File:Reign in blood.jpg

courtesy of wikipedia

Since Jeff Hanneman passed away last week, i had made up my mind and decided that this week’s Album Of The Week would be an album from Slayer. Of course, I chose one of the most iconic thrash metal albums to ever be released by any band during that time period. Metallica had already released Master Of Puppets back in February of that year and little did fans know they were about to become the hard rock Metallica before the end of the decade. Slayer was a true thrash metal titan and they never steered away from what had made them a metal colossus. It was the album that put the Big four on the map in my opinion. It was the third album to be released from Slayer and their first with Rick Rubin after they departed with Metal Blade and signed with Def Jam. The album is only 29:03 minutes in length, but it’s still epic.

a2The first track that kicks off the album is probably one of the most iconic face shredding songs of all time in Angel Of Death. When the song kicks off they are off to the races like a bullet being shot out of a machinegun combined with that iconic scream from Tom Araya that follows as you dive deep into the mouth of madness. Jeff had been reading books on World War 2 and Josef Mengele when he was writing the lyrics for the song. It’s kind of funny how Nazi skinheads all love Slayer because of this song and it turns out Tom Araya is Chilean and Dave Lombardo is Cuban. Piece By Piece is the next track on the record and it’s a little slower in the intro then Angel, but Slayer shows off their love for punk when the verse kicks in. Necrophobic clicks in at a whopping 1:40 and is considered the fastest Slayer song about having sex with dead corpses. Altar Of Sacrifice is another face scorcher on the record about sacrificing in the name of satan. It also contains some of the coolest solos on the record that are just fast as hell.   Jesus Saves has one of the coolest intros that is just doom heaven and a true headbanger. Then before you know, they are at it again with their fast paced punk influenced metal. Criminally Insane starts with Dave hitting the high hat and the snare before the band comes in with their demonic playing as if you gave a kid with ADHD a bunch of energy drinks. Reborn is a song whose riff just hammers your head to pieces as they play to the speed of light. Epidemic is exactly the same as the other blazing fast tracks as it’s the eighth track on the record to clock in under three minutes in length.

a3Postmortem is one of my favorite tracks on the record as it’s style is much like Angel Of Death and Raining Blood as it’s speed metal slowed down a little bit. The cool thing is towards the end the song transitions nicely into Raining Blood which might be the most epic Slayer song with the ominous rainfall and the chilling drumbeat before we get the call and response from the guitars and drums. Then out of nowhere it’s headbang till your head literally falls off your body.  Jeff described the first half of the song which was written by him as, “it’s about a guy who’s in Purgatory ’cause he was cast out of Heaven. He’s waiting for revenge and wants to fuck that place up.” Kerry King who wrote the second verse described it as, “the rest of the song explains what happens when he starts fucking people up. The lyrics ‘Return to power draws near’ is because he’s waiting to get strong enough again to overthrow Heaven. And then ‘Fall into me, the sky’s crimson tears’ is everybody’s blood flowing into him. So basically, ‘Raining Blood’ is all the angels’ blood falling on him.” That is pretty freakin epic and the song ends with a minute of rainfall to signify that the song and album has ended. It’s the most epic and important heavy metal record to ever be released and for that reason I give the album five stars out of five.

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