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
Reissued · Extra tracks · Explicit Lyrics
American 2002
$11.32
$6.47 (used)
Show No MercyShow No Mercy
Metal Blade 1994
$10.49
$4.92 (used)
Hell AwaitsHell Awaits
Metal Blade 1994
$6.14
$2.47 (used)
South Of HeavenSouth Of Heaven
Reissued · Explicit Lyrics
American 2002
$11.34
$5.89 (used)
Seasons in the AbyssSeasons in the Abyss
H Bop 2014
$4.62
$3.17 (used)
Seasons In The AbyssSeasons In The Abyss
Reissued · Explicit Lyrics
American 2002
$11.37
$5.63 (used)
HAUNTING THE CHAPELHAUNTING THE CHAPEL
Metal Blade 1994
$7.02
$5.99 (used)
RepentlessRepentless
Nuclear Blast America 2015
$6.93
$6.87 (used)
World Painted Blood [LP]World Painted Blood [LP]
American 2013
$14.19
$24.75 (used)
Live UndeadLive Undead
Metal Blade 1994
$9.29
$6.99 (used)
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ANTHRAX album discography magnet (4.5 ANTHRAX album discography magnet (4.5" x 3.5") metallica slayer megadeth kings USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1h 43m
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SLAYER - Undisputed Attitude - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** SLAYER - Undisputed Attitude - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $29.49 Buy It Now 2h 7m
SLAYER  SLAYER "SHOW NO MERCY " ALBUM USD $32.88 (0 bids)
2h 15m
SLAYER HAUNTING THE CHAPEL 1983 BUTTON VENOM EXODUS MERCYFULE FATE SLAYER HAUNTING THE CHAPEL 1983 BUTTON VENOM EXODUS MERCYFULE FATE USD $2.99 (0 bids)
2h 26m
Diabolus in Musica [PA] by Slayer (CD, Jun-1998, American) Used - Like New Diabolus in Musica [PA] by Slayer (CD, Jun-1998, American) Used - Like New USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2h 27m
Slayer ‎– Criminally Insane (Remix) London Records LON 133 UK 7inch Vinyl Single Slayer ‎– Criminally Insane (Remix) London Records LON 133 UK 7inch Vinyl Single USD $20.87 (0 bids)
2h 28m
Slayer - Reign In Blood  Explicit Version (Vinyl Used Like New) Explicit Version Slayer - Reign In Blood Explicit Version (Vinyl Used Like New) Explicit Version USD $18.44 Buy It Now 2h 38m
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2h 38m
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3h
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3h
Megadeth Rust In Peace & Slayer Diabolus in Musica 2 CD Albums Rock Metal Megadeth Rust In Peace & Slayer Diabolus in Musica 2 CD Albums Rock Metal USD $7.22 Buy It Now 3h
SLAYER - LIVE INTRUSION 3 Track Cd SLAYER - LIVE INTRUSION 3 Track Cd USD $1.97 (0 bids)
3h
Slayer Replentless 2015 Ltd Digipak CD & DVD Album New Sealed Rock Thrash Metal Slayer Replentless 2015 Ltd Digipak CD & DVD Album New Sealed Rock Thrash Metal USD $13.14 Buy It Now 3h
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SLAYER - Divine Intervention CD 1998 used SLAYER - Divine Intervention CD 1998 used USD $3.00 Buy It Now 3h
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USD $15.35 Buy It Now
5h
Kill The Romance /- Rare Promo Cd 2007 Metal / Slayer Metallica Kill The Romance /- Rare Promo Cd 2007 Metal / Slayer Metallica USD $19.99 Buy It Now 5h
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6h
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USD $6.95 Buy It Now
6h
VENOM BLOODLUST ORG 1985 PIN BACK BUTTON SLAYER EXODUS MERCYFUL FATE  VENOM BLOODLUST ORG 1985 PIN BACK BUTTON SLAYER EXODUS MERCYFUL FATE  USD $2.99 (0 bids)
6h
NEW Diabolus in Musica [PA] by Slayer (CD, Jun-1998, American) - FREE SHIPPING NEW Diabolus in Musica [PA] by Slayer (CD, Jun-1998, American) - FREE SHIPPING USD $7.97 Buy It Now 6h
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South of Heaven [PA] by Slayer (CD, Jul-2007, Legacy) South of Heaven [PA] by Slayer (CD, Jul-2007, Legacy) USD $10.76 Buy It Now 7h
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Slayer - Reign In Blood Europe LP 1986 + Innerbag /3* Slayer - Reign In Blood Europe LP 1986 + Innerbag /3* USD $64.90 Buy It Now 7h
CD Rare Slayer Advance Metal Music Promo CD CD Rare Slayer Advance Metal Music Promo CD USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7h
