For Fans Of
Ahhh Slayer, or as the die-hard drunk fan thus proclaim, “FUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKIIINNNNGGG SSSSSLLLLLLAAAAAYYYYYEEERRRR AAAAAAHHHHHHHH”, are back with a new album, ‘Repentless’. This is the band’s 11th album to date, their first in six years, their first since the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the inclusion of Exodus guitarist Gary Holt. That’s a lot of firsts and foot-notes for this new record from one of thrash metal’s biggest bands. So how does it stack up? Well first this reviewer has what he likes to call the “New Album From Slayer Checklist”, and he’s going to share that with you now to breakdown this album.
- Does this still sound Slayer? Check
- Does the album have lyrics that decry society, government, religion and anything else pisses off the band? Double check.
- Does the band stick to their tried and tested template of fast drumbeats, big fills, and dark, chugging repetitive guitar riffs, with the occasional metal-as-fuck shredding guitar solo? Triple check.
- Does the record contain a butt load of religious, edgy dark imagery and themes? Yeah, you know the answer by now (just check that track listing and album cover).
- Should this checklist have ended at its first point? Yeah, probably.
However, despite the very cliché elements of the band’s sound still remaining this goddamn long into their three decade plus career, the production on the album is immensely crisp, and the passing of time hasn’t detracted from the four-piece’s musical ability just yet. Every back and forth between Holt and Kerry King is superbly solid, and every throaty yell from Tom Araya is delivered just as well as anything from the 90’s (even if he can’t headbang anymore). Furthermore, new drummer Paul Bostaph channels Dave Lombardo pretty well on this record, and considering he drummed for Exodus and Testament, the dude fits into the hateful mould of Slayer perfectly.
So in a nutshell, ‘Repentless’ shows that Slayer still sound like Slayer, and that’s all the band’s fans and peers could ever want and honestly, it’s all this reviewer would want. However, there’s something to be said about bands who basically stick to one sound/formula for a whole career. Bands like A Day To Remember, Pennywise and Coldplay are the other big repeat offenders of this alongside these metal veterans. Is it a band understanding their sound and target audience? Or is it a sign of laziness and an inability to escape your own trope?
Well, that one’s really up to the fans, the ones who’ll buy this record and pit hard for thrash icons when they make their inevitable return to Australia.
Slayer is easily the best band out of the Big 4. They’re faster, they’re darker, they’re heavier and they’re edgier (for all the good that does them) than Dave Mustaine and Lars Ulrich could ever hope to be. Yet their sound has been repeated and regurgitated extensively over their massive 34 year career (yet it’s still just as solid as it ever was). ‘Repentless’ is a safe album, for sure, but considering the loss and change the band has experienced over the past couple years, that may have been for the best this time.
1. Delusions Of Saviour
3. Take Control
5. Cast The First Stone
6. When The Stillness Comes
7. Chasing Death
9. Piano Wire
10. Atrocity Vendor
11. You Against You
12. Pride In Prejudice