SLAYER
Thrash Metal / Crossover Thrash • United States

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Slayer is a thrash metal band from US, formed in 1981. The band was founded by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. The band was credited as one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands, along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth.

Slayer's musical traits involve fast tremolo picking, guitar solos, double bass drumming, and shouting vocals. The band's lyrics and album art, which cover topics such as death, deviants, suicidal, genocide, necrophilia, insanity, Nazism, religion, Satanism, serial killers, and warfare have generated album bans, delays, lawsuits and strong criticism from religious groups and the general public. Slayer is best known for speaking through perspective without being necessarily sympathetic to the cause of their inspiration.

Since their debut record in 1983, the band has released two live albums, one cover album, one box set, three DVDs, one VHS, two EPs, and nine studio albums, four of which have received gold
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Reign In BloodReign In Blood
Extra tracks · Explicit Lyrics
American 2002
Audio CD$9.97
$6.13 (used)
South Of HeavenSouth Of Heaven
Explicit Lyrics
American 2002
Audio CD$7.98
$3.99 (used)
Seasons In The AbyssSeasons In The Abyss
Explicit Lyrics
American 2002
Audio CD$8.16
$3.61 (used)
Show No MercyShow No Mercy
Metal Blade 1994
Audio CD$9.28
$6.89 (used)
Live - Decade Of Aggression (2 CD)Live - Decade Of Aggression (2 CD)
Explicit Lyrics
American 2002
Audio CD$7.91
$3.00 (used)
Diabolus In MusicaDiabolus In Musica
Explicit Lyrics
American 2002
Audio CD$4.54
$2.91 (used)
God Hates Us AllGod Hates Us All
Explicit Lyrics · Import
American 2001
Audio CD$7.76
$1.95 (used)
Hell AwaitsHell Awaits
Metal Blade 1994
Audio CD$9.30
$8.88 (used)
Divine InterventionDivine Intervention
Explicit Lyrics
American 2002
Audio CD$3.16
$0.51 (used)
HAUNTING THE CHAPELHAUNTING THE CHAPEL
Metal Blade 1994
Audio CD$6.08
$6.05 (used)
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SLAYER Discography

SLAYER albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.51 | 66 ratings
Show No Mercy
Thrash Metal 1983
.. Album Cover 3.83 | 70 ratings
Hell Awaits
Thrash Metal 1985
.. Album Cover 4.48 | 166 ratings
Reign in Blood
Thrash Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.19 | 112 ratings
South of Heaven
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 4.11 | 101 ratings
Seasons in the Abyss
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 3.40 | 51 ratings
Divine Intervention
Thrash Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.10 | 31 ratings
Undisputed Attitude
Crossover Thrash 1996
.. Album Cover 3.12 | 43 ratings
Diabolus in Musica
Thrash Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 2.32 | 43 ratings
God Hates Us All
Thrash Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.35 | 46 ratings
Christ Illusion
Thrash Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.43 | 53 ratings
World Painted Blood
Thrash Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.77 | 18 ratings
Repentless
Thrash Metal 2015

SLAYER EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.95 | 24 ratings
Haunting the Chapel
Thrash Metal 1984
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Tour '95
Thrash Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Serenity in Murder
Thrash Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Slayer / T.S.O.L.
Thrash Metal 1996

SLAYER live albums

.. Album Cover 4.18 | 16 ratings
Live Undead
Thrash Metal 1984
.. Album Cover 4.27 | 18 ratings
Decade of Aggression: Live
Thrash Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Hell Awaits At Dynamo
Thrash Metal 2007

SLAYER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Raining Blood
Thrash Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mandatory Suicide
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
War Ensemble
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Übernoise
Thrash Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Exclusive Members Only DVD
Thrash Metal 2010

SLAYER re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.50 | 3 ratings
Soundtrack to the Apocalypse
Thrash Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Vinyl Conflict
Thrash Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
B-Sides And Rarities
Thrash Metal 2013

