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Here we have possibly the most well-known thrash album of all times, Slayer's legendary third album "Reign in Blood". What we have here is really an assault of fast, brutal riffs, cat-in-a-blender solos, thrashy snare- and double bass-heavy drumming, aggressive rapid fire vocals and not much more. The sense of melody they'd use later on in "South of Heaven" for example is nearly nonexistent, although there are a few hints of those sinister melodies in the mid section of "Angel of Death", for example. Then there isn't much variety either, all the stuff here except the first ("Angel of Death") and the last ("Raining Blood") could more or less be the same song- which really is the best way to take this album.
The 8 songs in the middle are just one epic thrash attack that menacingly says that it's not going to hurt you, it's just going to bash your brains in. And that's just what it does.
No one can deny that the riffs on here are awesome. I mean, check out those monsters in "Piece By Piece", "Jesus Saves", "Reborn" and "Postmortem"... awesome shit. And how about "Necrophobic", which might as well have been taken from "Darkness Descends" if it weren't that short. The brutal technicality, incredibly fast sung vocals, and even the long words are there, all trademark Dark Angel material. Great song. And then "Altar of Sacrifice" slays too. "Learn the sacred words of praise, hail Satan!"
But there are two songs that really make this a fucking thrash classic. We open right up with, one of the ultimate classics of thrash fucking metal: ANGEL OF DEATH! Brutal fucking riffs, badass lyrics dealing with the holocaust, and of course the crazy Jew-in-a-blender solo section. Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King can't play solos worth a damn, but that's what so fun about them. They don't make sense, they don't seem to have been thought out in the slightest, they just wank away out of key, making the most piercing noises they can come up with. And man, it works so fucking well, especially on this album.
The second highlight as I've mentioned is "Raining Blood". Starting with a haunting intro of pouring rain with the guitarists making eerie noises with their guitars, it kicks into this absolutely menacingly sinister riff, before galloping away into another brutal and fast-as-fuck thrasher. Lots of fun headbanging guaranteed. And watch out for the slowed-down middle section - a favourite in the mosh pit.
From reading all the reviews on here, I guess you've kinda figured what to expect. Brutal, fast and aggressive thrash with not much variety. Since the songs are so short, it also might be hard to really get into them, which is why I'd recommend you pretty much take the whole thing in as one long epic riff monster. Don't listen for individual songs, cause there aren't really any to find, except again on the first and last tunes. Oh, and "Postmortem" is a standout as well, and the third best song here.
Does this deserve the legendary status it's reached? I'd say so. Does it deserve all the criticism it receives? I'd say so, all of it is indeed based on facts. You'll have to get it yourself and see how you like it. Personally, I dig the fuck out of this one. "Death means nothing, there's no end - I will be reborn!"