Posts Tagged ‘Reign In Blood’

War Of The Covers Silent ScreamOn last week’s War Of The Covers, we had you guys engage in a triple threat match to decide who covered Black Sabbath’s The Mob Rules better and you overwhelmingly decided that Adrenaline Mob had the best version as they had a huge lead and never looked back. For this week’s War Of The Covers, we are looking to one of the most legendary and bad ass thrash metal bands of all time in the mighty Slayer. After releasing one of the most epic extreme metal albums of all time in 1986’s Reign In Blood, Slayer wanted to prove that they could be just as evil while being more melodic with 1988’s South Of Heaven. The featured track that you will all be battling over is the punishing track Silent Scream and we have two intense bands that have covered the track. In 1998, Vader recorded a version of the track for the Slayer tribute album Slatanic Slaughter, Vol. 2. In 1998, Children Of Bodom released their debut album Something Wild, but when the album was reissued, it featured the band’s cover of the track. Now it is up to you guys to decide whose version is better and as usual you have until next week’s War Of The Covers posts to decide.

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The article title can be a little deceiving, but we are giving you a double shot off what if’s today as we explore What If… Part 6: Metal Goes Jazz. This is one of of my favorite types of What If’s because they take an album cover and they retro it which sometimes looks cooler than the original. Rafael Melandi is a Brazilian designer who is also the Creative Director at the São Paulo agency Opera Communications. He recently did a project on his own that he calls Metazz which sees him take classic metal album covers and he gives the album covers the high modern styled look that was associated with mid century jazz album artwork. To check out some of those on your own, just click here. You are going to be surprised at how some of them actually work really well as I loved the look of some of them. I’m not saying that they could forever replace the original album artwork, but they’re cool looking.

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south of heavenAll the Slayer covers I’ve been hearing over the past couple of days inspired me to want to review another Slayer album since Reign In Blood was the last one I did from them. Reign In Blood set the standard for what Slayer was all about and it established the band as a powerhouse in the metal scene, but the band took a lot of crap from the sceptics saying that they were a one trick pony. Tom Araya (Bass/Vocals), Jeff Hanneman (Guitars), Kerry King (Guitars), and Dave Lombardo (Drums) were out to prove with their fourth record South Of Heaven that they were more than a one trick pony. They did that by slowing down the music and one might think that it was a dangerous move for Slayer to do so, but I think it had the opposite effect. I truly believe with all the songs on the record that it made the band sound more evil than they ever were. The record also marked the fact that it was the second time that the band had worked with Rick Rubin as their producer and it was the last time an album was released by Def Jam since Rick had ended his partnership with Russell Simmons. The album peaked at number 52 and it reached Gold status by 1992.

Slayer_-_south_of_heaven_backThe album opens up with the eerie riff of South Of Heaven and when the drums come in and it sounds like the earth is crumbling and you are getting sucked into the mouths of hell and the long chant of you must die enforces the image in my head. The rest of the track is an exercise in how great metal really is and the song still remains on the set lists to this day. Silent Scream turns the tempo up from the last track and delivers what fans want from Slayer. The meaning of the song seems to talk about abortion cause the band says, “Silent scream, burying an unwanted child, beaten and torn, sacrifice the unborn.” Live Undead is the next track and the bands starts with an evil sounding riff and they hit you with those signature wailing whammy bar solos that were accustomed with Slayer as Araya speaks of death. Behind The Crooked Cross is the next track on the record that looks at a certain issue that would plague the band for years a different way. The Crooked Cross represents the Nazi Swastika and the lyrics describe a scenario where the soldiers come to realize that they may have been fighting for the wrong reasons. Mandatory Suicide, the other famous song from the album which isn’t what you think it’s about. The song deals with the idea of soldiers having to die in combat for their country.

slayer 2The trailblazer Ghosts Of War is next as it melts your face with every riff as the band talks about how soldiers that were wronged will rise to get their revenge. Read Between The Lies is a trailblazer that deals with the idea of evangelists stealing your money while they try to convince you of how they can heal you through faith. Cleanse The Soul is one of the other sonic facemelters on the record that will sure to leave any Slayer fan wanting more. Dissident Aggressor is a cover of the Judas Priest track and it remains to be the only cover ever released on a Slayer studio album. The last track on the record Spill The Blood  is one of my all time favorite Slayer songs on the album. The song starts off with this really evil acoustic riff before Lombardo kicks it off with his monster drumming in a track about gaining immortality through blood. The album is definitely one of the most classic Slayer albums  and apart of the iconic three (Reign, South, and Seasons In The Abyss) that the band released with Lombardo still in the band. I am going to give this record 4 stars out of five for a final grade.

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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.