The 1980’s were arguably the worst period for rock music. Hair metal was the main reason, but many elements of the thrash genre were also to blame. That’s not to say thrash metal was a problem, but there was an overflow of terrible wannabes doing everything the worthwhile bands did (fast, groovy riffs, terrible lyrics, yelling vocals, useless solos) and ended up doing it worse. Slayer, for a better size of their discography, is one of these bands. Aside from Haunting The Chapel and South Of Heaven, they basically were the archetype of the thrash trend and naturally got popular because of their easily digestible style. However, it is Reign In Blood that gets the most credit for influencing countless bands, and why this is may be one of the strangest phenomenon in metal, aside from why people think Kerry King is a great soloist [read: he’s not].
The album, to go on a loftier allegorical note, is kind of like a beautiful woman with a really awful voice; the best moments you have with her are right when she starts talking and right when she finally shuts the *** up. Running with our allegory, this woman happens to not be a very ambitious girl, a fact you find yourself grateful for, since she only goes on for about half an hour, setting the grounds for what should be the average length of a thrash album (though no one ever follows it, much to the disdain of almost anyone with a mild interest in thrash). The intro track Angel of Death has been ripped off countless times because of its memorable riffing and hooks; looking elsewhere, you also have the one-two punch of Postmortem and Raining Blood, standing proud as one of the best examples of catchy Satanism, but aside from that, one must ask oneself how interesting the album really is. From an objective standpoint, the album is incredibly seminal, setting the stage for many subgenres and imitators. Drop that, look at this little album objectively, and you find that even though its runtime clocks in at a measly 28 minutes, it really went on for about 20 minutes too long. Everything in between follows basically the same patterns as any other thrash song you’ve ever heard: one guitar intro, drums sporadically follow, both guitars play said riff, then speed up the tempo to 300 bpm so you can see how fast they can play high, random notes. Follow this with another incomprehensible solo involving a lot of explicitly obvious faked talent and repeat 7 times and you have the rest of Reign in Blood. One must wonder how Kerry King is interested in playing the same solo for 7 songs, much less 26 years; delving into speculation, one might presume that he is just an angry man-child, armed to the teeth with a Floyd rose guitar, an effects pedal, and two words: *** and jesus.
You must next question whether the argument that cheesy lyrics are to be taken as fun is an objectively sound argument against claims that they are, in fact, just awful lyrics. Slayer do a fantastic job of taking this little observation and cramming as much evidence for it into one little album, offering 1 [read: 1] song with an interesting lyrical concept (Angel of Death), and nine songs written by, one could presume, a child after watching any boring horror movie. Considering that the scripts for these movies took even less effort to write than the lyrics for Reign in Blood, one must truly wonder how much effort Slayer actually attempted to put into the recording of their opus. Tom Araya’s vocals surely fit the band though, and his hilarious baby squeals in a couple of the tracks could even be viewed as impressive if the songs weren’t so monotonous. Not all blame rests on his shoulders; in fact, almost none does. He wrote none of the songs on Reign in Blood; that crowning achievement rests on Kerry King’s (in)capable shoulders.
With Reign In Blood, there’s not much left to discuss. Oh man is it influential, oh geez it’s quite fast, oh my those solos are “so super”, but really there’s not much here because thrash is thrash, a genre meant for pure mindless fun and nothing more. Yeah Slayer is a fun band, but interesting they are not; frankly all that Reign In Blood proves is how stale the genre actually is in terms of sound development. Postmortem is still a fun track to play on guitar, but other than that at least we always have GWAR. Is it seminal? Yes. Consider, however, that somewhere in the past, some man took a crap, and another man drew it, and that was perhaps the beginning of art. Just because it is historically critical does not mean an album is good.
The album, to go on a loftier allegorical note, is kind of like a beautiful woman with a really awful voice; the best moments you have with her are right when she starts talking and right when she finally shuts the *** up.
So full of truth and win, I could kiss you!
*awaiting the hordes of thrash faggots to neg this truthful review up!*
The 1980’s were arguably the worst period for rock music. Hair metal was the main reason, but many elements of the thrash genre were also to blame. That’s not to say thrash metal was a problem, but there was an overflow of terrible wannabes doing everything the worthwhile bands did (fast, groovy riffs, terrible lyrics, yelling vocals, useless solos) and ended up doing it worse. Slayer, for a better size of their discography, is one of these bands.
Don't agree with the rating but the review was well done. No reason to neg.
fireabove, you have been doing some quite controversial reviews lately (this and Abbey Road). Glad to see people not give a fuck about approval and providing some counterpoint for well respected albums
Been wanting to do a bad review for Converge's "Jane Doe", but I want it to be a good review, not a rant. That's why I've been taking so long