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Slayer

Slayer were one of the most distinctive, influential, and extreme thrash metal bands of the 1980s. Their graphic lyricsdealwith everythingfrom death and dismemberment to war and the horrors of hell. Their full-throttle velocity, wildly chaoticguitarsolos, and powerful musicalchops paint an effectively chilling sonic background for their obsessive chronicling of thedarkside; this correspondence has helped Slayer'smusic hold up arguably better than the remaining Big Three '80s thrashoutfits(Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax). Naturally, Slayer have stirredup quite a bit of controversy over the ye ...read more

Slayer were one of the most distinctive, influential, and extreme thrash metal bands of the 1980s. Their graphic lyricsdealwith everythingfrom death and dismemberment to war and the horrors of hell. Their full-throttle velocity, wildly chaoticguitarsolos, and powerful musicalchops paint an effectively chilling sonic background for their obsessive chronicling of thedarkside; this correspondence has helped Slayer'smusic hold up arguably better than the remaining Big Three '80s thrashoutfits(Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax). Naturally, Slayer have stirredup quite a bit of controversy over the years, with rumorsflyingabout Satanism and Nazism that have only added to their mystique. Over theyears, Slayer put out some high-qualityalbums,including one undisputed classic (Reign in Blood), and saw the numbers of naysayers anddetractors shrinking as theirimpacton the growing death metal movement was gradually and respectfully acknowledged. Slayer have survivedwitharguably themost vitality and the least compromise of any pre-Nirvana metal band, and their intensity still inspires similarresponsesfromtheir devoted fans.

Slayer were formed in 1982 in Huntington Beach, CA, by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman; also recruitedwerebassist/vocalist TomAraya and drummer Dave Lombardo. They started out playing covers of Judas Priest and IronMaidensongs, but quickly discovered that theycould get attention (and fans) by exploiting threatening, satanic imagery. Thebandwas invited by Metal Blade's Brian Slagel to contribute atrack to the Metal Massacre, Vol. 3 compilation (a series thatalsosaw the vinyl debuts of Metallica and Voivod); a contract and debut album,Show No Mercy, followed shortlythereafter.While Slayer's early approach was rather cartoonish, their breakneck speed and instrumentalprowess were stillhighly evident.Two EPs, Haunting the Chapel and Live Undead, were released in 1984, but 1985's Hell Awaits refinedtheirlyrical obsessionsinto a sort of concept album about damnation and torture and made an immediate sensation in heavy metalcircles,winningSlayer a rabid cult following.

Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin took a liking to the band, signed them to his label, and contributed the first clear-soundingproduction heard onany Slayer album for the stripped-down Reign in Blood. Due to the graphic nature of thematerial, CBSrefused to distribute the album, whichgarnered a great deal of publicity for the band; eventually, GeffenRecords stepped in.Combining Slayer's trademark speed metal with thetempos and song lengths (if not structures) ofhardcore, along with theband's most disturbing lyrics yet, Reign in Blood was an instant classic,breaking the band through toa wider audience, andwas hailed by some as the greatest speed metal album of all time (some give the nod toMetallica'sMaster of Puppets).

South of Heaven disappointed some of the band's hardcore followers, as Slayer successfully broke out of the potentialstylisticstraitjacket oftheir reputation as the world's fastest, most extreme band. Drummer Lombardo took some time off andwasbriefly replaced by Whiplashdrummer Tony Scaglione, but soon returned to the fold. Released in 1990, Seasons in theAbysswas well received in all respects, incorporatingmore of the classic Slayer intensity into a more commercial -- but nolessuncompromising -- sound. "War Ensemble" and the title trackbecame favorites on MTV's Headbanger's Ball, andSlayerconsolidated their position at the forefront of thrash, along with Metallica. Followingthe release of the double livealbumDecade of Aggression, Lombardo left the band again and formed Grip Inc.

Slayer remained quiet for a few years; the only new material released after 1990 was a duet with Ice-T recorded fortheJudgment Nightsoundtrack on a medley of songs by the Exploited. After leaving the Forbidden, Paul Bostaph signed on asthenew drummer for 1994's DivineIntervention, which was released to glowing reviews; thanks to the new deathmetalmovement, which drew upon Slayer and particularly Reignin Blood for its inspiration, Slayer were hailed as metalinnovators.The album was a massive success, debuting at number eight on theBillboard album charts.

Bostaph left the band to concentrate on a side project, the Truth About Seafood, and was replaced by ex-Testamentdrummer Jon Dette forUndisputed Attitude, an album consisting mostly of punk and hardcore covers. Bostaphrejoined Slayerin time to record 1998's Diabolus inMusica. The band reunited with Def Jam for 2001's God Hates Us All and in2002 Lombardorejoined the band once more. In 2004, theyunleashed the four-disc anthology Soundtrack to the Apocalypse,followed by analbum of all-new material, Christ Illusion, in 2006. After arelentless tour and festival schedule in 2007 and2008, Slayeremerged from the studio with World Painted Blood in 2009. In 2010 Slayerappeared with Metallica, Megadeth andAnthrax, onBig 4: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria. On May 2, 2013, Slayer guitarist and co-founder JeffHanneman died of liver failureat a Los Angeles hospital; he was 49 years old. « hide

Similar Bands: Sodom, Sepultura, Dark Angel, Kreator, Exodus

LPs
Repentless
2015

2.8
382 Votes
World Painted Blood
2009

3.1
1,315 Votes
Christ Illusion
2006

3.4
1,606 Votes
God Hates Us All
2001

3.2
1,498 Votes
Diabolus in Musica
1998

2.7
1,096 Votes
Divine Intervention
1994

3.3
1,063 Votes
Seasons in the Abyss
1990

4.2
2,525 Votes
South of Heaven
1988

4.1
2,444 Votes
Reign in Blood
1986

4.4
4,092 Votes
Hell Awaits
1985

4.1
1,656 Votes
Show No Mercy
1983

3.9
1,555 Votes
EPs
Eternal Pyre
2006

3.4
73 Votes
Stain of Mind
1998

3.2
6 Votes
Serenity in Murder
1995

3.4
6 Votes
Haunting the Chapel
1984

4
555 Votes
Live Albums
Still Reigning (Video)
2004

4
125 Votes
War at the Warfield
2003

3.9
147 Votes
Live Intrusion
1995

3.9
7 Votes
Decade of Aggression
1991

4.2
351 Votes
Live Undead
1984

3.8
216 Votes
Compilations
The Vinyl Conflict
2010

3.7
3 Votes
Soundtrack to the Apocalypse
2003

3.9
111 Votes
Undisputed Attitude
1996

2.7
608 Votes

Contributors: Oswaldo88, oltnabrick, demon of surveillance, taylormemer, KyokushinMaster, rockandmetaljunkie, kereealazer, JesusV4, Wish, Mikesn, WARPATH_88, FR33L0RD, smokersdieyounger, Farhenheit, Shadows, DeafForever, met65, Apocalyptic Raids, Hewitt, Dave de Sylvia, Nexion, CArnage333, Alex101, Thor, deathschool, Voivod, oltnabrick, adr, BenMorrison, Green Baron, rajtako, sapient, KILL, Nagrarok, arcane, Achilles32094, Insurrection, Deviant., rockandmetaljunkie, Superspaz117, zaruyache, BornDeadBuriedAlive, LepreCon, taylormemer,

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