND DIE BY FROM A TRUE SLAYER FAN FROM DAY 1!!!!! By the way I'm not a Satan worshipper, I'm married with 2 kids, and I also have a good paying respectable job, so put that in your pipe and smoke it! Thrash on!
what the fuck is with all these morons bashing the greatest metal band ever if you dont fucking like slayer go listen to selloutica or those pussys known as korn slayer our the godfathers of thrash, show some fucking RESPECT !!!!!!!!!
Slayer is one of the worst goddamm pieces of shit I've ever had the misfortune to listen to. A ten-year-old who knows a couple of chords can play better than these two-chord assholes.

They rate about 1/2 of 1/2 a point above Cannibal Corpse which don't mean jack-shit. Two-chord, no-talent fat motherfuckers is what they is.

Reading "Thrashrules@aol" and "borowitz" up above is laughable. They're probably the same demented motherfuckers who scarred themselves with the word, "Slayer" in that picture.

Well guess what, you no-taste motherfuckers. I'll say whateverthefuck I want to about 'Slayer'. So get used to it... (laughs) (Robert Chaundy)
Along with Dirt and Master of Reality, I reckon this is one of the three heaviest albums of all time. I'm not talking lyrical nastiness or inverted crosses or parent-scaring cover art - I'm talking pure, pupil-dilating, bowel-trembling heaviness of sound - like Beethoven and Wagner used to do so well. Because, like it or not, much of Slayer's 80s output was horribly unheavy. Nasty as anything, sure, but just thin and buzzy. Diabolus in Musica is heavier than a grand piano.

Oh boy, some of this is world-class. Bitter Peace, Stain of Mind, Love to Hate and the awesome Scrum (who says these songs are slow??) are perfect masterpieces, and the rest is almost as good. The album does kind of peter out at the end, which is a shame, but not disastrously.

I might just give this a ten. I think it's better than Reign in Blood.

Add your thoughts?

God Hates Us All - American 2001.
Rating = 5

I'm with God on this one. After nearly two decades of bowling me over with their eerie notes, horse-with-six-legs speed gallops and metallic chord sequences worth their weight in gold (actual sound doesn't weigh much; you'll have to open your mind to my metaphysical descriptives), Slayer have left me not just disappointed but actively irritated. There's like no RIFFS on this album. Most of the songs are just the same low chord played over and over again while the drummer pounds his set in an unpleasant, non-rolling manner and Tom Araya shouts every single word at the exact same key. Previous Slayer outings always gave me the feeling that I was happily embracing the apocalypse on account of the end of the world having a bunch of cool riffs and kicking my ass. With this one, it feels like some asshole is taking a shovel and just banging it into the side of my head over and over.

Which is not to say it's ALL bad! There are some seXXXcellent twisty-turns up to Slayer Snuff (cocaine), but, aside from four or five honestly enjoyable songs that nevertheless don't add a whole lot to the pre-existing Slayer catalog, these moments generally consist of really short segments separated by long patches of unnecessarily punishing crap. Oh wait - I haven't even looked at the lyrics yet. Wait here.

No no, with your clothes off.

Okay, I read them. Some of them, I mean - a line here or there. I love the lyrics booklet, which is made to look like a bible with Slayer's Satanic evil darkness lyrics scrawled in, but the lyrics are stupid. "Hate heals - you should try it some time." TEE HEE! Every bit as witty and acerbic as that guy in Steely Dan!

Slayer is a bunch of sellout fags that should change their name to Alternativer.

Reader Comments (Robert Chaundy)
Well I think it deserves a bit more than that, but on this album Slayer have certainly let most of the deep-grooving heaviness of Diabolus in Musica slip away. As a result they have to double the speed and the swearing, which results in a distinct feeling of the drunken uncle down the disco showing the young 'uns he can still boogie. It is insulting to think that Slayer should have to compete with the likes of Slipknot and Papa Roach, but unfortunately the teenagers in hoody tops probably know as much about the masters of thrash as they do about Mungo Jerry or Herman's Hermits. Which sucks.

