Slayer – Reign In Blood (1986)

How does one critique an album like Reign In Blood? I often ask that of myself when I start to write about something that is often considered legendary, timeless or even just historically important in regards to the genre at hand. This time, the genre is thrash metal, or arguably even just metal as a whole, and the impossible album to analyse is Slayer’s magnum opus.

I’ve never really been that big a fan of Slayer. Granted, their legacy hasn’t been lost on me, but as a kid getting into metal at the turn of the 00s, Slayer appeared to be just another band that had some classic records before releasing a whole bunch of stinkers as they tried to remain relevant with the times. All this of course, has absolutely nothing to do with Reign In Blood so let me shut up about all of that for now.

Reign In Blood reset the bar for how heavy and ferocious thrash metal could be. Don’t get me wrong, thrash has always been fast and pissed off, at least in its proto-form, but Slayer brought a whole new sense of evil and dread to the table. Hanneman’s riffs, King’s solos, Lombardo’s intense battery attack, and Araya’s Venomesque snarl mixed with his powerful, King Diamond worshipping vocals of old, all come together to make the perfect storm of metallic goodness.

Like, without wanting to sound cliche, its fucking Slayer. In the rare occurrence that you’ve not heard any of this album, click below to have a goosey gander.