Slayer - Seasons In The Abyss LP NEW Slayer - Seasons In The Abyss LP NEW USD $24.99 Buy It Now 7h
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK CASSETTE TAPE RUTGER HAUER OOP BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK CASSETTE TAPE RUTGER HAUER OOP USD $12.27 Buy It Now 7h
MOTORHEAD Another Perfect Day LP SEALED Lemmy Metallica Slayer Black Sabbath MOTORHEAD Another Perfect Day LP SEALED Lemmy Metallica Slayer Black Sabbath USD $12.34 Buy It Now 7h
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8h
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MEGADETH CRYPTIC WRITINGS CD  THRASH METAL SLAYER METALLICA ANTHRAX MEGADETH CRYPTIC WRITINGS CD THRASH METAL SLAYER METALLICA ANTHRAX USD $10.05 Buy It Now 9h
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SLAYER CHRIST ILLUSION  CD  THRASH METAL MEGADETH METALLICA ANTHRAX KERRY KING SLAYER CHRIST ILLUSION CD THRASH METAL MEGADETH METALLICA ANTHRAX KERRY KING USD $10.05 Buy It Now 10h
SLAYER GOD HATES US ALL CD  THRASH METAL MEGADETH METALLICA ANTHRAX KERRY KING SLAYER GOD HATES US ALL CD THRASH METAL MEGADETH METALLICA ANTHRAX KERRY KING USD $10.05 Buy It Now 10h
SLAYER REIGN IN BLOOD CD  THRASH METAL MEGADETH METALLICA ANTHRAX KERRY KING SLAYER REIGN IN BLOOD CD THRASH METAL MEGADETH METALLICA ANTHRAX KERRY KING USD $10.05 Buy It Now 10h
DARK ANGEL / Leave Scars JAPAN CD 1989 1st press Possessed Sadus Slayer DARK ANGEL / Leave Scars JAPAN CD 1989 1st press Possessed Sadus Slayer USD $8.05 (3 bids)
10h
EXODUS / Fabulous Disaster JAPAN CD 1989 1st press Death Angel Slayer Vio-Lence EXODUS / Fabulous Disaster JAPAN CD 1989 1st press Death Angel Slayer Vio-Lence USD $9.99 (1 bids)
11h
SLAYER - Reign In Blood - 1986/2009 - RARE - OOP - SEALED !!! SLAYER - Reign In Blood - 1986/2009 - RARE - OOP - SEALED !!! USD $99.99 (1 bids)
11h
MEGADETH / Megabox Single Collection JAPAN 5 CD Box Set 1993 Metallica Slayer MEGADETH / Megabox Single Collection JAPAN 5 CD Box Set 1993 Metallica Slayer USD $24.50 (10 bids)
11h
METALLICA / One JAPAN 5 tracks CD 1989 1st press [Red disc] Megadeth Slayer METALLICA / One JAPAN 5 tracks CD 1989 1st press [Red disc] Megadeth Slayer USD $9.99 (1 bids)
11h
SLAYER South Of Heaven CD BRAND NEW SLAYER South Of Heaven CD BRAND NEW USD $9.60 Buy It Now 11h
SEPULTURA / Morbid Visions JAPAN CD 1991 1st press Sarcofago Slayer Sodom SEPULTURA / Morbid Visions JAPAN CD 1991 1st press Sarcofago Slayer Sodom USD $11.99 (3 bids)
11h
SEPULTURA / Schizophrenia JAPAN CD 1991 1st press Dark Angel Kreator Slayer SEPULTURA / Schizophrenia JAPAN CD 1991 1st press Dark Angel Kreator Slayer USD $9.99 (1 bids)
11h
SLAYER / Show No Mercy CD 1987 US press Anthrax Megadeth Metallica SLAYER / Show No Mercy CD 1987 US press Anthrax Megadeth Metallica USD $11.05 (2 bids)
11h
SLAYER / South Of Heaven JAPAN CD 1988 1st press Dark Angel Exodus Kreator SLAYER / South Of Heaven JAPAN CD 1988 1st press Dark Angel Exodus Kreator USD $10.50 (2 bids)
11h
SLAUGHTER LORD - Thrash 'Til Death CD Possessed, Kreator, Necrovore, Slayer SLAUGHTER LORD - Thrash 'Til Death CD Possessed, Kreator, Necrovore, Slayer USD $11.99 Buy It Now 11h
BLUDVERA - Terrorform CD Slayer Violator Assassin Venom Exodus Forbidden Hirax BLUDVERA - Terrorform CD Slayer Violator Assassin Venom Exodus Forbidden Hirax USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11h
PRAYERS OF SANITY - Religion Blindness CD Exodus Slayer Sepultura Sacred Reich PRAYERS OF SANITY - Religion Blindness CD Exodus Slayer Sepultura Sacred Reich USD $10.99 Buy It Now 11h
Testament-Souls Of Black KOREA METALLICA MEGADETH SLAYER OVER KILL Testament-Souls Of Black KOREA METALLICA MEGADETH SLAYER OVER KILL USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11h
Slayer 'South of Heaven'  Job Lot 10 x  Heat Transfer  Vintage T Shirt Prints Slayer 'South of Heaven' Job Lot 10 x Heat Transfer Vintage T Shirt Prints USD $46.03 (1 bids)
13h
Revenge Patch Order From Chaos Blasphemy Slayer Black Death Metal Revenge Patch Order From Chaos Blasphemy Slayer Black Death Metal USD $6.46 Buy It Now 13h