That said, Disciple is as ferocious as anything I have ever heard, frankly, and its lyrics will be more than enough to make some Christians/Muslims/Jews/whatevers think twice or more about their precious tenets.. Threshold, Exile and New Faith, meanwhile, spew out some truly awesome riffs (there ARE riffs on this record - Prindle just needs to give it a couple more listens!). But the second half of the album does get pretty threadbare - stuff like Deviance and Bloodline is slow and stupid and about as scary as Mr Staypuft.

God Hates Us All is still brilliant, though. Never in all history have a bunch of fortysomethings sounded anything like so angry and pissed off as these guys. It's about time the old guard showed the nu-metal pansies what it's all about.

Call it a seven. (Richard Bowles)
I tend to think along the same lines as you with regards to your Slayer reviews, but on this one, man, we gotta agree to disagree. This probably the most extreme thing this band has EVER put out, and yeah, I HAVE heard Reign In Blood a few trillion times.

"No riffs"?! You gotta be fuckin' kidding me! Did you happen to hear "God Send Death" or "Payback"?! The drumming (especially the double bass...whooeee!) is the best I've heard on ANY Slayer disc! And for sheer over-the-top vitriol (the whole reason for Slayer's existence), this thing packs more hate than Adolf Hitler ass-ramming a crocodile. Comparing this album to Metallica's puss-out ("Alterativer"...sic) is completely inane.

Give it a few more listens. I can't stop playing the fuckin' thing. It's all the more ominous that an album who's opening number contains the line "Pessimist, terrorist, plotting the next mark / Global chaos feeding on hysteria" would be released on September the 11th. Spooky, huh? (Pat D.)
I'm somewhat in agreement with Mark on this one---namely the lack of riffs and Paul's somewhat deficiency on the fills on the this album. But man, does "Payback" kick a lot of ass. That song alone is faster and more intense than any track off of Slayknot's new album. Man, that band does love to rip off Slayer dont they? And yet, the ironic thing is, Slayer since Diabolus have been adding a lot of "numetal" crap to their songs as well.

As for the rest of the album, huge dissapointment. Judging from people's posts on other sites this album was supposed to be a "return to the reign in blood era". Sure, if Reign in Blood was a trendy numetal album. Also, its kinda funny how it took Rick Rubin like 6 albums to find Tom's bass guitar, and then this new guy takes over the production/engineering duties and poof---no bass guitar to be found yet again. Still, the guitars (like Diablous) are more up front than they have been in years (or ever for that matter) and although Paul seems to like his snare way too much, the drums sound pretty damned good as well.

BTW, Kerry King now says hes a huge fan of Slipknot. Sigh. I guess we cant expect Slayer to be changing this new style anytime soon. (Nick Durazo)
I guess I can't give much of a valid opinion since I've only listened to this album a few times, but I can say one thing...this thing is angry. Normally this would be fine for any other artist since it's always fun to throw something purely aggressive on, but from Slayer you look for a lot of agression as well as great riffs and such. "Disciple" is an awesome song and definitely stands up to classic Slayer songs, but most of the other songs are just simple aggression without that much differentation in tempo or dynamics. Overall I'd give it a 6.5 although it would probably be like an 8 for any other band.
not a great Slayer album. i thought the name would terrify people, even when it came out September 11th. I'd give it a five also. I mean King & Hanneman changed to 7 string guitars, it doesn't have the same intensity as the other Slayer albums do. If anything lets just see the tracks, problem track 1 Darkness of Christ, what was Slayer thinking, by mixing mixing, all the albums tracks together. you know what I'm finished with this good-bye.
Slayer!? The return of 'real metal'!?

They shoulda changed their name to Shitter since that's where those four turds belong. Flushed down the goddam, fucking shitter...

Along with Cannibal Corpse, the Charmin and the steam off o' my piss...


