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4.28 | 197 ratings | 16 reviews
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Album · 1986

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Angel of Death (4:51)
2. Piece by Piece (2:02)
3. Necrophobic (1:40)
4. Altar of Sacrifice (2:50)
5. Jesus Saves (2:54)
6. Criminally Insane (2:23)
7. Reborn (2:11)
8. Epidemic (2:23)
9. Postmortem (3:27)
10. Raining Blood (4:16)

Total Time 29:02

1998 bonus tracks:
11. Aggressive Perfector (2:30)
12. Criminally Insane (remix) (3:17)

Total Time 34:49


- Tom Araya / bass, vocals
- Jeff Hanneman / guitar
- Kerry King / guitar
- Dave Lombardo / drums

About this release

Label: Def Jam Recordings, October 7th, 1986

Recorded in L.A., mixed at New Fresh, N.Y.C. Co-produced by Slayer.

Re-released in 1998 with 2 bonus tracks.

Expanded edition with bonus tracks ("Aggressive Perfector" and a remix of "Criminally Insane"). Songs were recorded for the Postmortem 12-inch single.

Def Jam/Geffen also released the album on red, purple and green vinyl, limited edition picture vinyl with a different cover (bloody logo) and regular picture vinyl.

Trivia: On all older versions of the CD and LP, "Postmortem" ends at 2:44 before the fast part. This error was corrected on the Expanded Edition reissue CD.

Three different versions of the outro to "Raining Blood" exist. On some LP versions, the sound of the storm is created by a looped groove which continues indefinitely until the stylus is lifted. On other LP versions, the storm just fades after about 15 seconds. On the CD and cassette version, the storm outro lasts for 50 seconds.

Thanks to Stooge, Pekka, UMUR, m@x, Unitron, Vim Fuego, adg211288 for the updates


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Slayer were never holding punches, but Angel of Death is the most face ripping opener maybe ever. It just shreds you for five minutes straight, everyone hitting you at full overdrive. The guitars are either striking with lightning quick rhythmic tremolos or screaming solos, the drums are at a constant full-speed pummel, and Tom's shouting, no longer muddled by reverb or any other effects, tears your skin off word after venomous word. And those lyrics are absolutely insane - Slayer were always dark, but god damn, they took a level in real evil here, especially as Tom started writing more.

And then Angel of Death ends, and every single song following is more of the same eviscerating insanity, consistently delivering riff after riff without letting up an inch. All concluding with one of the most evil, intense, and infamous closers of all time. Surely I don't need to say its name.
"Reign in Blood" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, California based thrash metal act Slayer. The album was released through Def Jam Recordings in October 1986. It´s the successor to "Hell Awaits" from 1985. Slayer were still under contract with Metal Blade Records, but label boss Brian Slagel, who at the time was also Slayer´s manager, saw the opportunity for the band to sign to a major label and was ready to let them go. Producer and Def Jam Recordings owner Rick Rubin showed interest in the project and while some members of the band were reluctant to sign to, what at the time was primarily a hip hop label, Rubin´s enthusiasm and vision for Slayer, finally pursuaded them.

Rubin had no prior experience with producing heavy metal oriented music, so Slayer took quite a risk. Both with the choice of label but also with hiring Rubin to produce their new album. History shows that they made the right choice, but back then...who could have known? "Reign in Blood" went on to become one of the most iconic and influential albums of US thrash metal and greatly increased Slayer´s profile on the scene.

Stylistically the material on the 10 track, 29:02 minutes long album are quite different from the dark and occult themed thrash metal style of "Hell Awaits (1985)". While "Hell Awaits (1985)" certainly features fast-paced riffs and rhythms, it´s nothing against the fiercely aggressive and ultra fast-paced material on "Reign in Blood". Slayer shortened the song lengths, quit repeating their riffs and sections in regular vers/chorus formats (at least in the most strict form of that structure), and generally just went berserk and delivered one of the most furious and intense thrash metal releases of the day.

