Slayer
Show No Mercy


4.5
superb

Review

by Spaten USER (8 Reviews)
July 22nd, 2015 | 49 replies


Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Raise Your Sword!

Most people associate Slayer with pioneering works such as Reign in Blood or Hell Awaits, which set the stage for Death Metal by introducing new riffing styles and song writing techniques, that moved metal further away from the rock music tradition of cyclic song writing and instead let each song unfold naturally through a series of riff variations that mirror the music's content. Or perhaps you think of the sinister South of Heaven, which traded the violent breakneck speed of Reign in Blood for a more slowed down, controlled and subtle approach. Few, however, are really aware of Slayer's first offering, which doesn't really sound like anything else the band has ever done, or anything that other metal bands were doing at the time. As such, Show No Mercy retains a distinct character, that separates it from the rest of Slayer's work and might also make the listener view their subsequent albums in a different light.

Typical for young, aspiring artists, Slayer's debut features the band at its most passionate. This music is performed with a youthful energy that is in many ways comparable to Metallica's Kill 'Em All, but is presented with a more uncompromising attitude. This reflects, for example, in Tom Araya's stellar vocal perfomance or Hanneman's and King's guitar solos, which lie somewhere in between the melodic tradition of NWOBHM bands and Slayer's chaotic noise style, that they utilized on their later records. The songs are played with a confidence that completely overshadows any flaws in instrumental ability or production value. Consequently this isn't the band's most mature and probably not their best album, but it is definitely their most fun album by a large margin.

Taking inspiration from the prior generation of heavy metal and early hardcore punk, Show No Mercy's songs are composed of basic fragments from pentatonic and diatonic scales, making heavy use of power chord riffing, tremolo picking and occasionally, simple harmonization. However, what sets this release apart from the early efforts of Slayer's contemporaries is how these basic building blocks are arranged to fit the needs of each individual song. While a lot of tracks are based on the rock song formula, this formula is usually bent, extended or shortened in a way that these fast-paced songs never lose their momentum. As a result of this approach, Slayer were able to reach a level of coherence with their music, that let them present their ideas in a much clearer and convincing fashion than other bands at the time. Unfortunately though, a couple of songs don't quite live up to the standard set by the rest of the album. The title track, The Final Command and Fight Till Death aren't bad by any means, but the former two songs are a tad too straight forward while the latter doesn't do anything that other songs on the album don't do better.

At the level of musical content, these songs are essentially like tiny battle hymns. I have seen this music described as 'metal to raise your sword to' and I think that's a pretty accurate interpretation. Themes like war, combat and the nature of evil are examined in short and highly energetic tracks, that make the listener want to be a part of these scenarios and duke it out with the opposing force in the face of death while showing no mercy.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
BigHans
July 22nd 2015


30959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, good writing, although Slayer albums aren't good for "serious" reviews.

rockandmetaljunkie
July 22nd 2015


9621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Slayer albums aren't good for "serious" reviews"



who says that ?

rockandmetaljunkie
July 22nd 2015


9621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuck the "serious" reviews

linguist2011
July 22nd 2015


2656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is excellent, certainly an underrated Slayer record.



but is it presented with a more uncompromising attitude



I don't think you need "it" here.



Apart from that, very well-written review.

TheMagicalBlender
July 22nd 2015


2345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album slays. Review slays.

Anthracks
July 22nd 2015


8031 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

top 5 metal albums of all-time

BigPleb
July 22nd 2015


65784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sup Athracks dude.



Antichrist riff is the best ever.

InFlamesWeThrash666
July 22nd 2015


10560 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"fuckin Slaaaayyyyyyeeeeeer"



Ocean of Noise
July 23rd 2015


10970 Comments


hell yea rules

Spaten
July 23rd 2015


235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't think you need "it" here.


Thanks, fixed.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2015


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

A turning point in Heavy Metal and a key pillar in the development of extreme metal. Absolute classic.



Nice review.

miketunneyiscool123
July 23rd 2015


5523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Least favorite debut of the big four. At least their next four albums are among the best metal albums of all time.

NeroCorleone80
July 23rd 2015


34618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best debut of the big 4

miketunneyiscool123
July 23rd 2015


5523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Certainly the fastest and most violent, but I don't dig it much. Maybe it'll warm up in time.

Ocean of Noise
July 23rd 2015


10970 Comments


t/t is kinda dumb otherwise it'd be a 4

BigHans
July 23rd 2015


30959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Slayer albums aren't good for "serious" reviews"







who says that ?



^ I don't know man, I just think of Sonic's South of Heaven review as the way a Slayer review should go, lol.

BigHans
July 23rd 2015


30959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Or this gem from Sonic's Hell Awaits review



Like a werewolf from the sunshine fist, out of the planet of Satan comes a hard jamming, chode slamming freightrain made of marshmallows on fire with spikes made of iron poking out of them that were shoved in the holes by demons who just got through whacking off to pictures of chicks wearing hooker boots and then they went into the kitchen and baked themselves some brownies and put LSD in the brownies and proceeded to jam hard to Satan's almight fist of power and then they drew their swords and rode horses to fight evil demons that live on the nearby street corner and the demons almost beat them in this mighty battle but the heroes proudly exclaim "Nay!" and continue in the act of beating the balls out of these demonic creeps and then after winning the battle and feasting on mutton, mead and hot pockets, they deep fry some pop tarts and get stoned off of the fumes that it creates and they start hallucinating and tripping down stairs in their house that's made of copper and wood and it begins to melt like an ice cream cone on a hot July evening in which there are fireflies and bears and ever mythical creature imaginable floating around in a hot tub made of vacuum cleaner cupcakes.

Ryus
July 23rd 2015


36902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best Slayer album [2]

adr
July 23rd 2015


12097 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no dude

Ryus
July 23rd 2015


36902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah. i was never a huge fan of slayer anyway



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