SLAYER singles (20)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Postmortem
Thrash Metal 1986
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Angel of Death
Thrash Metal 1986
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Criminally Insane
Thrash Metal 1987
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
South of Heaven
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Seasons in the Abyss
Thrash Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Serenity in Murder: Divine Live!
Thrash Metal 1995
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live Intrusion
Thrash Metal 1995
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Hate You
Thrash Metal 1996
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 1 ratings
Stain of Mind
Thrash Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
1.00 | 1 ratings
God Send Death
Thrash Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bloodline
Thrash Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Eternal Pyre
Thrash Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Eyes of the Insane
Thrash Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cult
Thrash Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychopathy Red
Thrash Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
World Painted Blood
Thrash Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hate Worldwide
Thrash Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
World Painted Blood / Atrocity Vendor
Thrash Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
Implode
Thrash Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
When the Stillness Comes / Black Magic
Thrash Metal 2015

SLAYER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.33 | 3 ratings
Combat Tour Live: The Ultimate Revenge
Thrash Metal 1985
.. Album Cover
4.83 | 5 ratings
Live Intrusion
Thrash Metal 1995
.. Album Cover
4.17 | 3 ratings
War at the Warfield
Thrash Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
3.83 | 3 ratings
Still Reigning
Thrash Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
3.07 | 3 ratings
The Unholy Alliance
Thrash Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
4.98 | 5 ratings
The Big 4: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria
Thrash Metal 2010

SLAYER Reviews

SLAYER Haunting the Chapel

EP · 1984 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
Slayer are considered one of the Big Four thrash metal bands that helped establish the sub-genre, with bands like Exodus (possibly the oldest) and Testament also following close behind. But of the Big Four, two were typical Bay Area thrashers and one was a rare East Coast-bred thrash pack. Only Slayer sang about Satan and Hell, and no one seemed to have Tom Araya’s quake-inducing, biker barks. Though known for giving off the occasional tympanic membrane puncturing scream, Araya was less about shouting into the mic as he was about trying to make you fear the demon hordes as they charged at you from the furious sounds of Slayer’s explosive music. Listening to “Haunting the Chapel” now, I feel Slayer has less in common with Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth and fit in more at a dinner party for Kreator, Venom, Bathory, and Possessed.

This was my introduction to Slayer back in 1984 and thanks to my enjoyment of this album I was quick to pick up “Hell Awaits” (though strangely I never got “Show No Mercy”). The three songs on this EP have an intensity and fury to shake down pillars and stone walls. The band know that they want to be fast but still deliver a structured approach betraying their NWoBHM influences. On the re-issue, the additional track “Aggressive Perfector” sounds more like a band trying to outpace a late-seventies Judas Priest speed-burner with guitar solos loosely based on classic JP and Araya wailing a high Halford-ish note at the end.

This is quite an excellent little package of songs. Though the production quality lags behind the intensity of the music, the ambition to blow open the Gates of Hell is very clear as Hades.

SLAYER Reign in Blood

Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal
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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.

SLAYER South of Heaven

Album · 1988 · Thrash Metal
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Unitron
Imagine, after listening to the short, rapid, frantic, and brutal assault of Reign in Blood, picking up the next Slayer album. You expect another fast as hell thrash-fest, but what's this? Something has happened, it's still fast, but not completely. So what is this difference that changes the sound quite noticeably? The band slows it down at the right times.

Huh? You may be thinking that can't make much of a difference, but if you just compare the opening title cut with any songs from Reign in Blood and you'll notice. Just slowing the tempo down makes it sound so much darker and more menacing. The slow and brooding piercing riffs that open up the album really let you know that you've gone South of Heaven. Don't think it doesn't get fast though, Slayer wouldn't be Slayer if they weren't fast. However, the band really makes their music that much darker just by adding in brooding dirges of punishing riffing.