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18608 Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Album CD (1999) 18608 Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Album CD (1999) USD $3.27 Buy It Now 14h
SLAYER CRIMINALLY INSANE AGGRESSIVE PERFECTOR RED 7” IRON CROSS PACK WITH CHAIN SLAYER CRIMINALLY INSANE AGGRESSIVE PERFECTOR RED 7” IRON CROSS PACK WITH CHAIN USD $169.67 Buy It Now 14h
SLAYER - DIVINE INTERVENTION [PA] NEW CD SLAYER - DIVINE INTERVENTION [PA] NEW CD USD $12.35 Buy It Now 14h
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EXODUS Impact Is Imminent JAPAN SHM Mini LP CD Slayer Tenet Hatriot Dublin Death EXODUS Impact Is Imminent JAPAN SHM Mini LP CD Slayer Tenet Hatriot Dublin Death USD $28.99 Buy It Now 15h
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SLAYER demonic 2009 - WOVEN SEW ON PATCH official merchandise SLAYER demonic 2009 - WOVEN SEW ON PATCH official merchandise USD $5.20 Buy It Now 16h
Dragon Slayer By Pigeon John On Audio CD Album 2010 Brand New Dragon Slayer By Pigeon John On Audio CD Album 2010 Brand New USD $12.09 Buy It Now 16h
4xCDs-Slayer,Diabolus In Musica,God Hates Us,Undisputed Attitude 4xCDs-Slayer,Diabolus In Musica,God Hates Us,Undisputed Attitude USD $31.59 Buy It Now 16h
SLAYER black eagle WOVEN SEW ON PATCH official merchandise SLAYER black eagle WOVEN SEW ON PATCH official merchandise USD $5.20 Buy It Now 16h
NEW Gateway to Hell: A Tribute to Slayer, Vol. 1 (Audio CD) NEW Gateway to Hell: A Tribute to Slayer, Vol. 1 (Audio CD) USD $20.07 Buy It Now 16h
VA SPEED KILLS SLAYER METALLICA VENOM VOIVOD BULLDOZER EXCITER DESTRUCTION VA SPEED KILLS SLAYER METALLICA VENOM VOIVOD BULLDOZER EXCITER DESTRUCTION USD $19.99 Buy It Now 17h
A Tribute to SLAYER 25 years ULTRA RARE COLLECTOR'S CD! FREE SHIPPING! A Tribute to SLAYER 25 years ULTRA RARE COLLECTOR'S CD! FREE SHIPPING! USD $35.00 Buy It Now 17h
Slayer : South of Heaven CD Slayer : South of Heaven CD USD $7.99 Buy It Now 17h
Slayer Rare Metal Hammer Poster Slayer Rare Metal Hammer Poster USD $3.95 (0 bids)
17h
Slayer : Seasons In The Abyss CD Slayer : Seasons In The Abyss CD USD $6.43 Buy It Now 17h
Slayer - Seasons In The Abyss - Slayer CD LSVG The Fast Free Shipping Slayer - Seasons In The Abyss - Slayer CD LSVG The Fast Free Shipping USD $23.48 Buy It Now 17h
SLAYER LIVE UNDEAD LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1983 SHOW NO MERCY CAPTOR OF SLAYER LIVE UNDEAD LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1983 SHOW NO MERCY CAPTOR OF USD $56.61 Buy It Now 17h
SLAYER SHOW NO MERCY LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1986 WITH INSERT SLAYER SHOW NO MERCY LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1986 WITH INSERT USD $82.16 Buy It Now 17h
SLAYER DECADE OF AGGRESSION LIVE 2 LP SET MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1992 SLAYER DECADE OF AGGRESSION LIVE 2 LP SET MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1992 USD $84.92 Buy It Now 17h
SLAYER HELL AWAITS LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1987 WITH INSERT SLAYER HELL AWAITS LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1987 WITH INSERT USD $82.16 Buy It Now 17h
SLAYER REIGN IN BLOOD LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1986 WITH INSERT SLAYER REIGN IN BLOOD LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1986 WITH INSERT USD $82.16 Buy It Now 17h
SLAYER BLOODLINE - PANTERA AVOID THE LIGHT CD PROMOTIONAL MADE IN BRAZIL 2000 SLAYER BLOODLINE - PANTERA AVOID THE LIGHT CD PROMOTIONAL MADE IN BRAZIL 2000 USD $25.64 Buy It Now 17h
SEPULTURA SCHIZOPHRENIA PICTURE DISC Slayer WATAIN Mutilator Sextrash Sarcofago SEPULTURA SCHIZOPHRENIA PICTURE DISC Slayer WATAIN Mutilator Sextrash Sarcofago USD $41.28 Buy It Now 17h
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GANG GREEN OLDER...  BUDWEISER LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1989 Slayer Metallica MEGADETH GANG GREEN OLDER... BUDWEISER LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1989 Slayer Metallica MEGADETH USD $21.24 Buy It Now 17h
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SLAYER Discography