"Reign in Blood" opens with the longest track of the album in "Angel of Death". A track which revolves around the horrors of the holocaust and especially the medical atrocities committed by the infamous nazi doctor Josef Mengele at the Auschwitz death camp during World War 2. "Angel of Death" is a structurally rather complex track, with many tempo changes, different sections, and a host of screaming atonal guitar solos (and even a short drum solo break). The piercing scream during the opening of the track is one of Tom Araya´s finest moments. The intensity and brutality don´t let up on the following tracks and both "Piece by Piece" and "Necrophobic" threaten to rip the listeners head off. The same can be said about "Altar of Sacrifice" and "Jesus Saves". The either very short breaks between tracks or the way some tracks seque into each other makes the listening experience only that more intense. It´s like the sonic violence never stops. No peace, no breathers.

The first track on the B-side of the original vinyl is "Criminally Insane", which opens with one of the most instantly recognisable drum patterns in metal (and it´s so simple it´s almost criminal). Then on to the crushingly fast-paced brutality of "Reborn" and "Epidemic", before the album closes with the brilliant "Postmortem" and "Raining Blood". While everything on the album is delivered with high level aggression and intensity, the closing minute of "Postmortem" still takes the prize as the most badass moment on the album. The level of extremity and intensity goes through the roof at that point of the album.

So the songwriting is really something special on "Reign in Blood". Every track is memorable, powerful, and raw, and although the pace is predominantly fast, there are enough heavy mid-paced grooves for the album never to sound one-dimensional. The vocal parts are also filled with hook laden phrases, and after a while you may even find yourself making a twisted humming sound to imitate the screaming atonal guitar solos, which there are plenty of on the album.

Other than the high quality songwriting one of the greatest assets of "Reign in Blood" is the powerful organic playing style. Dave Lombardo relentlessly drives the music forward with his hardcore punk on meth influenced drumming style, Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King deliver one razor sharp and furiously fast-paced riff and solo after another, and Tom Araya lays down a heavy bass bottom and performs his vocal parts with great aggressive passion and conviction. So the skills and the unique sound are there, and when you pair that with the organic, raw, and detailed sound production, which was by far the most powerful and well sounding production on any Slayer release up until then, you get a release that is high quality in all departments. A 5 star (100%) rating is fully deserved.
Me and the classics just can't seem to get along, can we? I know metal fans are going to know nothing but absolute and utter contempt for me (especially since I rated James Blunts first album three stars!), but I just can't get into 'Reign in Blood', which just happens to be one of the most beloved and revered metal albums of all time. Is it hyperbole? Has it not aged well? Am I just a bit of a prick? Probably all three.

Opening and closing with two of thrash metals finest compositions, the legendary 'Angel of Death' and 'Raining Blood' are two of Slayer's most famous and most popular songs. With breakneck speed riffs and some of Tom Araya's most passionate vocals, these are two of the bands most defining tracks.

They're also the only two highlights of this album.

The rest is the usual Slayer recipe... open string chugging, big screams, screechy guitar solos... I've never been too keen on the bands early material, and this certainly hasn't converted me. Sure, the music is ridiculously fast and relentlessly brutal, but that's not enough for me to find it compelling or engaging.

Still, 'Reign in Blood' is regarded as a classic, and this review won't do anything but enrage a few people who have the poor luck of reading it. I've tried and I've tried, but with the exception of the two songs mentioned above, this album is more average than most people are probably willing to admit.
First off, just let me say that I'm well aware how highly regarded the US thrash metal band Slayer is, especially this third album from the group, Reign in Blood (1986). Enough people think highly of this band and album that it has to be doing something right. However you are about to read a negative review for it. Given its fame and regard it'll probably be your inclination to write this review off as an attempt at trolling a well liked release. It is not. It would be equally be easy to assume that this review is written by someone who doesn't really like thrash metal. But again, it is not. Thrash metal is not one of my absolute favourite metal genres but I listen to enough of it to comfortable say that I am a fan of the style, one whose interest in it continues to grow in fact. Just today I checked out Kreator for the first time, and loved them.

I don't expect my word on these things will persuade you of course, and I expect you're already gearing up your choice insults in response to this having already seen the score attached to this review. So I will just ask, here and now, that if you're not open to reading an alternative point of view for this beloved album that we part ways here, agreeing to disagree. Nothing I say is going to dissuade you from thinking that Reign in Blood is the best thing since sliced bread. Otherwise read on and I don't know, I guess maybe be prepared to be offended?

