SLAYER — Reign in Blood (review)

SLAYER — Reign in Blood album cover Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
All genres have some defining albums, Nevermind the Bollocks and Thick as a Brick coming to mind among the first, albums that always come up when discussing key works of each music style. Along with Master of Puppets, Slayer's Reign in Blood is the defining thrash metal album, and perhaps even the most definitive thrash album alone, if we must choose one.

Almost 30 years ago when thrash as a music form started coming up, it was the most extreme thing around, unleashing aggression and speed never know in the world of music, but as years go the standards change and there's always the bigger and badder thing coming around the corner. But in its 24 years Reign in Blood has lost none of its devastating fury and blinding drive. Even today this album sounds incredibly brutal, insane, and just barely under control, which gives it a dangerous edge rarely heard in music especially today when everything can be made perfect by studio trickery. There are real people playing this music, right on the edge, all the time.

Usually I look for some versatility in the music I listen to, but while this album is a total one trick pony, it does the one trick it has better than anybody anywhere. Or perhaps there are two: the brutal fast track and the just as brutal faster and shorter track. Dave Lombardo is a monster behind the kit, the anti-guitar solos of King and Hanneman are the only thing that could work over such ferocious riffs and Tom Araya has the perfect thrash voice, even making the falsetto screams work for his benefit, which many other bands tried and failed. "Do you want to die?!" he screams towards the end of the album, and I see that as a rhetorical question as every single being under the sun has already been murdered, sacrificed and mutilated during the first 25 minutes of this 30 minute ball of insane aggression.

Switch off your brain, clear the furniture away and let this wave of madness wash over you. It's a humbling experience to take a beating like this once in a while. Absolutely essential.
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Pekka wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Thanks :) At first I thought I couldn't possibly come up with anything remotely interesting, but I guess in the end the music spoke through me, and I'm very happy with this review :)
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I guess it will be hard to say it better than that, but I´ll give it a try when inspiration strikes. Great Review Pekka :-)


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