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
$11.01
$3.54 (used)
South of HeavenSouth of Heaven
Universal 2013
$5.20
$3.81 (used)
Seasons in the AbyssSeasons in the Abyss
H Bop 2014
$5.11
$3.26 (used)
Show No MercyShow No Mercy
Metal Blade 1994
$10.28
$4.75 (used)
Seasons In The Abyss [LP][Explicit]Seasons In The Abyss [LP][Explicit]
Explicit Lyrics
American 2013
$20.68
$25.14 (used)
RepentlessRepentless
CD+DVD
Nuclear Blast America 2015
$11.45
$6.99 (used)
God Hates Us AllGod Hates Us All
Umc 2013
$5.76
$3.21 (used)
South Of Heaven [LP][Explicit]South Of Heaven [LP][Explicit]
Explicit Lyrics
American 2013
$20.49
$25.14 (used)
Hell AwaitsHell Awaits
Metal Blade 1994
$10.29
$11.98 (used)
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Brymir - Slayer of Gods (CD, Jun-2016), hard to find, Like New! Brymir - Slayer of Gods (CD, Jun-2016), hard to find, Like New! USD $12.50 (0 bids)
3m
Metallica Master Puppets New Sealed Cd! 1986 Dio Iron Maiden Megadeth Slayer Metallica Master Puppets New Sealed Cd! 1986 Dio Iron Maiden Megadeth Slayer USD $11.99 Buy It Now 26m
SLAYER 'bare their teeth' magazine PHOTO/Poster/clipping 11x8 inches SLAYER 'bare their teeth' magazine PHOTO/Poster/clipping 11x8 inches USD $7.43 Buy It Now 26m
Iron Maiden Virtual XI New Sealed Cd! Dio Metallica Megadeth Slayer Dio Ozzy Iron Maiden Virtual XI New Sealed Cd! Dio Metallica Megadeth Slayer Dio Ozzy USD $29.99 Buy It Now 27m
Slayer - Divine Intervention [CD] Slayer - Divine Intervention [CD] USD $10.13 Buy It Now 43m
God Hates Us All [PA] by Slayer (CD, Sep-2001, American) God Hates Us All [PA] by Slayer (CD, Sep-2001, American) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 45m
NDE Promo Cd! See) Overkill/Exodus/Slayer/Sodom/DRI/Venom/Sabbat/Sadus NDE Promo Cd! See) Overkill/Exodus/Slayer/Sodom/DRI/Venom/Sabbat/Sadus USD $9.99 Buy It Now 50m
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Slayer ‎– Undisputed Attitude - lp- pic.disc Slayer ‎– Undisputed Attitude - lp- pic.disc USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 11m
Slayer ‎– live new york ritz 1986  - lp- pic.disc Slayer ‎– live new york ritz 1986 - lp- pic.disc USD $19.99 (1 bids)
1h 14m
 Slayer ‎– Divine Intervention - lp- pic.disc Slayer ‎– Divine Intervention - lp- pic.disc USD $19.99 (1 bids)
1h 16m
Slayer ‎– South Of Heaven - lp- pic.disc Slayer ‎– South Of Heaven - lp- pic.disc USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 17m
 Slayer ‎– Seasons In The Abyss - lp- pic.disc Slayer ‎– Seasons In The Abyss - lp- pic.disc USD $19.99 (1 bids)
1h 18m
 Slayer ‎– satans litle helper - lp- Slayer ‎– satans litle helper - lp- USD $19.99 (1 bids)
1h 20m
SHEOL HADES-Metal Disease CD Flotsam,Destruction,Heathen,Intrepid,Slayer,Private SHEOL HADES-Metal Disease CD Flotsam,Destruction,Heathen,Intrepid,Slayer,Private USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 21m
 Slayer ‎– south of new york 1988 - lp- coloured Slayer ‎– south of new york 1988 - lp- coloured USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 22m
Divine Intervention by Slayer 1994 American Recording Killing Fields Dittohead Divine Intervention by Slayer 1994 American Recording Killing Fields Dittohead USD $19.24 Buy It Now 1h 23m
 Slayer ‎– monster of rock 1994  - lp- Slayer ‎– monster of rock 1994 - lp- USD $19.99 (1 bids)
1h 24m
 Slayer ‎– black serenade  - lp- coloured Slayer ‎– black serenade - lp- coloured USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 25m
Live: Decade of Aggression, Slayer, Good Live: Decade of Aggression, Slayer, Good USD $9.62 Buy It Now 1h 26m
 Slayer ‎– face the slayer of god - lp- clear vinyl Slayer ‎– face the slayer of god - lp- clear vinyl USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 27m