The whole album is a masterpiece, but if I had to pick highlights, those picks would be the title cut, "Silent Scream", "Behind the Crooked Cross", "Mandatory Suicide", "Spill the Blood", and the cover of the Judas Priest classic "Dissident Aggressor". The title cut, as described above, and "Mandatory Suicide" are perfect combinations of brutal thrashings and devilish dirges. "Silent Scream" is pure thrash deliciousness, while The Crooked Cross brings a catchy as hell groove. The Priest cover is faithful but at the same time the band gives it their own sound.

Tom Araya's vocals are as commanding and powerful as ever, Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King's riffs shred and tear, the solos are fast and screeching as always , and Dave Lombardo's drums will kick your ass. Drums roll for the slow passages and go anywhere when it's time for a thrash assault. One listen to this album is proof of him being one of the best drummers out there, and pretty much the Neil Peart of thrash metal. Stark menacing riffs, drumming that packs a punch, and a pounding groove close out the album with finale "Spill the Blood".

South of Heaven shows how just changing the tempo can make all the difference. For me Reign in Blood through Divine Intervention represents the holy tetralogy of Slayer's discography, and truly represent some of the best albums out there. If you haven't heard this album yet and are a metal fan, you must see the light for "Before you see the light, you must listen to South of Heaven". Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

SLAYER South of Heaven

Album · 1988 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
It was 1984, I believe, when I first heard Slayer. "Haunting the Chapel". I was into Venom and then this whole thrash scene came along and Slayer was just the right blend of thrash with lyrics about Hell and Satan. Thirteen years old and this sounded awesome. "Hell Awaits" was perhaps even better!

I totally missed "Reign in Blood". Yeah, I know!

When "South of Heaven" came out, I bought it right away. But something had changed. Not the band so much. It was me. I just couldn't get into the music except for "Mandatory Suicide". A couple of years later, I sold all my "Satan! Satan!" music cassettes to a girlfriend's older brother.

And now I am back here in 2016, and though "Reign in Blood" made it into my CD collection last year and was quietly left aside after a listen or two, I am perhaps at last back to being interested in Slayer. Ready for Slayer! So I ordered "South of Heaven" on CD.

And I think I finally get the band, or at least get them as they were during their classic run. It strikes me that Slayer need to be heard as Slayer. Not mixed with lots of other stuff. Put on an album. Put on a mixed playlist of Slayer songs. But Slayer are an original band that created their own kind of work space. Tom Araya doesn't even try to sing (unlike Hetfield and Mustaine who actually can and have). He's fine to just bark a string of words like he's trying to give instructions over a jet plane's turbine engines, managing a sudden high scream that is always in the same note but sounds just awesome. I like Tom Araya and I like his vocal style. Many of the guitar riffs are just blistering through but there are plenty of mid-tempo (or at least not supersonic tempo) riffs that allow you to check out the view for a moment or two. Guitar solos shred and wail like an attack. Forget the subtleties of phrasing and smooth style. Slowhand is a nickname not ever given to anyone in Slayer. Guitarists Hanneman and King attack the strings with a force equivalent to trying to torture the instrument and remove its soul with their fingers. And Dave Lombardo seems to do on the drums what other drummers routinely do except that he does it so quickly, you would miss it if your ears could blink. "Was that a drum fill?" "Not sure. It sounded like something falling down the stairs in 4x speed."

Okay, so I've described Slayer's sound as I perceive it. Then what about this album? Well, it's not "Hell Awaits" and it's not "Reign in Blood" but it is still a Slayer album and you can be sure that all the reasons to love the band are here and present. I think that they have tried not to careen through the songs like they did on much of "Reign in Blood" and instead they do take a little more time to craft the music. A little. Like 30 seconds to a minute more per song. For me, it makes the album more interesting though as I can appreciate what is being played more when the tempo is a tad slower. Tom Araya seems to attempt shouting less and singing a bit more though not with the actual singer's ability that Hetfield and Mustaine possess. As I understand it, the band intentionally tried to do something different after the speed burner "Reign in Blood".