SLAYER albums / top albums

SLAYER Show No Mercy album cover 3.53 | 68 ratings
Show No Mercy
Thrash Metal 1983
SLAYER Hell Awaits album cover 3.78 | 73 ratings
Hell Awaits
Thrash Metal 1985
SLAYER Reign in Blood album cover 4.24 | 173 ratings
Reign in Blood
Thrash Metal 1986
SLAYER South of Heaven album cover 4.18 | 115 ratings
South of Heaven
Thrash Metal 1988
SLAYER Seasons in the Abyss album cover 4.18 | 103 ratings
Seasons in the Abyss
Thrash Metal 1990
SLAYER Divine Intervention album cover 3.38 | 52 ratings
Divine Intervention
Thrash Metal 1994
SLAYER Undisputed Attitude album cover 3.14 | 32 ratings
Undisputed Attitude
Crossover Thrash 1996
SLAYER Diabolus in Musica album cover 3.24 | 44 ratings
Diabolus in Musica
Thrash Metal 1998
SLAYER God Hates Us All album cover 2.42 | 44 ratings
God Hates Us All
Thrash Metal 2001
SLAYER Christ Illusion album cover 3.21 | 47 ratings
Christ Illusion
Thrash Metal 2006
SLAYER World Painted Blood album cover 3.42 | 54 ratings
World Painted Blood
Thrash Metal 2009
SLAYER Repentless album cover 3.94 | 19 ratings
Repentless
Thrash Metal 2015

