Review Summary: How fucking heavy can you get
Imagine you were in 1986. The year of Peace Sells, Master Of Puppets and various other thrash metal landmarks. But you do not wish to stay with traditional thrash, for you are Slayer, renowned as being the most evil, disgusting, brutal, cruel band out there. You are the band who released the controversial Show No Mercy and the even more controversial Hell Awaits, albums that many families banned from their homes, on the grounds that their satanic content could damage children's morality. What do you do?
The answer is you release ***ing Reign In Blood, something that took most the aspects that made Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits so well known, and amplified them ten fold. The controversial lyrics? You show Slayer Hell Awaits, they show you Angel Of Death. The speed? You show Slayer Antichrist, they show you Necrophobic. The controversy? You show Slayer Necrophiliac, they show you ***ing Raining Blood. Now do you see the picture. If not, maybe the tracks will convince you.
1. Angel Of Death- Starting strong, with a fantastic technical opening riff, that is straight away balls out heavy and sets the atmosphere for both the song and the rest of the album. Then add in Tom Araya, with THAT high pitched scream, and the most graphic lyrics written to date. However, you really do not get this songs genius until it slows down before the solo's. Here is where the best riffs found in this song are played, and here is the most disgusting lyrics. Sheer genius, and the solo merely add to that. 5/5
2. Piece By Piece- What the *** is "modulistic" terror? That was actually my FINAL thought on this song, after the tornado of riffs that picks you up and hurls you away had passed. This song is fast, brutal, and evil, similar to the past song. I think you are beginning to see the template on this album by now. Evil, cruel, nasty, disgusting, vile. Those are the five top words you would find in a survey if you were to ask what this album represented. Fantastic. 4.5/5
3. Necrophobic- The shortest, fastest, heaviest song on the album, and possibly the heaviest song that had ever been written at the time. Araya spits his lyrics out at the same speed as Busta Rhymes on this track. However, as Angel Of Death proved, the speed isn't always the best side, and this song therefore comes off as feeling rather average when compared to the better tracks of the album. 3/5
4. Altar Of Sacrifice- Unfortunately, we have reached a bit of a weak side to the album, in that this song does nothing that has not already been done thrice over on this album, and it is beginning to get a little boring. Sure, it is good, but not THAT good. 3.5/5
5. Jesus Saves- Starting off a lot softer, this builds up until it explodes, and from there, every bit of blaspheme imaginable is thrown at the listener, and you have to just marvel at it. This is another special song, combining incredibly riff work with sheer insanity in the vocal department. Brilliance perfected. 4/5
6. Criminally Insane- Another one that starts off a little slower before exploding, this and Altar Of Sacrifice have at least a LITTLE variation in them, which makes them great to listen to, and this song is the better of the two. This track picks up, and from there never lets go. 4.5/5
7. Reborn- "i will be rebooorrrnnn" shrieks Araya in another great, heavy song. This is another of the fastest numbers, but this one has a little more substance to it than tracks 3 and 4, and that is what makes this a higher scoring song. Araya is the high point of this song, easily. 4.5/5
8. Epidemic- This is Dave Lombardo's swansong, containing an AMAZING drum into, that he would never match on and of the albums to follow. No matter how intense the drumming on Raining Blood, War Ensemble, or any of the other names you want to throw out there is, it can not compare to the opening fill. Other than that, i always find this is a rather average song, and am therefore forced to give it a 4. 4/5
9. Postmortem- Starting off slow, this contains the slowest moments on the album, but is also one of the better tracks on the album, FOR this variation. It builds up for a while, before exploding into a section at the end that can only be matched in speed by Necrophobic and the solo section to Raining Blood. "do you wanna die". 5/5
10. Raining Blood- If you don't know the main riff to this song, what ***ing rock have you been hiding under? An amazing song, this is some of the tightest riffwork on the album, and Dave Lombardo's intensity during the solo is insane. However, once again, the slowest section is the highlight. "Your time slips uh-way" shouts Tom Araya, and you have to stop to wonder how he gets his lung power. 5/5
So, an album that blazes past in half an hour, this is one of the most intense slices of thrash metal you will ever hear, and never lets up in the intensity even when it slows down. Sheer brilliance.