Review Summary: More repetitive than it is fast, more boring than it is heavy, and more irritating than it is evil, Reign in Blood is far and away one of the most overrated albums of all time, only made better by a couple of very good tracks.
I first discovered Slayer around two and a half years ago. I had just received an mp3 player for Christmas and was browsing an online music store, looking for songs to buy. Around this time, I was still devastated by Blink-182’s break up, impatiently awaiting Tom DeLoungue’s next awesome side project, and puzzling over how long “Jesus of Suburbia” was. The most “evil” thing I had ever witnessed was Billy Joe Armstrong’s Jesus Christ pose he did at shows. So when I somehow came upon Slayer’s page in this store, I was terrified. I mean, this band was evil
. They actually made an album called “God Hates Us All”, and glorified Satan in their lyrics. Slayer completely raped and devastated my little Christian soul
, and I hadn’t even heard their music yet. Needless to say, I pretty much avoided listening to it.
In all this time of never hearing Slayer, it was pretty hard for me to imagine what they might sound like. Well, a couple months ago, I heard Reign in Blood
for the first time.
And I laughed.
Reign In Blood
basically follows the exact same formula that Slayer have always stuck with – fast and heavy and evil. No structure or rhythm whatsoever, just heaviness. There is no doubt that each member of the band is fairly skilled at their respective positions, though. The fierce drumming rattles your brain and the crushing guitars grind painfully against your bones. But it does so for 29 straight minutes, without ever changing at all, making it more tiring than heavy in the long run. Tom Araya’s angry shouts, like everything else about Reign in Blood
, eventually becomes old and almost laughable when his voice goes high. The “badass” image fades away when it can’t hold your attention for half an hour.
So, what exactly is Araya shouting so viciously about? To be honest, Reign in Blood
is probably better known for its controversial and violent subject matter than its actual sound. The album typically deals with war, death, gore, and pain. Well, duh. Let us glance upon the opening words of “Angel of Death”, and some of Slayer’s most infamous lyrics:
Auschwitz, the meaning of pain
The way that I want you to die
Slow death, immense decay
Showers that cleanse you of your life
Your life's worth
Human mice, for the Angel of Death
Four hundred thousand more
While these lyrics at first do seem interesting to some extent, they just go on and on, throughout the song, and throughout the entire album like this, and this feeling fades away.
So, is Reign In Blood
bad? Well, no, not really. The solos are admittedly pretty neat at parts, and its great to play for a bunch of guys at a party. Not to mention the goodness of “Postmortem” and “Raining Blood”. But after the first few tracks, the album gets horribly boring, to the point of irritation for me, personally. I would not recommend Reign in Blood
to anyone except for huge metalheads who like this sort of thing or people who have a fetish for fast guitar solos. After all, this album is really fast, isn’t it?
-Can be fun, heavy music at times
-Great technical drumming
-Gets very boring and very old after a while
-Vocals basically suck
-Lyrics suffer in the later part of the album
Recommended Tracks: Angel Of Death, Postmortem, Raining Blood
Night will come and I will follow
For my victims, no tomorrow
Make it fast, your time of sorrow
On his trail, I'll make you follow