Slayer
Reign in Blood


5.0
classic

Review

by RYMsfullofscenesters USER (5 Reviews)
October 15th, 2013 | 22 replies | 1,302 views


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A deceptively deep game-changer

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Obligatory Slayer story: when I was a kid we found a local record store, and my aunt told me "you can get anything except Slayer[sic]. I heard they're a satanic nazi band." A few minutes later I came out with Reign in Blood. Thanks aunt Barbara.

This is probably the only album I've loved for over a decade that I'm still finding new things to appreciate about just about every time I hear it. Not because it's full of "neat" bells & whistles, not because it's just so meticulously arranged or produced, but because as limited as it seems in technique, there's something deeply lived-in about it. Someone who hears this for the first time and says every riff sounds like the Jaws theme sped up probably has a point, but as with the band's previous LP Hell Awaits, they find ways to let the album's uniform chromaticism & aggression breathe and take on a certain sprawling ambience: the labyrinthine song structures that intend to tell a story rather than "kick your ass," the way Tom tastes every other syllable with a subtly regal delight, the atonal whammy-bar abusing solos which trade virtuosity for naked hellish expressionism, and the generally mechanical (without getting too soulless like modern metal) anti-showmanship of the rhythm parts. It's a fantastic paradox: hardcore punk palm-muting thuggishness as clay to create a scene that looks like a Bosch painting.

Far from the shock-jocks they'd later see themselves as, here Slayer associate theological evil with real life atrocities in a way that always points to something "beyond," just out of sight. Admittedly, the lyrics sometimes seem like a stream of thesaurus-abusing pseudo-literary verbiage; even relatively simple words are put together in ways that just barely make sense ("indirect dependency / eternal attempt at amnesty"?). However, that haughty incompetence serves Slayer's inherent B movie charm, and there's simultaneously sort of a timelessness about it, as if these lyrics could have been written yesterday or a century ago. I appreciate a band like Bathory on a musical level, but when one of their songs jabbers about heaven burning, that's white noise to me. These Slayer lines, on the other hand, still manage to creep me out: "explain to me the feeling after sitting in the chair." "Just close your eyes / dream of the friends you'll see."

Like almost all great metal, there was something accidental about Slayer in their prime: they were all about cocaine and horror movies, not "art," and yet here they produced something that makes the recent crop of cerebral metaphysics-obsessed post-whatever bands seem like laughable pulp in comparison.


user ratings (3412)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mister Twister
October 14th 2013



1491 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this needs more reviews

boogs
October 14th 2013



222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I recently listened to this record while folding clothes in my room.

SmokyPeat
October 14th 2013



19 Comments


"yet here they produced something that makes the recent crop of cerebral metaphysics-obsessed post-whatever bands seem like laughable pulp in comparison."

I laughed.

Good review man. They still stand as one of the best thrash bands up to this date.

UnderTheNorthernScar
October 14th 2013



100 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

funny how things work out like that...

MO
October 14th 2013



18194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

PIECE BY PIECE

demigod!
October 14th 2013



43809 Comments


angel of death is some of the best thrash ever

Digging: Black Flag - My War

CK
October 14th 2013



4873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album's a four and nothing more

XingKing
October 14th 2013



10011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album most certainly does not need another review but I actually enjoyed reading this

demigod!
October 14th 2013



43809 Comments


Jesus doesn't just listen to Slayer. He 5's it

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2013



4690 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Correct rating. Best Slayer album and one of the all-time best thrash metal albums as well.

Digging: Integrity - Those Who Fear Tomorrow

manosg
October 15th 2013



5680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A damn awesome album. Second favorite Slayer.

Digging: Donovan - Sunshine Superman

slidenslip
October 15th 2013



1016 Comments


tfw

BigPleb
October 15th 2013



33892 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

RIP

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

trainofconsequence
October 15th 2013



1422 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing album

psyclonus
October 15th 2013



126 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

good review dude, this album never gets old

rockandmetaljunkie
October 15th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Haters will NOT prevail.

DikkoZinner
October 15th 2013



2639 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Five

Digging: Morta Skuld - Surface

manosg
October 15th 2013



5680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed.

SpiritCrusher2
October 15th 2013



2874 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

totally

Mister Twister
October 15th 2013



1491 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

five no doubt



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