Slayer
Reign in Blood


4.5
superb

Review

by korgultheterminator USER (7 Reviews)
January 23rd, 2014 | 30 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Class of 1986: Valedictorian

1986 was a fantastic year for heavy metal. Thrash metal was at an all time high, with iconic releases coming out left and right. Thrash heroes Slayer were three albums in at this point. Also had one EP and a live album. They were starting to master their songwriting skills, and began to mesh as a cohesive group of musicians. "Hell Awaits" is Slayer's shining moment, but to devalue the monolithic importance of "Reign In Blood" would be asinine. This is their most popular work, and their most respected amongst fans and non fans alike. Is it their best? No. But it's damn good.

Whereas "Hell Awaits" was longer and more developed, "Reign In Blood" is shorter and more chaotic. The hardcore influence is clear here, as the songs are short, to the point, and move along quickly. It has been said numerous times that producer Rick Rubin told them to "cut the fat", and indeed they did that. No song here is over four minutes, and after the opener "Angel of Death", they rarely go past the two minute mark. This is a huge departure from their previous work, and overall leaves a bloody taste of quick paced assault left in the mouth of the listener. It works, but the crafting and cohesiveness seen on "Hell Awaits" is gone, and replaced with ferocity and intensity rather than musicianship.


Lyrically, "Reign In Blood" subdues a bit of the Satanic themes and ideas seen on previous albums, and replaces them with more street level ideas of murder, war, and other assorted topics. "Angel of Death" is infamously written about Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who performed experiments on prisoners in the Auschwitz death camp. "Piece by Piece" is a twisted tale of a murderous deviant, and this theme in particular would be explored in more detail in later releases. There are still obvious odes to The Fallen One, but it's not as inclusive as their previous work. The cover of a throned demon and hanging imps and ghouls would tell you differently, but the lyrics on this album are slowly shifted from their Satanic themes, and this would be continue on into later releases.

Overall, "Reign In Blood" is widely and almost wholly accepted as a landmark metal album, one that has surpassed the idles of time and become a must listen to anyone who ever applied the term headbanger to themselves. Sure, "Raining Blood" and "Angel of Death", or even lesser lauded tracks such as "Reborn" or "Epidemic" are hugely influential and all around incredible songs. But pound for pound, the lack of crafting and replacement of sheer speed for songwriting makes this album ever so slightly less incredible as "Show No Mercy" or "Hell Awaits".


To many, Slayer ended their reign in blood of the metal world in 1990, but "Reign In Blood" itself is a testament to the band at their seething prime. "Reign In Blood" is as fast, abrasive, and destructive as an album can be, and wholly deserves the acclaim it. So put on track one and get head banging. You have some blood to reign in.



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user ratings (3462)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
facupm
January 23rd 2014


7648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review pos'd

tempest--
January 23rd 2014


13458 Comments


slayyyeeeerrrr

TheSlenderMan
January 23rd 2014


606 Comments


M/ that is troo.

facupm
January 23rd 2014


7648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rainin blooooooood

KriegdemKriege
January 23rd 2014


1057 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Does this album need 26 reviews?

KriegdemKriege
January 23rd 2014


1057 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review though, pos'd.

Ovrot
January 23rd 2014


10494 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

album still needs 640 more reviews

KriegdemKriege
January 23rd 2014


1057 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think it's kind of overrated.

facupm
January 23rd 2014


7648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its kind of overrated in some way, but hugely influential and a landmark nevertheless.

And Angel of Death could just be the definitive Thrash song

manosg
January 24th 2014


6076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good job on the review, short and sweet, pos.

Not much more can be said about this album after 28 reviews.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

fromtheinside
January 24th 2014


18203 Comments


THE BIG 1

Digging: Tragedy - Vengeance

BigPleb
January 24th 2014


36631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Overrated my arse, learn to thrash for fuck sake.

Avg up to 4.4 where it belongs m/

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

BigBlob
January 24th 2014


1657 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

AUSCHWITZ






THE MEANING OF PAIN

BigPleb
January 24th 2014


36631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

THE WAY THAT I WANT YOU TO DIE!!!!

BigBlob
January 24th 2014


1657 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Man Jeff always had the best lyrics RIP

BigPleb
January 24th 2014


36631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The best riffs too m/

SpiritCrusher2
January 24th 2014


3041 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

wow 4.4 average, fuck yea

TheNotrap
January 24th 2014


8068 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Classic.


Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

facupm
January 24th 2014


7648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sometimes i prefer hell awaits to this

DikkoZinner
January 24th 2014


3080 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The best

Digging: Death Strike - Fuckin Death



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