Review Summary: "Blasting our way through the boundaries of hell, no one can stop us tonight..."Show No Mercy
introduces a sound birthed by the same animosity that possessed Venom's 1981, Welcome to Hell
. In the early 1980's, the Heavy Metal scene was being invaded by a new sound, one characterized by a higher level of energy and aggression. It was a style of music that preferred fast-paced drumming and shredding-stylized guitar riffs. Though Venom is one of the earlier acts that defined the style, bands likes the "Big Four"; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer, are often credited with popularizing the genre of Thrash Metal.
Unlike the other three acts, Slayer embraced Venom's influence much more intimately, sharing a similar interest in Satanic aesthetics and misanthropic ideology. Immediately as the opening track begins, we are bombarded with the explosive sounds of roaring guitars and hard hitting drums. "Evil Has No Boundaries"
perfectly acquaints the listener with what they're in for in this album- An aggressive sound with lyrics declaring malevolent intent. This album is fast, heavy, and mean, inducing an inescapable atmosphere of utter atrocity. "The Antichrist"
and "Black Magic"
are perhaps the main highlights in this album as they exhibit the essence of everything Slayer has aspired to accomplish within their music; a delivery of frantic-paced extremity within the instrumental elements, decorated with Tom Araya's passionate screams expressing deranged fantasies of watching humanity burn in the fiery pits of eternal torment.
Show No Mercy displays a very distinct aesthetic within its content, one that easily separates it from the subsequent efforts like; Reign In Blood
and Hell Awaits
. One of the factors that makes Slayer's music so distinguishable is the frantic-paced guitar work of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, a style that delivers a sensation of intensity. The music in this particular album projects a much slower pace than in those latter albums, but I suppose what makes this album so apparent is really the way the music sounds. It has a Lo-fi production quality that gives it a very "classic" aesthetic kind of feel to it. This is a truly enjoyable effort, and an introduction to a band that would later be renowned for their "breakneck speed and instrumental prowess". It's a listening experience drenched in brutality that delivers exactly what it promises, no mercy.