SLAYER EPs & splits

SLAYER Haunting the Chapel album cover 3.82 | 26 ratings
Haunting the Chapel
Thrash Metal 1984
SLAYER The Tour '95 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Tour '95
Thrash Metal 1994
SLAYER Serenity in Murder album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Serenity in Murder
Thrash Metal 1995
SLAYER Slayer / T.S.O.L. album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Slayer / T.S.O.L.
Thrash Metal 1996

SLAYER live albums

SLAYER Live Undead album cover 4.07 | 17 ratings
Live Undead
Thrash Metal 1984
SLAYER Decade of Aggression: Live album cover 4.39 | 19 ratings
Decade of Aggression: Live
Thrash Metal 1991
SLAYER Hell Awaits At Dynamo album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Hell Awaits At Dynamo
Thrash Metal 2007

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

SLAYER Raining Blood album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Raining Blood
Thrash Metal 1986
SLAYER Mandatory Suicide album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mandatory Suicide
Thrash Metal 1988
SLAYER War Ensemble album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
War Ensemble
Thrash Metal 1990
SLAYER Übernoise album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Übernoise
Thrash Metal 1998
SLAYER Exclusive Members Only DVD album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Exclusive Members Only DVD
Thrash Metal 2010

SLAYER re-issues & compilations

SLAYER Soundtrack to the Apocalypse album cover 4.50 | 3 ratings
Soundtrack to the Apocalypse
Thrash Metal 2003
SLAYER The Vinyl Conflict album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The Vinyl Conflict
Thrash Metal 2010
SLAYER B-Sides And Rarities 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
4.00 | 1 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
3.50 | 1 ratings
Serenity in Murder: Divine Live!
Thrash Metal 1995
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 2 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
Eyes of the Insane
Thrash Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cult
Thrash Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Eternal Pyre
Thrash Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hate Worldwide
Thrash Metal 2009
.. 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
World Painted Blood / Atrocity Vendor
Thrash Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
3.42 | 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
4.20 | 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
3.50 | 3 ratings
The Unholy Alliance
Thrash Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
4.83 | 6 ratings
The Big 4: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria
Thrash Metal 2010

SLAYER Reviews

SLAYER South of Heaven

Album · 1988 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
When it comes to the “big four” of thrash metal, I’ve always been a huge fan of Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, yet, for reasons unexplainable, I’ve never been able to get into Slayer. 1986’s ‘Reign in Blood’ is often hailed as one of the all-time greatest metal albums, though, other than it’s absolutely killer opening and closing tracks, I find the record to be mindless drivel (ooh, controversial...).

Yet here we are; 1988’s ‘South of Heaven’, the album where the band infamously “slowed down”. Admittedly, the songs are a bit more polished here, and the riffs are more than just open-string chugging away. Although the album as a whole is still pretty repetitive, and doesn’t sound any different than anything the band have done before.

Still, I’ll give Slayer their due. ‘South of Heaven’ is better than anything they had released beforehand, and if vocalist Tom Ayara could somehow implement just a little bit of melody in his singing, they could really be onto something. Instead, as always, while the musicianship is of a high standard, I find the vocals tend to just sit on top of the riffs, without really fitting in too well.

If I had to pick any highlights out, I’d say the title track, as well as ‘Silent Scream’, ‘Live Undead’ and ‘Mandatory Suicide’ are all decent enough, and there’s ‘Behind the Crooked Cross’, which I instantly recognized due to its use in 8-bit midi glory in the video game ‘Doom’ (a game I played religiously in my childhood, years before I should have been allowed to). But as is always the case with Slayer, I’m just not that big a fan, and would much rather listen to any other member of the big four.

SLAYER Seasons in the Abyss

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
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Vim Fuego
Sometimes what makes an album great is the memories it encapsulates. When you hear it, or think of it, it takes you back to a different time. “Seasons In The Abyss” holds such a memory for me.

