(Thrash/Speed Metal) Slayer � Show No Mercy
Kerry King � Guitars
Jeff Hanneman - Guitars
Tom Araya � Bass, Vocals
Dave Lombardo - Drums
Slayer�s first album. Although Venom brought out �Welcome to Hell� first, Slayer and Metallica arguably made thrash famous. Whilst Metallica shied away from the gory lyrics, Slayer took it all onboard and relished in it. Adding a ****load of speed to their nihilistic lyrics, they became a cult favourite with underground metal fans across the globe. �Show no Mercy� is no exception to the above. With gory, horrific images portrayed in their lyrics, and riffs so fast it sounds like the CD is scrambled, it is possibly their finest, yet under shadowed by the supreme �Reign in Blood�.
If you listened to �Reign in Blood� first, or pretty much any other Slayer (or thrash album for that matter) album before this one, you will be surprised to hear how horrible the sound quality is. Recorded in 1983 with little budget on a small record label however, it was inevitable. But if you ignore the quality, and the tin pan like drums, a great album lies beneath.
Evil has no Boundaries (3:10)
This album starts off in great fashion with Evil has no Boundaries, with a very quick riff, a ghastly scream by Araya, and a brief but enjoyable solo. That said, I don�t like Araya�s vocals in this song, he kind of shouts, which I don�t like. But, after the first chorus, is the absolute, no joke, BEST SOLO I have ever heard in my life. I nearly (seriously) had an orgasm when I heard it for the first time, and still queasy when I hear it now (I�ve heard it about a million times). It is basically just a huge clump of noise, but it somehow seems to sound completely amazing. If Araya didn�t yell so much, this would be my favourite Slayer song, but it still remains in my top 5 favourites. The final solo is still excellent, and one of Slayer�s longest solos (it goes for nearly a minute!?) but that first one is just too good. Great double bass work from Lombardo near the end of the song as well. Highly recommended.
The Antichrist (2:50)
This song is actually my favourite Slayer song. Whilst not as fast as the other tracks, it has an excellent riff and splendid vocals to go with it. The drums are a let down � not so much the playing of the drums, the sound quality. The opening snare hits sound like he is hitting a garbage lid. But other than that, I cannot find a fault with this song at all. Probably some of Slayer�s most melodic solos are found in this song (the first two). Araya�s vocals, previously mentioned, are excellent, even moreso in the chorus, the screamy bit he does �I am the Antichrist!� And the howls he does are terrific. Top song, again highly recommended. Oh yes, the lead is one of the most lethal things I have heard in my life. I felt I had to say that :p
Die by the Sword (3:36)
Opens with a cool riff, and another garbage lid snare roll thing again. This song is ok, but nowhere near up to the standards of the previous two songs (but then again, it would have to be extremely good to be up to the standards). The riff, whilst cool, is pretty soft. It gets fairly decent towards the middle of the song, and finishes quite cool, if you ignore the ending chorus. Araya�s vocals are poor in my opinion, again probably due to the poor production. An ok song, but not too great.
Fight Till Death (3:39)
Unreal drumming in this song. The best bits in the song are the fills Dave chucks in. The opening riff, whilst not quite fast, is pretty cool. When the drums come in, however, the song speeds up considerably. It�s a very good chorus, with Dave�s constant fills making it even better. The solo, though being a bit of a wank-fest, is in fact a pretty amazing shred fest, and the first really fast solo on the album. A very tight, fast song, great for headbanging, with great solos, and excellent vocal and drumming displays. I also enjoy the ending, with Dave on drums doing a huge drum fill on his toms, and the riff generally slowing down.
Metal Storm/Face the Slayer (4:55)
The �epic� of the song, clocking in at 4:55, is one of Slayer�s longest ever songs! It�s also a great song, one of my favourites on the album. Again, not the fastest song in the world, but tight riffing, excellent lead work and great vocals make this a splendid song. I especially like the arpeggiated riff near the start. It�s a good two minutes before the lyrics come in, which leads me to believe that they are two separate songs:
Metal Storm (Instrumental): 2:00
Face the Slayer: 3:55
Or whatever. The whole Metal Storm song is an incredible two minute instrumental, with (said above) great riffs and superb lead work. The opening/verse riff to Face the Slayer is a killer. Araya�s mini-screams are a taster or what is to come, he lets off a belter later in the song. Another melodic (that�s 3!) solos follows the scream, proving they actually have a sense of musicianship instead of being all speed. The ending minute or so is quite cool, and is typical Show No Mercy style: not breakneck speed, but heavy, awesome riffs and cool lyrics. A great song, I recommend it.
Black Magic (4:05)
I love the intro to this song. It�s all quiet with a high hat, and the riffing slowly increases its volume until it explodes into a frenzy of chords mixed in perfectly with cool lead work. This is another fabulous song off the album. It loses the melodic side of things a bit of previous songs, but gains a hell off a lot of speed. And Araya gains a killer scream (just like the last song) and has almost perfect vocals (for this style) for the song. The solo is pretty cool, again lacking melody but is quite fast. Another highly recommended song.
Starts off with a slow, almost doom like, riff, but soon speeds up to an acceptable pace. I�m not really into the vocals that much in this song. They fit the song well, but meh. The music is excellent throughout, although we have to wait over 2 minutes for a song!!! :upset: the solo is very decent though, so not all is lost. And it is quite long, which is always good. The second solo is my second favourite on the album. I love it to bits. Not really a wank-fest, or a shred-fest for that matter, but it fits in perfectly with the song, and finishes it off very well.
The Final Command (2:32)
Starts off slow enough, but gets quick in a hurry. And I mean quick
. Not the fastest riffing ever, but they keep up the melodic side of things, and considering the pace of the song, it�s quite amazing to listen to. Quite short compared to the rest of the album (but long compared to most Slayer songs!) it�s over before you know it, but not without some great soloing and killer screams from Araya.
This song is strikingly similar to �The Antichrist� but isn�t up to the same standards of the masterpiece itself. It�s very slow and boring in the bridge. The whole song is pretty slow in fact. I guess it�s the song 9 curse (I rarely like song 9 on a CD) but the end solo is pretty crazy.
Show No Mercy (3:07)
This is an amazing way to end the album. The opening drum solo from Lombardo just proves he is one of the best drummers ever to grace a thrash drum kit. And the speed!! How can he drum that fast? This is one of those songs where Kerry King was thinking one thing: PURE ****ING SPEED!!! No melody whatsoever, hardly any lead, amazing rhythm and riffing, shred-infested solos, pointless, fast lyrics. What more could a man ask for? A great song, even just to bang your head to and get the old air guitars out. It ends quite weirdly, they get a sort of high pitched noise to emit from their guitars.
One of thrash�s finest attempts, even more amazing is that it was their first. Amazing album, every thrash fan should own it, and if you are looking for a great way to get into thrash, this is it.
5/5 � a must own.