Review : Slayer – Reign in Blood
Genre: Thrash Metal
Who doesn’t like Slayer now a days? Thats an honest question. Somehow this band has managed to be in service for a few decades, get a song (“Raining Blood”) in the Guitar Hero video game, put out a few skateboard decks with Plan B (a skateboard company), and ultimately be one of the biggest names in metal alongside Metallica. However, being big doesn’t necessarily make the music.
In some ways, I think it is fair to an extent to be somewhat leniant when reviewing a classic album such as this. Slayer dates back to when metal music really began, so can I complain that much? I will admit I gave into the recent hype and decided to buy this album a few months ago. I learned how to play some of “Raining Blood” on my own guitar, not to mention enjoying it on Guitar Hero. I reasoned with myself and bought this album to see what else Slayer had in them. My question at the time was, “Is Slayer a one hit wonder like so many pop-bands these days? Or are they something more?” Based on this album I lean more towards the latter, though I still have my qualms.
When I put the album on my computer I was surprised that most of the songs are about 2.5 minutes on average. That was a dissapointment considering most of the music I listen to on average ranges from 5-30 minute long masterpieces.
The album opens with “Angel of Death”, which has been a hit for a while and understandably so, it is a great song. Sadly, it is the longest on this album also (4:51 minutes).
Musically speaking, Slayer is thrash at its finest. They play fast, most of the time with no real melody. Most of the songs just kind of blend together, sadly causing most of them to not stick out in any real way. There are alot of solos, however I am not sure why people go crazy for them because they are fairly weak (fast, but they don’t really do anything for me). They put to much focus on the whammy bar, actually. People who enjoy excessive use of the whammy will probably enjoy them, and I suppose I would be lying to say I dont “enjoy them”; however there are many better solos from other bands. The vocalist is pretty good, but I feel the mixing put his voice to far ahead of the other instruments. He yells and talks (similar to hardcore punk rock type of vocals). The drums are the only instrument I have no real complaints about.
Lyrically speaking there is not much to go crazy for. They are not “bad” lyrics, they are just what I deem as “something enjoyable to yell over guitars and drums.” At the time, I am sure these lyrics were extremely offensive especially to religious individuals and churches. Actually, I am sure the music in and of itself was offensive. This is likely one reason why Slayer has lasted so long, by creating an underground, anti-religious group who enjoy lyrics about Satan, gore, and death. I personally enjoy these things, so this is perhaps why I can enjoy this band.
Songs that I personally enjoy most off this album: “Raining Blood”, “Angel of Death”, “Jesus Saves”, “Piece by Piece”, and “Criminally Insane.”
-Slayer is a classic band from the early era of metal, so it is hard to dislike them.
-Some decent guitar parts
-Lots of solos
-Good production considering the time period
-The solos seem exaggerated and frequently pointless and unmelodic. They have the atmosphere of a child wanting to solo over everything.
-The reliance on the whammy bar is somewhat annoying.
-Most of the songs are incredibly short.
-Many of the song introductions sound very similar.