The 1990 follow up to “South Of Heaven” was a difficult album for Slayer, because every single album after the universally lauded “Reign In Blood” is by definition a difficult album. How do you carry on from an album often declared the greatest in thrash metal? Do you try for a “Reign In Blood II”, or do you follow a different path? Slayer chose a different path. “South of Heaven” was the result, which copped equal parts criticism and praise because of a perceived radical shift in direction. All Slayer did was slow down a bit. How to follow that without copping further criticism? “Seasons in the Abyss” is the obvious answer. “Seasons In The Abyss” drew on the best of the previous two albums, and refined it into one of the greatest metal albums of 1990.

And here’s the memory time. Early in 1993, I departed on a road trip with my best mate Harry.[1] January in New Zealand is mid-summer, and a great time to go on holiday, so we planned to cruise around the bottom half of the South Island. Harry couldn’t drive (he still can’t despite what his licence says!) so we’d go in my car, and crash with his extended family wherever possible. Preparing for the trip, choosing the appropriate tunes was an important mission. Harry and I share very different musical tastes. He claims to be a metal fan, and in fact, I got my first few metal albums off him (Iron Maiden’s “Somewhere In Time”, Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls”, and the K-Tel “Masters of Metal” compilation). However, Harry doesn’t have a musical bullshit filter. Yes, he could listen to Maiden and Metallica, but he’d also listen to whatever crap was currently popular, just because it was popular. As far as I know, he still does to this day. This is a person who thought Milli Vanilli should keep their Grammys because even if they hadn’t done any singing, people still loved them. He thought Vanilla Ice should get away with blatantly plagiarising Queen’s “Under Pressure” because “Queen wasn’t using that song at the moment”. For him, popular meant good.

At the time of this road trip, Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” was popular, so guess what he picked for roadie music… Yep. “Some Gave All”. Not only that, his nieces who we would see on the trip were right into New Kids On The Block, so along came “Step By Step” and “Hangin’ Tough”. That the boyband was aimed at 13 year old girls (we were both 20), and had just been accused of lip syncing live didn’t seem to matter. Just to round out the crapfest, he decided “Pornograffitti” and “III Sides To Every Story” by Extreme would also be good choices, because they were metal, and he was convinced I didn’t like them simply because I hadn’t listened to them enough.

To counter, I grabbed a few albums we could both tolerate, like AC/DC’s “The Razor’s Edge”, a couple of Iron Maidens, in the form of “No Prayer For The Dying” and “Fear Of The Dark”, Bruce Dickinson’s “Tattooed Millionaire”, and Alice Cooper’s “Welcome To My Nightmare”. I also threw in Nirvana’s “Nevermind” and “Incesticide”, which Harry was just discovering, and a couple of purely defensive albums, in the form of Exodus’ “Force Of Habit” and the subject of this little review, Slayer’s “Seasons In The Abyss”. I’m sure I took others along too, because I think we had about 30 tapes between us, but that’s all I can remember.

Our mode of transport was my 1965 Austin 1100[2]. It was a fine example of the shit turned out by the worst of Britain’s automotive industry. In the summer, I had to turn the heater on full blast while driving on the open road to stop it from overheating. In 30°C summer heat, this necessitated driving with the windows open most of the time. It also didn’t have a radio of any sort, so our sounds went through my Walkman with a pair of tiny external speakers, with a total output of about 4 watts. It had to be turned up full blast to hear even the faintest strain of music.

So off we went! Tootling down State Highway 1 at somewhere near the speed limit of 100 km/h (it was slightly uphill, there were two of us in the car, and it was a bit windy. That crappy car saved me a fucking fortune in speeding tickets though!), we decided turnabouts with the music was the fairest way to do things. I started with Nirvana’s “Nevermind”. All well and good, both of us found it tolerable. Next though, Harry put on fucking Billy Ray, the man who made the mullet uncool again. The twanging, moaning, and complaining was unbearable. And it got worse when I had to shut up and he put on the tape! It was fucking excruciating! It was 35 minutes of sheer torture. So you can guess what I picked next...