Reign in Blood is a very short album despite there being ten tracks. It's not even a full half an hour. Unless something is so overlong that it becomes overwhelming or just outstays its welcome, length doesn't usually factor into the quality of an album, but with Reign in Blood it's actually quite integral to realising what is wrong with it. Slayer writes quite short songs on this album, with most not even reaching the three minute mark. In these short songs they basically do one thing: very fast thrash metal with Tom Araya shouting all over it. It's obvious that Slayer are skilled musicians all around to keep these tempos going and if this is all you want from a thrash metal album, then I'm sure Reign in Blood is basically thrash metal heaven. But for me Slayer forgot one key thing in these songs: a little thing called substance. There's little to none of it across the whole Reign in Blood album. Most of the songs follow the pattern described here, rinse and repeat.

Except of course for the two times when the band do get it right, which actually is the opening and closing songs Angel of Death and the Reign in Blood title track. The first thing that you'll notice about these two songs is that even though they aren't long by any stretch of the imagination they are longer than most on the album, each breaking not three but four minutes. It turns out that this increase in duration makes all the difference in Slayer's music. The songs have more room to develop beyond the band's go-to style and because of that they make an impact on the listener as something more than just being hard and fast. They're that too, of course.

Hard and fast metal is great, as these songs show, but they need good song-writing too. It's just a shame Slayer forgot that after track one and only remembered it when they get to their final song. Without that much needed substance to their song-writing, Reign in Blood just feels like an exercise in 'Hey! Look what we can do!'. Yeah sure, they can play. But what else have they got? Apart from the two songs Reign in Blood is forgettable, insubstantial and quite possibly the contents of one of the most overrated albums I've ever heard. The fact that there are two really good songs even proves a double edged sword as they further highlight both how weak the rest of the album is and what could have been is Slayer had just thought about their song-writing more.

I liken this album to being at a party and being told you can have a really good drink when you get there and another just before you leave, but the rest of the night you've got to drink Budweiser. The really good drinks in this analogy are Angel of Death and the title track, which I have to say easily number among the best thrash metal songs I've heard and the reason I'm scoring this album as high as I am. The rest of this album is metal's answer to Budweiser though. Some people may call Slayer the kings of thrash. Sure, but Budweiser calls itself the king of beers, a tagline that's surely said in irony.

Inflaming comparisons to pissy weak lager aside (actually, Budweiser is not that weak, but it sure don't taste like it!), I will acknowledge again that Slayer must be doing something right on Reign in Blood for it to have achieved this high regard. I will also say, because someone else does, that I just don't 'get it'. You're right, I don't get it. Same way I don't get why Budweiser is so many people's go to beer. I drank one of those once and then said never again. I shall do the same thing in regard to listening to this album.
Vim Fuego
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

This well-worn aphorism is oft-attributed to Frank Zappa, Theolonius Monk, Steve Martin, or even Elvis Costello. Most evidence points toward humourist Martin Mull coining it. On the surface, it is a throw-away witticism. Imagine the absurdity of dancing to express an opinion on something as austere as architecture. Ha!

But if you look deeper and more philosophically, the absurdity disappears and a kernel of truth emerges. How can something as instinctive and primal as music, which is experienced at both the sub-conscious and conscious levels, be adequately described by the written word? Reading and writing are far higher level functions, requiring abstraction of thought and expression. There are limits to written language. Shakespeare produced incomparable soliloquies. Bertrand Russell introduced elegance of phrase to philosophy. Oscar Wilde’s rapier wit cut as deeply as it amused. The powers of these three, or any other writer since the emergence of written human expression, prove insufficient or inadequate to describe the primitive basal connection to a stirring piece of music. The conjunction predates the development of hominid language. In short, writing about music is futile.

Futility, though, has never been a barrier to human endeavour. If this were so, never a word would have been written of Slayer’s magnum opus, ‘Reign In Blood’. The futility of describing, comparing, exploring, analysing, or quantifying this album should seem insurmountable. Yet, since its release on October 7th, 1986, it has been written of again and again. It has been the subject of superlatives, metaphor, hyperbole, praise, worship, and envy. It has caused controversy, consternation, protest, alarm, confusion, and imitation.