Keith Womack
All y’all are fucked. This CD is the best thing they’ve done since Reign In Blood! It’s heavy, smart, and fast when it needs to be.
All you guys have to understand that this is Slayer's heaviest album yet. Now that's no mean feat for a 20-year old band! So what if Araya's vocals are sung (spit) mostly in one key? It suits the extreme aggressiveness of the guitars, the bass, and the drums. And Bostaph has never done a better job. This album made me exclaim that he is the best drummer ever. Too bad he had to quit Slayer. The songs themselves are extremely well made, too. It's simply a pleasure to listen to. I'd give it a 8.5, because I haven't listened enough to it yet. I'm sure that over time I'll increase the score to 9. That's all:) (Roland Fratzl)
Paul Bostaph quitting Slayer a few months ago was a farce. At the time he said he had to quit because his body couldn't physically take it anymore, and then two weeks later he cut all his hair off and joined another band. Fuckin' scab.

As for the album, it's the only Slayer album I've really listened to so far, and I don't think it's all that bad. It's not particularly melodic, but Beatlesque compared with infernal noise such as Slipknot. Check out "Bloodline" - that one has a neat aggressive groove to it, and the chorus is quite hummable. Saw the video for it last night, and it's typically demented, with several suggestive scenes in a dodgy looking blood smeared room with an innocent pouty school girl on her knees in front of a priest who's unbuckling his belt...
dude, d.r.i. rages, i dont deny that at all. ive loved the music ever since i first heard it, and seeing them (unfortunately only once) with testament and pro-pain in vegas was fucking awesome. but, lets talk about slayer. other bands may have dissappeared or sold out (like metallica), but dont deny the gods that are slayer the utmost respect they deserve. just because the music has evolved with their skill levels doesnt mean theyre any softer on "god hates us all" then they were on "haunting the chapel" or "reign in blood". ive seen slayer several times over the years and they still kick as much ass and get my adrenaline flowing in the pit as they ever did. i hold much respect for d.r.i. (as does slayer), but slayer is true to their beginnings as much as d.r.i. is. (Kyle Baker)
Im a big fan of slayer, i got started on Hell Awaits<----great fucking album, but i see there slowing down...leaving there old fans, the ones that help, make them who they are, there turning there back on us...anyways you wanna hear some great fucking thrash metal..they kick slayers ass....its True-Metal not nu-metal...check out Carnal Forge email me back...tell me what you think
I thought i`d give you my history of being a Slayer fan. I had liked Metallica before Slayer if I remember correctly, Being it was like 1985 or 86, Somewhere `round there. I remember driving around in a friends car and we were trying to score beer or something. My friend had a crappy tape of Hell Awaits in his tape recorder. I remember thinking at the time "This is like total garbage music".

Anyway, I just thought it was total noise and didn`t really like it at all first off. Anyway, The guy let me borrow the tape though because it was so extreme I thought, What the hell. So I listened to it for a week or two and it started to grow on me. After that I went out and bought all their previous offerings. I also went to the Olympic Auditorium in down town L.A. in like Sep.86[ I think]to see them with D.R.I. [ I remember really liking them also]. I remember dropping acid and being in my bedroom at night listening to Hell Awaits and Suicidal Tendencies first record and feeling like I was extremely evil. Ha Ha, But anyway, I`m sure you get the picture. I had seen Slayer again in 87 too at the Hollywood Palladium with Dark Angel. Those were the days, Fond memories. (Daniel Schmidt)
Got to disagree with this review. This album is very heavy, lots of double kick drum, lots of interesting fills and I'd say I love almost every song on this album. Some of the lyrics are great, some are average; all of it is heavy as hell. Tracks like "Here Comes the Pain", "Addict" and "Exile" make me remember why I love metal in the first place, and the opening is truly awesome. I couldn't wait to buy it, and it hasn't disappointed me yet after many, many repeat listenings. (Rob DelMedico)
You guys are being too modest. I'm a huge Slayer fan, will love them till they die.

and this album not only sucks, it is an embarassment. Heavy? my ass. It's like watered down Slipknot (wouldn't that make it watered down twice?)