Slayer fans will remember the first time they heard “War Ensemble”. Like “Angel Of Death”, it crashes straight into the guts of the song, with no room for an introduction. King And Hanneman in full flight, Dave Lombardo smashing it with snare and his legendary double kicks. We got to the end of the first double kick barrage, about 30 seconds into the song, and Harry turned it off! A bit of a tense confrontation followed, made a little difficult by me needing to drive while we argued. It went something like this:

Me: Turn it back on!

Harry: No! That’s not music! It’s noise! (reaches for the Walkman, intending to remove the tape)

Me: It’s more music than that shit you just subjected me to! Turn it back on. You’ve had your turn, now it’s mine!

Harry: Billy Ray Cyrus isn’t crap. He’s sold millions!

Me: He’s crap, and that Achy Breaky Fart is shit! You picked that, and now I picked Slayer.

Harry: But I don’t like it.

Me: And I don’t like country music, but I put up with it!

We came to something of a compromise, and on went Alice Cooper I think, but the line in the sand had been drawn. There was little conversation on the rest of the drive to Timaru, our destination for the night.

Harry’s step-sister and her family gave us a bed for the night. After a couple of beers, tensions eased, and we discussed the music situation for the next day’s journey to Dunedin. I pointed out to Harry I hadn’t brought any death metal with me on this trip, which I already knew he hated. Harry conceded I could listen to Slayer on the way to Dunedin, on the proviso he got to listen to something else first. It wasn’t Billy Ray this time. It was the New Kids On The fucking Block. I hatched secret plans to lose that “Step By Step” tape out the window, but kept the idea to myself in case of retaliation.

So, “Seasons In The Abyss” attempt 2. “War Ensemble” passed without incident. Then into the abrasive intro to “Blood Red”, and Harry was looking quite irritated. Once the intro passed, so did the irritation. It isn’t near as fast a song as “War Ensemble”. Slayer had begun to explore slower tempos on “South Of Heaven” and it was starting to come to fruition with songs like this, pounding along at a double time march. Harry started to get into the groove. He hated the solos though.

He didn’t pick the transition to “Spirit In Black” due to Rick Rubin’s habit of not leaving a gap between songs. It fits this album perfectly, so no momentum is lost between songs. The higher tempo didn’t impress Harry, nor did the solos once again. He was starting to think this was one fucking long song.

The transition to “Expendable Youth” is more obvious, as the song slows a little, and is heavier for it. Harry commented that the singing wasn’t very good. I told him it was still better than Billy Ray Cyrus, and there was another uncomfortable silence for a bit as we continued to chug south, sweating our nuts off with the heater blasting full bore.

The first sustained notes to “Dead Skin Mask” saw Harry’s expression change from irritation to interest, and then the deep spoken voice brought on genuine surprise. Tom Araya’s chant on the “Dance with the dead in my dreams...” refrain saw him sit right up and take notice. I told him it was a song about a serial killer. He’d previously only encountered serial killers in music in Alice Cooper’s fantasies, and I think this genuinely interested him. And then came the child’s voice at the end, pleading with Ed Gein, and I think it may have actually disturbed my friend!

That was the end of the side, and I thought he was going to turn the tape over, but no, he took the fucking thing out, and went to put something else in! Another heated (and heatered) discussion followed.

Me: Put it back in. That was only one side!

Harry: I thought we could just have one side each.

Me: But you made me listen to the whole New Kids On The Block tape!

Harry: I thought we could start doing it now.

Me: But that’s not fair! You got a whole album and I only got a half a one!

He wouldn’t budge. I think “Dead Skin Mask” had really upset him!

Instead, we got “Pornograffitti”. As well as being unable to drive, Harry also can’t sing. It doesn’t stop him. I had to put up with him tunelessly harmonising through the ever excruciating “More Than Words”, and then singing flat as a fart through “Hole Hearted”. The only good thing about it was that “Hole Hearted” was the last song, and I knew the album was over. I wanted to carry on with Slayer. Harry didn’t. He wanted Billy Ray Cyrus again! Another discussion...

Me: Put on side two of my Slayer tape. We just listened to a whole tape of yours, and it was only meant to be one side!

Harry: No, it’s my turn again. You liked that last one.

Me: No I didn’t, and that’s got nothing to do with it! You chose that one!