To disciples of the faith, ‘Reign In Blood’ embodies thrash metal. It is fast, heavy, and aggressive. Any description beyond that is simply laying on bullshit. It is ten songs, slotted in to less than half an hour, often with little or no gap between each song. Only three songs are longer than three minutes. The songs cover subjects from horrific war crimes of Dr Josef Mengele, to cannibalism, to fear of death, to anti-religious diatribes. The songs seem to be a complex tangle of riffs and solos, underpinned by rapid precise percussion, while the almost shouted vocals have little use for melody. The cover is a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare vision.

‘Reign In Blood’ is ten songs, and ten songs only. On many versions of this album, there are twelve tracks. The two extra songs are superfluous, and do not flow. They are an addition by an entity which did not understand that less is more. The extra six minutes of music are useless. The length of the album is pushed out to almost 35 minutes, ruining it’s short, sharp punch effect. Do not listen to those songs.

Description of how this album sounds is completely useless. It simply must be experienced to be understood. Thrash metal devotees already know what it sounds like, and understand the importance of this album to metal, and music in general.

A world without ‘Reign in Blood’ would be futile.
siLLy puPPy
Out of the big 4, SLAYER was always the one I liked the least. Not because of their intensity or taking aggression to the next level. Far from it. The weakness I have always found in them is in the songwriting department. But not on this release. This is the release where aggression and innovation cross paths producing one of the all time classics.

I gave this album a break for a few years and just got the remastered version and have been blown away like it never did upon first listen. Rick Rubin produced this album and surely made it even better than it would have been otherwise.

Although I didn't like this as much in the beginning because it doesn't sound like Metallica, Megadeth or Anthrax, i let go of all that! It's a masterpiece on its own terms! For this shining moment in their discography, SLAYER hit a home run. This didn't do it for me upon first encounter but after listening to it now – WOW!
'Reign In Blood' is considered a groundbreaking release by SLAYER, the first album to enter Billboard 200 and highly praised by thrash fans all over the world as a pure five-stars album, but I honestly think this is one of the most overrated album in the history of thrash. Comparing this to 'Master of Puppets', 'Peace Sells', and 'Among The Living' which were released around that time, 'Reign In Blood' is definitely at the bottom list, but that doesn't mean that this is a horrible album.

It has its moment, but as an overall album, I'm not sure whether it's realistically can be valued above 70% because apart from the fact that it's too short of an album, exposing the fact that SLAYER writing capability is limited and half of these songs are basically felt the same. Outstanding tracks are no doubt, the legendary 'Angel of Death' and 'Raining Blood'. Other songs I like are 'Piece By Piece', 'Altar of Sacrifice', and 'Postmortem'.

Five other tracks are basically kinda disappointing, especially 'Necrophobic' and 'Jesus Saves'. With brutally fast tempo, I don't see any variation in the singing style and riffs pattern. 'Criminally Insane' and 'Reborn' are also felt too flat, probably only 'Epidemic' is a bit better. With only half great tracks in a 29 minutes album, I need to underline the weakness of the songwriting creativity and quality. This is an okay album, but definitely not a great one.
The shining masterpiece of Slayer's discography, Reign In Blood is also the fastest and most brutal album ever released by the band, or indeed by any of the Big Four of thrash metal, and it has a good claim to being one of the most extreme thrash metal albums ever released. Slayer's faster style from Hell Awaits is brought to perfection on this disc, with excellent production by Rick Rubin which brings out all the different aspects of what's going on - in particular, the release features the clearest and meatiest drum sound of any of Slayer's first three albums - and the shift in the lyrical focus from Satan and demons to more wide-ranging musings on violent subject matter if anything makes the band sound even more sick and sinister than previously. A true classic.
Despite their shortcomings and limitations, Slayer totally owns the Thrash metal genre, if only for this 30 minutes slab of furious intensity.

Back in 1986 "Reign in Blood" redefined the limits of musical aggression by a couple of miles and even though many have pushed those limits even further in the last 25 years, this album hasn't lost one bit of its freshness and bite. Credits for this should at least partially go to the stunning production, one of the best in Metal ever, you can play this one as quiet or loud as you wish, it just blasts!