POTENTIAL THREAT - 2002 RARE DEMO SEALED! DEATH ANGEL SLAYER TESTAMENT CRO-MAGS POTENTIAL THREAT - 2002 RARE DEMO SEALED! DEATH ANGEL SLAYER TESTAMENT CRO-MAGS USD $44.99 Buy It Now 1h 28m
 Slayer ‎– face the slayer of god - lp- red clear vinyl Slayer ‎– face the slayer of god - lp- red clear vinyl USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 28m
METALLICA st anger LP 1 st press kreator slayer sosom destruction METALLICA st anger LP 1 st press kreator slayer sosom destruction USD $100.00 Buy It Now 1h 29m
 Slayer ‎– the soncbook of the antichrist part 2 - lp- Slayer ‎– the soncbook of the antichrist part 2 - lp- USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 30m
 Slayer ‎– at endhoven - lp- green vinyl Slayer ‎– at endhoven - lp- green vinyl USD $19.99 (2 bids)
1h 33m
 Slayer ‎– soncbook of the antichrist - lp- Slayer ‎– soncbook of the antichrist - lp- USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 34m
Slayer 2X CD Album Bundle - Divine Intervention Seasons In The Abyss Slayer 2X CD Album Bundle - Divine Intervention Seasons In The Abyss USD $12.47 Buy It Now 1h 35m
 Slayer ‎– in a gadda da vida - lp- clear vinyl Slayer ‎– in a gadda da vida - lp- clear vinyl USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 36m
Dawn of the Dragon Slayer (UK IMPORT) CD NEW Dawn of the Dragon Slayer (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $14.29 Buy It Now 1h 38m
 Slayer ‎– sonisphere painted in blood 2010  - lp- coloured Slayer ‎– sonisphere painted in blood 2010 - lp- coloured USD $19.99 (1 bids)
1h 45m
 Slayer ‎– live 1983  - lp- Slayer ‎– live 1983 - lp- USD $19.99 (1 bids)
1h 47m
 Slayer ‎– end of eternity  - lp- red vinyl Slayer ‎– end of eternity - lp- red vinyl USD $19.99 (1 bids)
1h 48m
Slayer ‎– Seasons In The Abyss  - lp- repress Slayer ‎– Seasons In The Abyss - lp- repress USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 51m
QUEEN Korn SLAYER Marilyn Manson RISE AGAINST rammstein  GWAR PROMO CD QUEEN Korn SLAYER Marilyn Manson RISE AGAINST rammstein GWAR PROMO CD USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1h 51m
Slayer ‎– Reign In Blood  - lp- repress Slayer ‎– Reign In Blood - lp- repress USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 52m
Slayer-Live Undead  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW Slayer-Live Undead (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $18.11 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Slayer 2011 World Tour T-shirt Slayer 2011 World Tour T-shirt USD $2.00 (1 bids)
1h 52m
 Slayer ‎– Show No Mercy - lp- repress Slayer ‎– Show No Mercy - lp- repress USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 53m
Slayer : Reign In Blood CD Value Guaranteed from eBay’s biggest seller! Slayer : Reign In Blood CD Value Guaranteed from eBay’s biggest seller! USD $3.37 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Slayer Hate Worldwide T-shirt Slayer Hate Worldwide T-shirt USD $3.50 (1 bids)
1h 58m
Slayer ‎– captur of sin - lp- black and white marble Slayer ‎– captur of sin - lp- black and white marble USD $19.99 (0 bids)
1h 59m
Slayer ‎– captor of sin - lp- red vinyl Slayer ‎– captor of sin - lp- red vinyl USD $20.50 (2 bids)
2h 54s
Slayer ‎– captor of sin - lp- white vinyl Slayer ‎– captor of sin - lp- white vinyl USD $19.99 (0 bids)
2h 1m
Slayer ‎– death night blood - 2 x lp- coloured vinyl Slayer ‎– death night blood - 2 x lp- coloured vinyl USD $29.99 (1 bids)
2h 4m
Slayer ‎– now it s dark - 2 x lp- coloured vinyl Slayer ‎– now it s dark - 2 x lp- coloured vinyl USD $29.99 (1 bids)
2h 6m
Slayer ‎– blow your head clean off - 2 x lp- Slayer ‎– blow your head clean off - 2 x lp- USD $29.99 (0 bids)