It sucks and it sounds even worse live. FUCK this album. I even LIKED Diabolus. (Robert Chaundy)
bleep... ... bleep-:

How wrong I was. This album is shit.

bleep. [logout]
This is one seriously shitty album, Mark rarely knows what he's talking about but he's right here. Anyone who likes this should put down their issue of SPIN and check out the rest of the genre (bb.. bb bbb but Rolling Stone said underground scenes aren't real!), there's far more better bands than just the 6 same metal bands everyone keeps dragging out. You like Slayer? Then try Benumb, far more faster and brutal, and they're not even influenced a bit by Slayer! Yes there's entire worlds of music and a incredibly gigantic world of metal out there now, just seek it out, there's more than 6 metals bands and there's a tons of incredible shit that has nothing to do with the lameness of nu-metal. In fact on the thrash metal scale Slayer aren't all what they're cracked up to be, Reign In Blood isn't all that phenominal, just overrated , some shitty ass magazine writer needed a GREATEST 80s METAL ALBUM for his stupid little list so he just grabbed that album out of nowhere and since everyone copies everyone else every reviewer on earth agrees its the ultimate in the thrash genre, if you think so you are fucking retarded or just don't know much about thrash, shit, there was a far more evil, faster album out that same year, bet you don't know what it is either.
All I have to say is that the title of the 2001 Slayer album is one of the worst ever. Over and out. (Mike Griffin)
hi Mark--this album kills...I can't understand the lack of love/respect for it on this site. in addition to the fact that they solidify their position as the most consistently pissed off rock band of all time with this release, it's also a quietly realized conceptual masterpiece. the lyrics are great, and Araya's vocals are addition, the lack of guitar solos increases the intensity of the disc. songs like Disciple, Cast Down, New Faith, and Warzone are brutal and terse and the album's overall concept is touched on in each track. very few rock bands have EVER done this without attempting to broadcast their intention or achievement. Slayer actually trusts the intelligence level of their audience, so they didn't say one word about the "concept". this record to me is WHY Slayer stands above all others in their genre. its fierceness is never forced...these are angry, angry musicians whose music is perfect for their overall thesis.

the coincidence of the release date is another issue; for me it's totally appropriate that the same energies of the universe that summoned up the events of 9-11-01 would also bring forth this Slayer record on the same day. it is the truth, contrasted with the lie of the day's was an unconscious warning to us all.

Slayer rules. they don't lie. they are the best metal band of all time in my estimation. show me another band (maybe Sonic Youth?) who consistently ADD to their legend as they continue to release material well into their middle ages. I don't hear any concessions being made to the newer, shittier crop of "metal" me this record synthesizes a lot of hardcore punk and metal elements in a way that few bands have the ability or the vision to realize.

compared to their brief lull in the middle 1990's also this record is amazing...they were slipping, but rallied to make one of the best statements of their career.
When i first listened to this album after listening to all of their older stuff for some time, i thought it sucked and was just too much noise. My advice to everyone who is bashing it, give it time, you have to step up to the next level to appreciate this album. As was mentioned in one of the descriptions for a previous album, you have to listen and their are sooo many little musical "things" going on within the songs, as well straight out lyrics that don't leave anything concealed behind witty metaphors like in previoius albums. Slayer have stepped it up another level in my opinion, doing something new once again. If you can't deal with it (God Hates Us All a little bit too blasphemous for you....?_, don't call yourself a true fan of slayer. This album sorts the men from the boys. (Bernie)
Nothing wrong with this metal. 8/10. I bet their next record will be 8/10 too, at least. Have it large bro.

Add your thoughts?

Christ Illusion - American 2006
Rating = 7

Before we begin discussing the new Slayer album, let's get one thing straight.

(*adjusts penis*)

Okay then. In life, we always want what's best for our favorite artists. This is why we - at least in spirit, if not word or deed - felt that it was appropriate for Slayer to retire their classic sound after Divine Intervention in order to follow their progressive muses of (a) punk rock cover tunes, (b) heavy funky Sabbathy metal, and (c) migraine-inducing tuneless garbage. We may not have been thrilled with the results, but we (you and I, together) were well aware that a 'classic-sound Slayer album' recorded during this period would have come across as forced and half-hearted. It's simply not what they wanted to do.