Kicking off with one of the most exciting minutes in the entire metal history, "Angel of Death" is Slayer's trademark piece, bringing an ultra-aggressive version of Judas Priest at their most abrasive moments such as on "Dissident Aggressor", a song Slayer would duly cover on their next album. Just like its opening track, the remainder of the album continues shifting tempos and matching technicality and speed with coarse vocals.

There's not much that deviates from the formula so to speak, but in fact, I believe that's one of the album's strengths. With the intensity and quality never dropping for a single second, this album pretty much feels like one continuous 29 minute piece, despite being split into 10 separate tracks.

Slayer would deliver one more masterpiece before starting to disappoint me with repeating themselves too much on consecutive albums. But before they became a fan's band, Slayer was the most exciting thing around.
Essential, landmark masterpiece of Thrash Metal.

There's not an ounce of fat here, yet there is the full album's complement of 10 songs, most clocking in at little over 2 minutes, yet replete with all verses, choruses and multiple guitar solos.

When this album came out, it was the equivalent of a nuclear blast across the music industry - the shockwaves were felt across the globe. It was such a dramatic increase in quality, notably in terms of production, thanks to Rick Rubin - but all this is well known now.

The first song, Angel of Death, is the longest - and I must admit I always felt it was a bit too long, until I saw them playing live at Hammersmith Odeon in 1986 on the Reign in Blood Tour, and truly, it couldn't go on long enough. My opinion of the album, which I already held in very high regard, changed for the better, witnessing them performing it for the first time in England.

There are criticisms that the music is "samey" - this is to miss the point. When the music sounds like this, you don't want it to stop sounding like this - you want to live in the nirvana of the "ball of spikes" forever. I swear that concert was the second shortest one I ever attended - after Metallica with Anthrax supporting in September of that same year.

It's all been reviewed so many times, it's difficult to know how to give a fresh perspective on this album, which set a benchmark that has never been surpassed - but here goes. If it's not fresh, who cares? Another masterpiece rating won't hurt this masterpiece. Grin.

The intro slams hard and heavy - the production allows everything to shine through, every hit to slam home, every plectrum stroke (if such a gentle word may be used) and every scream to pierce through in a sonic explosion.

From the opening lines, "Auschwitz, the meaning of pain, the way that I want you to die", we are acquainted with the subject matter - and although I feel that the lyrics are grossly overdone in places, they are as nothing compared to the sad attempts at shock lyrics you hear now.

There follows the middle section, breaking away from standard rock song format, Slayer breaking down the intense thrasherama into THAT riff, which you just want to go on for ever and ever. Another riff is chucked in for the vocal section, and more riffs and breaks are chucked across the mix - how can anyone say the music stays the same, and who cares if it does when it's this amazing?

The various riff sections are buzzed around again, until the twin guitar solos slam in suddenly over a frantic version of the chorus riff, King and Hanneman exchanging evil-sounding swoops and screams, painting a stunning picture of the Angel of Death.

This doesn't feel like nearly 5 minutes any more. I'm sure it was 10 seconds.

Piece By Piece starts with a slower, churning pair of riffs, before returning to Angel of Death speed. The multiple stops and starts rip your brains out piece by piece, and is incredibly catchy, despite having no tune to speak of. The breakdown features an uber-intense descending riff, followed by a Sabbath-inspired tritonic motif, before exiting abruptly with the final verse and chorus - blink and you miss it!

Necrophobic is one of the fastest songs on the album, and simply rips along, severing flesh, tearing limb from limb. Headbanging to this is sure to result in a brain hemorrhage, so dont try it - but try resisting the riff at the breakdown - it's killer. The double solo flies off atop another Sabbath inspired motif before the song makes it's return with an impressive scream and mega heavy ending. I think my fingers are bleeding from trying to listen and type at the same time. Great!

The band I was in, back in '88 used to cover the next two songs, but in reverse order, and they're two of my favourite Slayer songs. It's weird to me to hear them in the album order, but they have better flow in the context of the preceeding songs - and this album does flow magnificently.