2h 7m
Slayer ‎– hell awats in los angeles 1985  - 2 x lp- Slayer ‎– hell awats in los angeles 1985 - 2 x lp- USD $29.99 (1 bids)
2h 9m
OPETH Blackwater Park / SLAYER POSTER 77X56 CM. OPETH Blackwater Park / SLAYER POSTER 77X56 CM. USD $24.99 Buy It Now 2h 9m
Apocalyptica - Amplified - A Decade Of Reinventing The Cello CD METALLICA SLAYER Apocalyptica - Amplified - A Decade Of Reinventing The Cello CD METALLICA SLAYER USD $5.56 Buy It Now 2h 28m
Divine Intervention Slayer Audio CD Used - Very Good Divine Intervention Slayer Audio CD Used - Very Good USD $6.98 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Overkill Wrecking Paris 1987 Green/white Vinyl Lim150 Slayer Metallica Exodus Overkill Wrecking Paris 1987 Green/white Vinyl Lim150 Slayer Metallica Exodus USD $90.00 Buy It Now 2h 49m
MORBID ANGEL - GATEWAYS TO ANNIHILATION LP 2014 METAL DEATH SLAYER SEPULTURA MORBID ANGEL - GATEWAYS TO ANNIHILATION LP 2014 METAL DEATH SLAYER SEPULTURA USD $14.99 (1 bids)
2h 52m
Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss - CD - 2002 - Reissue Remaster - Kerry King Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss - CD - 2002 - Reissue Remaster - Kerry King USD $3.01 (4 bids)
2h 57m
Slayer ticket Tilburg 30/11/09 Slayer ticket Tilburg 30/11/09 USD $4.06 (0 bids)
3h
Slayer ticket Unholy Alliance Cardiff Arena 30/10/06 Slayer ticket Unholy Alliance Cardiff Arena 30/10/06 USD $4.06 (0 bids)
3h
Slayer ticket Herford 12/12/09 Slayer ticket Herford 12/12/09 USD $4.06 (0 bids)
3h
SLAYER-GOD HATES US ALL (EX CD NEW SLAYER-GOD HATES US ALL (EX CD NEW USD $15.05 Buy It Now 3h
LOT OF 3 CASSETTE-TAPE HEAVY METAL IRON MAIDEN(2) & SLAYER(1),SOMEWHERE IN TIME+ LOT OF 3 CASSETTE-TAPE HEAVY METAL IRON MAIDEN(2) & SLAYER(1),SOMEWHERE IN TIME+ USD $13.99 Buy It Now 3h
SLAYER (UK Concert Tour Flyer ) In Flames Tour 2004 ? SLAYER (UK Concert Tour Flyer ) In Flames Tour 2004 ? USD $1.86 (0 bids)
4h
VENOM BOX SET VENOM BOX SET "HERE LIES VENOM" 1985 COMBAT, BLACK METAL, SLAYER USD $175.00 Buy It Now 4h
Slayer - Divine Intervention Cd Slayer - Divine Intervention Cd USD $3.75 (1 bids)
4h
SLAYER **Show No Mercy *BRAND NEW RED COLORED RECORD LP VINYL SLAYER **Show No Mercy *BRAND NEW RED COLORED RECORD LP VINYL USD $22.88 Buy It Now 4h
SLAYER DIABOLUS IN MUSICA *EU* BTB AMERICAN RECORDINGS 180g PRESS VINYL New SLAYER DIABOLUS IN MUSICA *EU* BTB AMERICAN RECORDINGS 180g PRESS VINYL New USD $69.90 Buy It Now 4h
SLAYER demonic 2009 - WOVEN SEW ON PATCH official merchandise SLAYER demonic 2009 - WOVEN SEW ON PATCH official merchandise USD $4.93 Buy It Now 4h
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 $4.99 Buy It Now 4h
SLAYER - HAUNTING THE CHAPEL  VINYL LP NEW+ SLAYER - HAUNTING THE CHAPEL VINYL LP NEW+ USD $52.15 Buy It Now 4h
SLAYER - SEASONS IN THE ABYSS *CD 1990 UNITED STATES 1PR DEF AMERICAN REC. RARE! SLAYER - SEASONS IN THE ABYSS *CD 1990 UNITED STATES 1PR DEF AMERICAN REC. RARE! USD $19.99 Buy It Now 5h
SLAYER - DIABOLUS IN MUSICA   CD SLAYER - DIABOLUS IN MUSICA CD USD $4.45 (0 bids)
5h
SLAYER Reign In Blood CD *NEW & SEALED* SLAYER Reign In Blood CD *NEW & SEALED* USD $8.56 Buy It Now 5h
Slayer : God Hates Us All CD (2002) Slayer : God Hates Us All CD (2002) USD $6.24 Buy It Now 5h
Slayer Reign In Blood LP Def Jam 1986 W Lyric Inner Original Vinyl Thrash Metal Slayer Reign In Blood LP Def Jam 1986 W Lyric Inner Original Vinyl Thrash Metal USD $26.84 (11 bids)
5h
Slayer - Decade of Aggression CD Metal Thrash Slayer - Decade of Aggression CD Metal Thrash USD $5.99 (0 bids)
5h
Slayer Standard Patch: Scratched Logo (Loose) Slayer Standard Patch: Scratched Logo (Loose) USD $5.29 Buy It Now 5h
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SLAYER Discography