So Thank Fucking God that the return of original drummer Dave Lombardo has rekindled in the band (particularly Kerry King, who wrote 7 of these 10 songs) a passion for HIGH-SPEED THRASH!!!!!!! JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-JIGGA-(etc)

Christ Illusion is the true follow-up to Seasons In The Abyss -- a return to the exhilarating out-of-control rollercoaster ride of lightning-speed rhythm guitar, evil 'diddle-doo' lead guitar riffs, maniacally pissed-off screaming, and effortless 5000-mph 'doop-chick' drumming on which Slayer built its foundation. Prior to its release, Tom Araya called it "maybe the fastest album we've ever done," and aside from the indefatigable Reign In Blood (and silly but certainly speedy debut Show No Mercy), he's probably right. Though none of the tracks are full-on hardcore-speed from beginning to end, only 2 of the 10 tracks do not at some point begin thrashing through your home at blinding speed. Some of the songs are speed metal compositions from the opening chords, others will begin midtempo and turn into thrash for a chaotic second half -- but it's NEVER a cheat. Heed my words: no, this isn't Reign In Blood II: Electric Reigninbloo, but YOU WILL BE THRASHED.

But it's not all about speed, of course. If it were, we'd just listen to Reign In Blood all day and tell the rest of the world to "Eat Tits." It's also about memorable riffs and styles of playing. Though none of these tracks are as obviously melodic as, say, "Dead Skin Mask," the chord sequences are mean as nails and 'the bruddahs' (?) whip out some interesting rhythmic tricks too. Check out how "Jihad" replaces the idea of 'musical hook' with that of 'rhythmic hook,' creating a memorable singalongable guitar line simply by altering the speed and style of pick-whipping halfway through each single-chord line ("jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jig-THUM-THUM-THUM! jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jigga-jig-THUM-THUM-THUM!"). Then, when you've finished performing that activity, check out how the thrash chord sequence of "Cult" demands that the drummer perform an extra beat each time through. Furthermore, while we're on the topic of rhythmic tricks, I'd also like to direct your ear to the excellent guitar/drum lockbeat of "Skeleton Christ" and whatever Dave is doing in "Consfearacy" to make it sound like he's smashing his stick against an aluminum bowl.

"Eyes Of The Insane" sounds like Diabolus In Musica, but NOTHING on here sounds like God Hates Us All (or I Hates This Allbum), and 90% of the disc sounds like Slayer as Slayer should be sounding. Like Divine Intervention, it has a few too many ugly riffs to qualify as 'best of breed,' and some of the lead guitar licks are a bit too derivative of earlier compositions. Nevertheless, what a thrill to hear Slayer finally returning to the peerless evil-thrash sound that is their bread, butter and knife. The two slow songs aren't quite as gripping as the others ("Eyes Of The Insane" is an out-of-place remnant of a different Slayer era, and "Catatonic" too quickly deviates from its hypnotic fuzz-drone verse to plodding, forgettable doldrums), but otherwise "Get The Led Out" because Metallica is back!

Actually, that brings up another point. As you listen to these mid-40s men rip the living shit out of your intestines, think about how hilarious it is that Slayer was once considered a colleague of Anthrax and Megadeth. HA! Can you even remember the last time Scott Ian and Dave Mustaine ripped the living shit out of your intestines? I doubt it, unless you spat out the roofies.

Rather than having me discuss the lyrics here, please read Thom Jurek's review of this album on All-Music Guide ( It is a fantastic, wonderful, insightful review by a true Slayer fan and smart guy -- he says more about the "religion causes wars" lyrical theme than I ever could, so I'm not even going to try.

No wait -- instead I will INCORRECTLY discuss the lyrics, sort of in protest of Thom Jurek being more insightful than I am, the prick.

First of all there's this song called "Flesh Storm" that's totally about how there's a storm one night and flesh comes down instead of rain, then there's this one called "Skeleton Christ" which is about this scary skeleton that chases people around a castle, and it's hilarious how Slayer don't even know how to spell "Conspiracy" and "Supremacist," and there's this song called "Cult" which is totally like a tribute to The Cult, Ian McLagan's old band. Yes, these lyrics once again establish Slayer as the party-heartiest rock and roll boys on the West Coast. Their message is simple: stop worryin' and start partyin'! Or, as they themselves put it, "Accept it - The religion of torture!" (and PARTY!)

