Slayer
Reign in Blood


3.5
great

Review

by Bron-Yr-Aur USER (39 Reviews)
June 21st, 2006 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist


Slayer has become synonymous with the term Thrash Metal. Ever since 1983, the band (along with fellow Thrash titans, Metallica) began to re-invent the word ďheavy", using and abusing their new found speed riffing and wank solos to the point of fiendishly appropriate blasphemy. This point, of course, only serves to delight and complement the equally satanic lyrical themes and imagery that the band had been opffering from the start. By 1986, both Metallica and Slayer had procured the status of metal gods with the release of Master of Puppets and Reign In Blood respectively. Both acts were regarded as revolutionary, and while Metallica became far more popular in the mainstream, Slayer obtained a place of their own with a devoted cult following and a reputation as the worst of the entire metal lot, morally speaking. This is the basic story, and itís more or less accepted at face-value.


However, the reality is there are gaping holes in the albumsí perceived brilliance, and while it is undeniable there are fantastic songs on the album, it is also worth mentioning that the album is plagued with as many fillers and lesser tracks as a poorly realized concept album. That said, when the album does deliver, it distributes a punch of atomic proportions. Example? Angel of Death. Skimming over the almost funny opening shriek (almost), the rest of the song blasts through the speakers like a machine gun, slowing down only to provide a base for the even faster solo. Let us take a moment here to confront a Slayer controversy. Slayersí guitar solos are unlike any other bands in the sense that they donít say anything, donít go anywhere, and effectively donít serve much purpose musically. Many critics of the band (I admit it, myself included) have cited these solos as a reason that the band is over-rated. Recently, however, it was pointed out by a user who shall remain anonymous (South of Heaven) that these ďsolos" are as chaotic as the songs themselves, and as such suit the band well. A fine point.




The main problem with the album lies with the fillers. Songs like ďPiece By Piece" blast by at just over two minutes, and effectively say as much as a mute toddler. While they do provide some nourishment in the headbanging department, it is quite simple to skip over the song and completely put it out of mind. And then thereís the lyrics.


Bones and blood lay on the ground, rotten limbs lie dead.

Decapitated bodies found, ON MY WALL YOUR HEAD.


Itís fairly obvious that the majority of people who listen to Slayer donít listen for their thought-provoking lyrics, but thatís still pretty bad, right? But wait! If this album is so bad, then why is it regarded as classic? Well Johnny, the answer isnít too evasive. First off, the album isnít bad. While some of the things they do and/or say are lame, Songs like Postmortem are fine examples of the Thrash genre. Then thereís the almost title track, Raining Blood. Melody and brutality are a formidable duo, especially in the hands of those who know what theyíre doing. Tomís voice serves the song better here than on any other track, and the whammy bar abuse at the end provides a chaotic fallout for probably the most appreciated song on the entire album.

The overall sound is one of speed, and heaviness. There is absoulutely no diversity, nad while that can detract from the albums worth, it still contains plenty of merit in its' ingenuity. While there are none of the slower, more subtle track that would be in its' follow up, South of Heaven, the album should be recognized for what it is: an innovative thrash record. Nothing more, nothing less.

So. What are the goods?

Precision riffing
Heaviness to the max, yo
Some brilliant songwriting moments
Inspired countless bands that followed

How about the bads?

Some crap lyrics
Abundance of fillers
Far too short (clocks in at 29 minutes)


3.5/5

Josef Mengele would be proud.



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user ratings (3533)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Bron-Yr-Aur
June 21st 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

So yeah, this is probably my laziest review ever, and I'm really taking advantage of that new blurb-length rule. Do what you will.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2006


15743 Comments


Gasp! A Reign In Blood review NOT word-humping it with praise???? You Dawg!

Jk, good review my good sir. I've heard Angel Of Death, and it's ok.

Hatshepsut
June 21st 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This isn't blurb-length....Ah well, it's good anyways. I just got this today, as I said in someone's journal. Plan to listen to it tomorrow.

south_of_heaven 11
June 21st 2006


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for keeping me annoymous.

You made some very good points. Yes, there are a few fillers here, but I tend to look at them as a way to continue the intensity that was presented in the first few tracks.

And the lyrics, eh, I could probably write better. But just like the solos being chaotic, the lyrics are just evil to suit the heaviness of the album. But Tom should write them from now on, as he wrote 'South of Heaven', and those were real good.

The only real problem I have with this album is it's hard to listen to in one sitting, as you have pointed out.

Overall, good review. Not your best, but I really appreciated how you pointed out both the good and bad of this album without completley bashing them. Thanks.

Now I just have to wait for Iluvatar's 'South of Heaven' review. A message to you, that's my favorite all-time album. If you're gonna rate it low, best back it up fool, though I know you will.This Message Edited On 06.21.06

Mikesn
Emeritus
June 21st 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with almost everything you've said. I'm not really a fan of these guys. I understand it's only entertainment, but I'm not really too fond of their themes.

Pretty damn heavy though. This Message Edited On 06.21.06

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I haven't heard this record that much I think. I don't want to either. Solid review, although I'm debating whether to pos it, as it is far below your standards.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 21st 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yes, yes it is. Again, I was kind of lazy with it. But don't let that scare you away from the "yes" link.

Hatshepsut
June 21st 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just pos it and get on with life. Make someone happy.

STLMiguel
June 21st 2006


335 Comments


Speaking of being positive and making people happy, guys, wow, check out that other new review.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 21st 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wow, that one that sucks? Naw it's good. I voted.

south_of_heaven 11
June 21st 2006


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

As did I.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 22nd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

And so comes my first neg. Alright.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lyk omg it was me
nah I finally decided to pos it. I'm pretty sure its that guy who gave it a 5 like 2 minutes ago though.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 22nd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah I figured as much.

The Sludge
June 22nd 2006


2169 Comments


Well, I enjoy Slayer reviews that proves how mediocre they are. They make me happy in pants :D.

Hatshepsut
June 22nd 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't like this album.

south_of_heaven 11
June 22nd 2006


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I like this album.

Dead_Trench
June 24th 2006


159 Comments


Good to see someone review this who doesn't want to explore Slayer's fudge tunnels.



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