Harry: Yes you do. You gave me the tape.

Me: No I don’t. Why do you think I gave you the fucking thing? I didn’t like it.

Eventually, a sense of fair play prevailed, due in no small part to me threatening to stop and make Harry walk, and we got the second half of “Seasons In The Abyss”. “Hallowed Point” blasted straight in, with its tempo lifted straight from the “Reign In Blood” album. Harry still didn’t like the speed, but he was starting to appreciate the Hanneman/King solos a bit more. They were a bit more frenetic than the Murray/Smith Maiden solos he was used to, and even more chaotic than Kirk Hammett’s from “...And Justice For All”, which he was becoming to enjoy. Once again, I think he must have missed the transition to the chuggier “Skeletons of Society”. The dual whispered vocals put the shits up him again, but there were no more complaints. I think Harry was just trying to get the ordeal over with.

The intro to “Temptation” was too much for him again, but he seemed to like Lombardo’s impressive drum fills, and the groove the song hits before the solos. “Born Of Fire”’s rapid, almost hardcore, feel didn’t seem to be to his liking, but I was loving it, growling “Born of fire” along with Tom and playing air drums on the steering wheel.

Slayer fans will know what comes next... Yep, the atmospheric horror show that is the title track. Like “Dead Skin Mask”, Harry seemed interested from the intro, with the acoustic guitars and gong, but was also a little on edge, as if expecting something terrible to happen. There were no more ethereal voices, and he seemed genuinely impressed with the chorus. I started singing along with it. The menace and atmosphere of the song was somewhat lost because of the tinny little speakers, but the essence of impending doom was still there. The song’s insistent groove actually got both heads in that little car banging, or at least nodding in time with the music. By the end of it, Harry was actually singing along too.

As we climbed the car-destroying Kilmog Hill into Dunedin, and I was rapidly running out of gears to change down to, the final notes of the song faded away. Harry and I were both quiet for a moment, reflecting. We had both started out as clueless but enthusiastic teens five years earlier, tentatively dipping our toes into the unknown waters of metal. Harry had done little more than splash about in the shallows. I had dived right in the deep end. Between us now, there was an abyss. It took this fittingly titled album to finally bring it out in the open. For the next week, we holidayed quite happily. The rest of the music we listened to was stuff we both agreed on. I got no more achy breaky earworms, and Harry got no more dead skin nightmares. It stayed that way until the final day of our tour, as we headed back north for home. We were both getting on each other’s nerves by then. As we cruised across the parched McKenzie Basin, a certain achy breaky melody emanated from our still open car windows. We both knew what was coming next...[3]

1. Not his real name, but if he ever reads this he’ll know it’s him, and he can go and get fucked for subjecting me to Billy Ray fucking Cyrus!

2. Austin 1100: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMC_ADO16

3. Harry and I remained friends for many years after. Although I haven’t seen him for a while, whenever we do catch up, it seems like next to no time has passed at all.

SLAYER Reign in Blood

Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
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.

SLAYER Reign in Blood

Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
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.

SLAYER Hell Awaits

Album · 1985 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
In today's edition of Bash-a-Classic, I'm looking at 'Hell Awaits', album number two for Slayer, and I'm still struggling to see what made them stand out amongst all the other thrash metal bands of the 80's.

One of the notable differences between Slayer and the other members of the Big Four of thrash (Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax) is that Slayer's music is much less melody-based, focusing more on raw aggression and darker themes. Unfortunately, the lack of melody, in both the guitar riffs and the vocals, makes it harder for any songs to really stick in my head.

While bands like Metallica and Anthrax were already utilizing plenty of vocal hooks and memorable guitar lines, 'Hell Awaits' is a barrage of mind-numbingly boring riffs that fail to do anything other than show off Slayer's penchant for sheer speed and wailing guitar solos that go absolutely nowhere. Tom Araya's vocal style, a weird combination of angry talking and shouting, doesn't produce anything catchy, with literally every single song on this album sounding identical to the last.

Despite repeated listens, I just can't get into this album. I know Slayer are one of metals most beloved bands, and in fairness they will go on to produce some great material, but damn, these earlier releases are just brutal, and not in the good way.

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