Two songs to point out: Slayer's cover of Judas Priest's "Dissident Aggressor", which they cover very well by playing it with Slayer's strengths and knowing when to veer away from trying to copy the song as accurately as possible. The other song is my old favourite "Mandatory Suicide". Now as it so happens, I recently listened to one of my favourite Metallica songs, "For Whom the Bell Tolls". You know where this is going, right?

"Mandatory Suicide" has an intro that seems remarkably as though it was based on the Metallica song. It's faster, higher toned, and more raw than Metallica's bomb-you-out-of-the-water, heavier-than-thou approach. But the intro is really similar. Both songs begin with power chord hits that are followed by a lead instrument melody. Metallica does it with bass, Slayer with guitar, though he melodies are different from one another. After the first four repetitions, the drums go into a regular beat for four repetitions, and then the lead melody is dropped but the power chords and drums continue (in the Metallica song the bass then plays the upcoming guitar riff) for four repetitions. And then both songs deliver an ominous, muted guitar riff that I have always considered (considered of "For Whom the Bell Tolls") as one of the coolest riffs in metal. After this though, the songs diverge. Metallica take a little more time to get to the lyrics and they never repeat that awesome riff. Slayer launch quickly into the lyrics and the riff resurfaces more than once. Both songs are also about war, though the Slayer version is probably lyrically closer to Metallica's "Disposable Heroes".

Curious, I searched the Net a bit but mostly just found squabbles about which band has the better song, the opinions being very subjective. I only found a Danish site where someone pointed out the similarities without any opinion for or against. Does anyone know why the Slayer song resembles the Metallica song? Was it intentional? A statement? A coincidence? Cryptomnesia?

So, in conclusion, I think this is a great album to follow "Reign in Blood" and now I have to order "Seasons in the Abyss" as well to get the trilogy. Slayer are Slayer. They do that extremely well.

SLAYER Divine Intervention

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
Slayer - Divine Intervention

'Divine Intervention' is the sixth studio album from thrash metal band Slayer. By 1994, Grunge had taken over and Korn was releasing their debut album and both would leave an impact on the metal scene. As far as the thrash world goes, many thrash bands were switching to a groove sound like Anthrax, Overkill, Voivod, Forbidden, among others. However, among all this going on, Slayer continued on with their own sound with what I believe to be a highly underrated album in their discography.

Instead of making a drastic change, Slayer made what feels like a natural progression from 'Seasons of the Abyss'. The album opens up with the chaotic 'Killing Fields', with the combination of Paul Bostaph's barrage of double-bass drumming and the dark descending guitar that sound like it's announcing the coming of an apocalypse. The song shows a nice speed progression, beginning with a slower paced start before gradually getting much faster. After that, rolling drums and dark dwindling guitar immediately open up 'Sex. Murder. Art.', which is very short yet packing as much punch as the very short songs on 'Reign in Blood'. The third song, 'Fictional Reality' is probably my favorite from the album, and I find it impossible to not headbang and follow along to the lyrics of "Treachery, misery, violence, insanity. Scavengers closing in, Covering the truth again. Castrate society, Fictional reality". It's simply an incredibly addicting song.

While the aforementioned songs may sound like standard Slayer fare, they do mix some new additions into the sound. One of the songs that stands out the most is 'Serenity in Murder' which has Araya singing melodically at times, and actually somewhat reminds me of Chris Cornell of Soundgarden.

The main criticism about the album seems to be with the production, which I've honestly never had a problem with. It's a very organic yet raw sounding production, and I actually really like the sort of muffled tone. I think it really increases the effect.

Overall, I honestly find this album to be on par with Slayer's masterpiece trilogy 'Reign in Blood', 'South of Heaven', and 'Seasons in the Abyss'. In a year where many bands were changing their sound to fit the era, Slayer stayed true to their own sound while adding a bit of variation. Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!

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