I still wonder how Tom Araya feels singing all of these anti-religious lyrics that Kerry King writes. As you know if you've read my Award(TM)-less interview with the man at, he was raised a Catholic and does believe in the Christian mythology. So how can he not feel weird singing things like "I laugh at the abortion known as Christianity/I've seen the ways of God/I'll take the devil any day/Hail Satan" and "There is no fuckin' Jesus Christ/There never was a sacrifice/No man upon the crucifix/Beware the cult of purity/Infectious imbecility/I've made my choice/Six six six!"? Actually what am I saying, he's been singing in Slayer for 20 years. If he had a problem with it, I'm sure he would have brought it up by now!

So that's all. If you hated the last few Slayer albums, this is the one for you. If you loved the last few Slayer albums, this is also the one for you. If you thought the last few Slayer albums were okay, FOR GODS' SAKE AVOID THIS ONE!!!!

Nah, just kidding. Ha! I tell jokes and people DIE!

Reader Comments (Paul)
Hey, Mark. I'm a big fan of the site, been reading it for years. I agree wholeheartedly with yr Christ Illusion review. I liked it (the album) so much I reviewed it myself:

As far as Tom Araya's christian faith is concerned, I just saw the documentary Metal:A Headbanger's Journey (which I highly recommend) and Tom addresses this very issue. He claims the lyrics are art which can reflect society and not the actual artist's point of view. He also said that God doesn't actually hate anyone, God Hates Us All is just a good album name (for a crummy album).

Anyway, keep up the good work. I'm still waiting for yr review of the entire Guided By Voices/Robert Pollard catalogue...
Now this is an improvement... they get Lombardo back and make easily their best record since Seasons... yay. The chemistry and most importantly the riffing is back. Much better than mainstrream attempts of Diabolus and the whatever it was supposed to be of God Hates Us All. Suddenly it's shaping up to be decent year for metal, as in the same month as this album Deicide, Napalm Death and Suffocation have released near classics as well. 8.5/10
i read an interview with slayer in some magazine somewhere years back and i think he said something like "if i hadent of had slayer as a career i would probably of been a psycoligist" now that makes alott of sense to me, anyway.. sorry about the misspellings!
Christ Illusion is not bad, goods moments, but sounds too much like Slayer is trying to get some fans back. Anyway,I think Slayer's best, most intense album is `God's hates us all'. Despite the shit on the net. This one is heavy, no trace of stupid punk, just pig-unfriendly shit... something everyone despises... even some Slayer fans HAHA... God hates us all IS true. And I hope Slayer comes back to making such music. Their 80's album are great! but sound like POP today.

Heya Mark, long time no chat.

I sadly can't agree with the positive assessment I'm seeing over this Slayer album.

First off, Slayer are the band that ultimately got me into extreme metal. Before that I was listening to only Big Four metal (and Crowbar). So if anybody would be willing to cut them slack, it'd be me.

God Hates Us All was completely awful, but I heard the first couple of tracks on Christ Illusion and thought "oooo Divine Intervention-esque, this might be good".

But the album is trite, by the numbers thrash. It sounds like they put in just enough effort that on casual listen, you'll think it's still Slayer, but when examined closely, they use the standard thrash tempo with a simple two to three chord generic thrash riff.

And while they generally were never a complex thrash band, these riffs sound like something any bored metal guitarist could come up with.

The detuned songs are even worse.

Slayer is by all intents and purposes, officially dead.
I just heard this album. It's mean as shit! I don't know what that one guy says, this is a killer punk/thrash/speed metal crossover album without the NYC hardcore posturing. This album does seem to have a strange social conscience to it that I never expected Slayer to have. But I do think all that religion dissing is getting kind of old. I got it the first hundred times.

side note: megadeth, metallica and anthrax have never thrashed like slayer. compared to them, those bands come off a bit safe no matter how evil they tried to sound. To be fair megadeth is doing old school thrash metal again.
Consfearacy is excellent! FUCKING SLAYER for President!!!!!! Seriously. . .I'll bet Kerry King is a LIbertarian. . .that or he just thinks that people that whine about politics are annoying. . .OR BOTH!