SLAYER albums / top albums

SLAYER Show No Mercy album cover 3.52 | 72 ratings
Show No Mercy
Thrash Metal 1983
SLAYER Hell Awaits album cover 3.77 | 77 ratings
Hell Awaits
Thrash Metal 1985
SLAYER Reign in Blood album cover 4.29 | 177 ratings
Reign in Blood
Thrash Metal 1986
SLAYER South of Heaven album cover 4.21 | 119 ratings
South of Heaven
Thrash Metal 1988
SLAYER Seasons in the Abyss album cover 4.21 | 105 ratings
Seasons in the Abyss
Thrash Metal 1990
SLAYER Divine Intervention album cover 3.49 | 54 ratings
Divine Intervention
Thrash Metal 1994
SLAYER Undisputed Attitude album cover 3.08 | 34 ratings
Undisputed Attitude
Crossover Thrash 1996
SLAYER Diabolus in Musica album cover 3.22 | 46 ratings
Diabolus in Musica
Thrash Metal 1998
SLAYER God Hates Us All album cover 2.55 | 45 ratings
God Hates Us All
Thrash Metal 2001
SLAYER Christ Illusion album cover 3.22 | 49 ratings
Christ Illusion
Thrash Metal 2006
SLAYER World Painted Blood album cover 3.42 | 55 ratings
World Painted Blood
Thrash Metal 2009
SLAYER Repentless album cover 3.91 | 21 ratings
Repentless
Thrash Metal 2015

SLAYER EPs & splits

SLAYER Haunting the Chapel album cover 3.92 | 27 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 3.61 | 20 ratings
Live Undead
Thrash Metal 1984
SLAYER Decade of Aggression: Live album cover 4.38 | 21 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 Live Undead

Live album · 1984 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
Slayer’s ‘Live Undead’... Another 80’s metal live release with poorly overdubbed crowd noises! While I like Slayer, I’ve never really been a fan of their first few albums. With each release only garnering one or two tracks that I enjoy, it’s no surprise that I’m not massively keen on this 1984 EP either.

Featuring seven tracks, five of these are from Slayer’s debut album, which I’m not really into. Sure, the “live” feel of this release gives you an idea of the energy Slayer exuberate at their shows, but ultimately the repetitive and lifeless crowd noises that seemingly refuse to stop shouting during the songs don’t do anything to further my listening experience.

It’s well-produced though (minus the plugged in crowd noises), with the band sounding clear, and the performances are pretty solid, but... that’s about it. Supposedly this was recorded in a studio in front of a small crowd, but there’s no doubt in my mind that there was some kind of tomfoolery going on here. And even if there wasn’t, and it turns out this is, in fact, 100% live, unedited and un-tampered, then well done to Slayer for being able to rile up such a raucous crowd so early in their careers. But ultimately I’m still just not into these songs, and therefore just not into this EP.

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
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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 remain friends to this day, although he still hasn't read this... If you are reading this and recognise yourself in this little story, IT'S CALLED POETIC LICENCE! IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE TRUE!!

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.

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