Altar of Sacrifice changes key and tempo as a kind of brief respite - it's no slouch, as it fairly zips along, with some brilliant riffing and key changes, and that fantastic exit from the solo, with the awesome passage "Enter to the realm of Satan", whcih picks up almost immediately, with a slower version of the main riff, Priest-like chugging a-plenty (but way more intense), and more guitar solos - Slayer really play around with the structure of the song here.

Rounding off side one of the vinyl, the music segues straight into "Jesus Saves", another catchy ditty from the friendly Slayer guys.

This is kicked off with a dark, explosive riff that's Sabbath-like, another riff follows, and another, you can really feel the build-up, then more explosions before the tempo rockets again, and the music frantically whirls around you - thrashing like a maniac, you might say. There's a guitar solo, another verse, another guitar solo, with some speedy shredding, another chorus, and another shred-fest and BANG! Side 1 ends with real flair. If you listen to the CD, you miss out on this experience, and lose some of why the album is so utterly compelling.

Side 2 starts with Criminally Insane, another of my favourite tracks - hell, they're all my favourite tracks.

Lombardo kills with an impressive recycling of the slow drum beat from Angel of Death - effectively turning the structure of that song upside down, as the verse/choruses return to the fast tempo - we like. More breakdowns and soloing, with wild shredding, and the slow beat is returned to in magnificent style. This never fails to give me goosebumps, especially with the spidery, doomy riff that snakes itself around everything. This song is over waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too soon.

Reborn has a kind of Priest vibe - but there's absolutely no doubt that Slayer have stamped their own, unique personality over every song on this album - it's incredibly rare to find a band that has a truly unique sound, but Slayer managed it. It's more of the same - but more of the same is exactly what we want - especially that mad thrashing that kicks off the guitar solo. Slayer really had the knack of knowing when to time breakdowns and build ups to perfection.

Epidemic has an odd, kind of reigned in feel to start with, which is attacked mercilessly by Slayer's many ultra-short semi-stops. This song has a kind of feel which Sacred Reich built a career on - check out the breakdown to the slow riff, although note that Slayer sneak in some little thrashy motifs to decorate the riffs. Every riff seems to have a long tongue hanging out and drooling - just when you think you know the riff, you hear a tiny detail that you missed before.

Postmortem you just know is going to be unleashed and wild - but again, Slayer tease and tantalise, holding the tempo back until the last possible minute. The riffs describe an amazing, captivating melody that stretches entire phrases rather than simple bar-by-bar work. The whole of the song up to the guitar solo is one evolving organism of a melody. Just when you think the song is slowing, it chekkily speeds up, then is taken back again, speeds up, and ends up in a completely unexpected place, like a new song has started at the unleashed tempo we were waiting for - "Do you want to die?". The song structuring here is astonishing, and it segues straight into "Raining Blood", in a similar manner to the final songs of side one - showing clearly the attention which was paid to structuring not just the songs, but the entire album.

Raining Blood is, of course, the best song in the world ever - this is surely common knowledge /grin.

It's 4 and a bit minutes of musical perfection. Those howling screaming axes shining through the thunderstorm, the thundering drums, the massive columns of riff that threaten to tear your head off - then carry out that threat with no mercy. At this speed, it's a tad messy - but it is what it is. Genuine boundary-pushing from one of the ultimate boundary-pushing bands. The breakdown here is another goosebump moment, and should be about 20 times longer before that scream of "Raining blood from a lacerated sky". The impossible buzzing of the guitars, thrashed within inches of their lives and howling, soaring demons that end in cacophony and the thunderstorm that continues in the run-out (see, you really miss out with CD) is a beautiful, predictable (in a very welcome sort of way) ending to an album that, once heard, feels like a life-changing experience.

Utter Masterpiece.

Members reviews

Rage, violence, satanism, gore... thrash. This is not my favorite thrash album. In fact, it's only my fifth favorite. But it's still one of the greatest. For me, the two best songs are the first, Angel Of Death and his famous scream, and the last : Raining Blood and his great riff. Reign In Blood is one of the first metal albums that I listen and the first thrash album. It's cult and awesome. This is just rage and violence in 30 intense and violent minutes. There's no time to breath, no time to sleep, you just listen to it from the beginning to the ending.
Let me kick off this review by saying that I am no fan of Slayer and that this album has all the reasons that cause me not to like this band.