"I can't relate to your verbal idiocy. . .No-One's in control when the government's the enemy"

Actually, he takes another shot on "Supremist": Must maintain control of the weak! Must contain the minds of the free!

C'mon. . .clearly the government thinks we're all nothing more than stupid, controllable sheep that will sit here and take it up the ass while they do nothing but fuck up OUR lives on OUR dime!!!

Notice also the clever "duality" of words on the chorus of "Cult" : Revelation, Revolution. . .I SEE THROUGH YOUR CHRIST DELUSION!!

"Liberals want the government to be your Mommy. Conservatives want government to be your Daddy. Libertarians want it to treat you like an adult." – Andre Marrou

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World Painted Blood - American 2009
Rating = 8

If you considered Christ Illusion a godlike return to form for the world's greatest thrash band, you will take to this album like a fish to worms. Alternately, if you pish-poshed that endeavor as a retread of past glories, this one will be like boarding the good ship South Of Heaven Pt. V. In short, you get an ocean-related simile either way.

I love Slayer. I love the high-speed beats, the jugga-jugga-jugga-jugga string pummelling, the human (not Cookie Monster) vocal shouts, the ear-wrenching excuses for guitar solos, the 'diddly-do' breaks, the dark slow passages, the anti-Christian lyrics -- the entire package appeals to my brainstem in such an immediately gratifying way that it can take a while for me to determine whether the songs on a particular album are actually any good. After several listens, I've come to the conclusion that World Painted Blood is indeed a fine album -- perhaps even their finest since Seasons In The Abyss.

Admittedly, a couple of tunes are almost embarrassingly obvious rewrites of previous material; "Psychopathy Red" is so familiar that it sounds like a Slayer parody, and though I do enjoy the title track, it's hard to ignore its structural similarity to "Angel Of Death." Having said that, this album KICKS MY THROAT DOWN MY ASS WITH ITS HIGH-SPEED SLAYER THRASH ACTION!

World Painted Blood is apparently the first Slayer album written entirely in the studio; usually they arrive with the songs already completed. With this knowledge, it's amazing how strong most of the songs are -- remember what happened when Metallica tried the same thing? Their lifestyle determined their deathstyle!

Lyrical matter includes:
- the Apocalypse ("Sickless, mindless hate/Becoming evolution's cure/Planets usher in alignment/God has died!")
- Japan's infamous Unit 731 ("Infant's flesh on the walls/Testing limits threshold of pain/Ripping out teeth to observe/I want blood!")
- Making snuff films ("The Internet's an open door/Everyone can see/Dying brutally/The audience begs for more!")
- Elizabeth Bathory ("It's the feel of your blood/As it flows smoothly down my skin/Intoxicating my soul/Immortality, seducing me!")
- America's imperialism ("It's all about the mother fucking oil/Regardless of the flag upon its soil/In a bloodbath we pad our fucking greed/The price is high to maintain liberty!")
- a guy who lives in a cemetery and plays with the corpses ("All alone in my funeral home/playing in blood there's just got to be something's wrong with me/Draining veins, it's all the same!")
- Anti-Christianity ("You call him the messiah/I see a reckless fashion based on mental slavery!")
- Other things too, like bowties ("Bowties! How I love ya, how I love ya/Bowties! Polka-dotted gaiety")

Notable music thingies include:
- the echoing divebombs and (gulp) Tom Araya rap in the second half of "World Painted Blood"
- the ludicrous guitar solo that kicks off "Snuff"
- the deliberate fret-pushing in the main riff of "Hate Worldwide"
- what I believe to be Slayer's first-ever grindcore breaks in "Public Display Of Dismemberment"
- the AC/DC-esque chord tapping in "Playing With Dolls"
- the Sepultura-style tribal drumming midsection of "Not Of This God"
- the accordion solo in the middle of "Bowties! How I Love Ya, How I Love Ya"

