MUSIC REVIEW | Slayer – Reign in Blood (1986)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “These songs deliver everything that great thrash metal usually takes double or three times as long to do.”

Slayer 1
It’s funny how some bands can become icons without hits.  If they’re songs weren’t being played on the radio, and they weren’t of a genre being shared between me and my friends, how I did I ever come to be aware of them?  And not only aware of them, but pretty familiar with what they do and what they represent?  Slayer is a band that never got radio airplay or released songs that were hits.  Slayer is a band that was never shared between me and my friends.  So why is Slayer a band of which I’m so familiar with what they do and what they represent?  I saw them at a music festival a few years ago, and all of my preconceptions were proven correct in the best possible way.  Which is the same reaction l was hoping I would have to their mid 80s breakthrough, Reign in Blood.


Pounding guitars duelling on the same riff, a relentless double kick assault, and a vocal intro that is literally nothing but a scream, I feel like Angle Death might be one of the best album openers ever.  You might not like this kind of thrash or metal, but at least Slayer lets you know right out of the gate exactly what you’re in for.  And when you compress your record into less than half an hour, there’s no time to ease people in.  The blistering dual guitar solos don’t hurt either.There’s no letup as Reign In Blood tears through Piece By Piece, Necrophobic and Alter of Sacrifice.  I’ll be honest, I barely noticed the transition from one song to the next.  But that’s not a negative, implying that all these songs sound the same.  It’s a huge positive for me, as the breathless, relentless drive of this record, from one song to the next, is like nothing else I’ve ever heard before.  Reign in Blood delivers everything that great thrash metal usually takes double or three times as long to do.
Slayer 2
I wish I had more to say about Reign in Blood, but its simplicity is kind of what I love about it, and why I’m also at a loss for words of what to say.  It’s not simple in its musicianship, or production.  The guitar sounds are phenomenal and Rick Ruben’s work behind the board makes it clearer than any other metal I have heard from the period.  But it’s simple in its consistent sound and feel.  With Reign in Blood, Slayer set and maintain a tone that never falters for even a second.

Slayer

Other Opinions Are Available.  What did these people have to say about Reign in Blood?
Rolling Stone
The Quietus
Play It Loud!

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