Slayer's third studio album became quite notorius for its unprecedented aggression, power and speed in the heavy metal circles and exactly for that it became quite influential in heavy metal in general. Wile all that is true (the album really excels in all those characteristics), I find that it does nothing but that and that the band forgot to do everything else there is to do. In other words, they were more worried with being agressive, evil, fast and powerful than they are with their actual music.

During all the 29 minutes of the album, I can sense little change in Slayer's music, little variation, a real lack of new ideas. In short, they basically repeat themselves a lot, even during the short length of Reign in Blood. The songs have almost the same structure, a similar development and they do not change their expression and tone through the album. Yes, the album is agressive, evil, etc, but if you take that out of the way and simply listen to the music they play, there isn't much else to offer.

That lack of variation and creative inertia is, however, an ever-present feature in Slayer's music and the real strengh of Reign in Blood is balancing that with being markedly short. Besides the aggression and power, the short length is the biggest quality Reign in Blood has to offer, because that keeps you from getting tired of listening to an album that constantly repeats the same thing over and over again. Said repetition is something that actually keeps me from actually finishing most of Slayer's other albums, even though most of their albums clock below 40 minutes.

Grade and Final Thoughts

In spite of having all of the characteristical Slayer problems, Reign in Blood still manages to be an enjoyable album just for being very a short album. That actually restrain the listener from losing interest in the album. That unquestionably shows that it is only a good album and not a perfect masterpiece.
1967/ 1976

With "Reign In Blood" the bood is in the World! Simple! My brain explodes with the atomic bomb that "Reign In Blood" fire! And just because this is the last stage of R'n'R!!!

It is difficult if you don't know the evolution of American Rock to understand "Reign In Blood", a pure devastation atomic bomb of a culture. Opposite to "Reign In Blood" I see Rolling Stones. Stones are the fathers of Metal, not only for me. Is this insignificant? Maybe! Sure that "Reign In Blood" is terrifying album, also, at the era, some Stones albums. "Reign In Blood" is the final stage of Rock, because "Reign In Blood" is an album of pure Rock! Ok, the speed of songs are the speed of Indianapolis 500 or Daytona 500 but in my opinion "Reign In Blood" is also an album of Blues, Jazz, Classic Music, Progressive Rock. No Question! "Reign In Blood" is The definitive album of Rock. Heavy Metalis his kingdom. Nothing to say. Thrash Death Metal ago to be precise. For me, "Reign in Blood" is a timeless album and without musical genre!

If I think in musical field, "Reign In Blood" is a simply album: a tons of noise in melodic version. But this is simplistic. Just because "reign In Blood" is a nuclear sound assault this sentence is not perfect. "Reign In Blood" is the reign of complexity and not only an album of accords and arpeggios played at 2000000 Miles per hours but a terrifying house of virtuosisms. Virtuosisms that are synonym of naturally! Not only because this is the only form for expression of ideas of King, Hanneman, Araya and Lombardo, four kings of music. But because this is the final step of American Rock.

In definitive: "reign In Blood" is a pure Thrash album, a pure Death Metal album and sure a simple Rock album. In a pure essence... A Masterpiece without musical genre!
As a thrash fan many would say it's sacrilege not to declare this the greatest album of the genre. After loving them, hating them, seeing them live, not listening to them for a few years and coming back with a much more mature and rounded musical perspective, I can safely declare that Slayer and this album in particular are overrated.

Sure it's fast, aggressive and well produced but it has a lot of flaws, some of which are inherent to the band - namely mediocre vocals and unforgivably bad guitar solos. The song writing which I believe is very important in this genre is fairly primitive, particularly when you compare it to contemporaries such as master of puppets.

It just seems like Slayer have a handful of riffs and ideas and have sought to build a career by extrapolating those ideas as far as possible. This album is a pretty good demonstration of this, the only real change between songs is how fast they are and what order the notes are played in. It's accesible and for many people it's just their cup of tea when it comes to thrash, personally I prefer the more elaborate and intelligent songwriting of bands like Kreator, Coroner and Voivod.

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