I have to say something else here too. A fellow on Facebook opined that "a couple of the slow songs are good, but the fast songs sound like they couldn't have taken more than 15 minutes to write." Aside from the aforementioned Slayer-by-colors "Psychopathy Red," these speedy riffs may appear simple, but they're not cliche'd and most of them are hooky as hell! How long do you think it took to write most of Reign In Blood? The craft isn't in complexity; it's in finding the right note and chord combinations such that each song is new and unique while still fitting perfectly into the band's maniacal oeuvre. Just listen to "Bowties! How I Love Ya, How I Love Ya" for example. It's a tuba-driven polka, yet it fits like a glove into the classic Slayer formula of good-natured German polka music.

In conclusion, it's fucken SLAYER! Kerry King has a beard down to his Jiffy Johnny!

Reader Comments
This review is pretty much exact. I say "Christ Illusion" is grade A, and this album is grade B+. Overall they are similar, although the drums on "Christ" are totally extra strength and THUNDERING, whereas here they sound a little more regular. The guitars and voice still sound excellent. I can't get into the first song, "World Painted Blood". It's too long and has too many dreary parts. After that though, no worries - they kick my ass the whole way (except "Americon", which is sort of lame). "Beauty Through Order" even sounds almost like a battle-wounded Slayer, though the song goes out kicking and screaming at the end. "Hate Worldwide" is thrash pop; brutality with full-fledged hooklines within. Leave it to these guys, man...Slayer forever!
World Painted Blood is the album that Diabolus In Musica tried to be in terms of experimentation. I personally prefer this one to Christ Illusion, which, good as it was, sounded like they were re-finding their footing after God Hates Us All. Although it's kind of interesting that all of the Jeff Hanneman-penned songs are outright monsters while Kerry King's stuff seems to spiraling into self-parody with it's Sartre-meets-Phil Anselmo pro-wrestling mentality. Even his best songs are brought down a notch by cringeworthy lines like "Spread a little hate worldwide" and drop-tuned nu-metal tinges. And let's face it: "Americon" is truly lame and out-of-place here; they really should've scrapped this one and given us "Atrocity Vendor" instead.

That aside, "Unit 731" and "Psychopathy Red" are wildly OTT musically AND lyrically (they've finally brought back the truly nasty lyrical style of the early-'80s) while the more intricate stuff like "Beauty Through Order" shows that these guys are capable of delivering new ideas while stll maintaining their identity. My emerging favorite on this disc, though, has to be the creepy "Playing With Dolls", which IMHO is one of the most chilling and genuinely disturbing songs they've ever made. And that's what makes Slayer what they are: an artful beauty in their sheer ugliness. Fast, slow, or mid-paced, it doesn't matter...Slayer are all about making your flesh crawl and your hair stand on end, and this album, for the most part, excels.

I give it a 9 for the above-mentioned songs alone, even though I didn't get the deluxe addition with "Bowties! How I Love Ya, How I Love Ya". What a gyp.
My life is complete now that one of my ill-advised Facebook posts is quoted in an album review by Mark Prindle!

I still think most of this record sounds like it was written in a hurry, BUT it was written in a hurry by seasoned professionals, and this alone makes a big difference. When the album is over, I can't remember how any of the songs went, but I enjoyed the ride. And I totally agree with the first sentence of the second paragraph, Slayer are kings at their craft. They're gonna play in Paris on my 31st birthday, and I really look forward to seeing them for, like, the 4th time I suppose.
This album gets a solid 7.5 out of 10 from me. The tempo's a bit faster than the last album, but they ran out of innovation after "Diabolus in Musica"so I think I'm done with them. Sure, "World Painted Blood" and "Unit 731" contains some of the typical Slayer fury, "Beauty Through Order" makes for a good change in pace, and even the oft-slammed "Americon" is still a solid track, but man, I'm way more into Lazarus AD these days when it comes to getting my thrash fix. What's that, you say? I like stoner rock better? Well, you're right!

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