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Slayer’s Reign in Blood is one of thrash metals best selling records, which goes to show that popularity isn’t everything. Back in 1986 this album was one of the fastest and heaviest thrash albums around, and helped define the genre, in a bad way. Slayer’s Reign in Blood makes thrash metal look like it is played by a bunch of no talent losers who only care about how brutal the music is and not how it sounds.
The album starts out promising with Angel Of Death. The song has a lot of great moments, until the solo which is the typical Slayer picking really fast on a bunch of notes in no particular scale guitar solo. Other than, a terrible solo and some very average vocals by Tom Araya the song is pretty good and a cut above what is to come for eight more songs. The next eight songs aren’t memorable at all, there is barely a riffs in the entire group of these eight songs that isn’t either extremely mundane or just really fast palm mutes. Every solo, almost every riff, and every line of lyrics yelled monotone by Tom Araya gives someone who isn’t very into metal the wrong idea of what its all about. Metal is in fact usually very sophisticated and takes a lot of talent to play but albums like this make it seem like all you need to be a famous thrash metal musician is a fast right hand. The album sort of makes up for this streak of below average songs with Raining Blood, which still sounds like a bunch of speed with almost no actual riffs but it’s still pretty cool.
One good thing about the album is that it is short. If you decide to torture yourself with this album it will at least be a short torture. Most of the songs are under three minutes, which proves once again that Slayer are not good song writers and rely completely on how fast they can move their picking hands.
Another thing about Slayer’s song writing is they do not like melody. The whole album sound extremely chaotic and to people who aren’t used to metal music probably sounds like a bunch of random notes played with a lot of distortion, which is kind of what it actually is. You won’t find a touch of melody on the entire album.
Although I don’t like this album at all I can’t deny its influence. With this album Slayer inspired hundreds of other thrash bands to follow in their footsteps and write really fast and heavy thrash metal records, but is that really a good thing? This album may have inspired a lot of people to play thrash metal but all it really did was water the genre down from great riffing songs and fantastic shredding solos, to speed speed and more speed. This album made it ok to be a below average musician and song writer and play thrash metal.
Slayers Reign in Blood is a great record if you are looking for speed, but other than speed it has absolutely nothing. The riffs are boring, the solos are terrible, Tom Araya is an awful vocalist, I use the word vocalist because while he does the vocals he is not at all a singer, and the album as a whole is unmemorable. On this album, Slayer manages to write two decent songs and eight terrible filler songs that can barely be called songs at all. This album is a below average thrash album that almost every mediocre high school garage band is capable of writing. Other than some fast palm muting and a good drummer, the band has zero talent, or if they do have talent they sure don’t show it on this album or any other they’ve released.