In the metal world just a handful of bands were the front runners of the style, the forefathers so to speak that set the stage for everyone to follow and Slayer is one of those elite few. Slayer was founded in 1981 in Huntington Park California by the band’s two guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. Soon after they recruited Tom Araya to play bass and sing. Dave Lombardo, whom was discovered by the band while delivering a pizza to them, was also brought on. Through the years Dave Lombardo has flaked out on a few occasions and they’ve brought in other drummers to fill the space but overall he’s been their main drummer and is currently drumming with the band. Other then the drummer rotation the string section of Slayer has been consistent through it’s entire existence.Slayer is fluffy and puffy.

By name alone anyone could have guessed Slayer has been the subject of controversy, even encouraged it on occasion. The band is pretty much the epitome of what a parent does not what their youth to listen to and as a result they’ve seen their share of law suits. Nothing that impacted the band very much though, just parents suing for the acts of their psycho kids. You can see why those with close minds would hone in on Slayer though. Song subjects are a little on the dark side, suicide, genocide, Nazism, necrophilia, Christianity, Satanism, murderers, etc. pretty much the whole gamut. Over the years their lyrical content has come to question to which they’ve responded in interviews on multiple occasions. Each time the response is pretty much the same. They write about what they’re interested in. Like if you’re driving past a nasty car accident and you gotta look, Slayer does the same but they write songs about it. There also is a bit of thumbing their nose at critics. For example in a particular song they wrote about Nazi’s they mentioned Aryans a few times. As a result people said they were white supremacists, an idea the band strongly disagrees with. In any event they wrote a song right after and it was worded in a way that could be taken to have racial undertones, this was done on purpose just to screw with people.

Their 1986 album “Reign in Blood” virtually defined the death metal genre and at first listen it’s easy to see why. The album is a masterpiece. Everything, the music, lyrics and execution are impeccable, not a dud track on it. It’s so visceral, fast, it really sets a tone, kinda makes you want to drive 100MPH into a tree. Woh! What did I just say? I better call my lawyer, it can’t be legal to make me wanna drive into a tree. Other than Reign in Blood Slayer has had a bunch of other good albums, my top three (besides Reign in Blood) are “South of Heaven”, “Seasons in the Abyss” and “Divine Intervention” in that order. I’ll be honest and say I have listened much the albums released after 2000 but these three are a great start, after Reign in Blood of course.

1) Show No Mercy [1983]
2) Hell Awaits [1985]
3) Reign in Blood [1986]
4) South of Heaven [1988]
5) Seasons in the Abyss [1990]
6) Divine Intervention [1994]
7) Undisputed Attitude [1996]
8) Diabolus in Musica [1998]
9) God Hates Us All [2001]
10) Christ Illusion [2006]
11) World Painted Blood [2009]

1 comment to Slayer

  • SSSSLLAAAAAAAAYYERRRR!!!!! nice write-up, jay. indeed, after 20+ years, slayer remain consistent and heavy and enjoy such a loyal following. don’t know if you’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live but if that opportunity ever comes, don’t miss it. they have this track record of completely levelling their openers who are like 1/2 their age! now that’s a trip. and as for freaked out parent reactions, why not ask brent what happened to my reign in blood LP purchased from Country Pie Records? i’m so psyched, i’m going to put on some slayer and get back to work….

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