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Slayer - Show No Mercy review


1020 users:
Band: Slayer
Album: Show No Mercy
Release date: December 1983

01. Evil Has No Boundaries
02. The Antichrist
03. Die By The Sword
04. Fight Till Death
05. Metal Storm/Face The Slayer
06. Black Magic
07. Tormentor
08. The Final Command
09. Crionics
10. Show No Mercy
11. Haunting The Chapel [1987 re-issue bonus]
12. Captor Of Sin [1987 re-issue bonus]
13. Chemical Warfare [1987 re-issue bonus]
14. Aggressive Perfector [1994 re-release bonus]
15. Chemical Warfare [1994 re-release bonus]
16. Aggressive Perfector [vinyl & 1983 cassette bonus]

"Blasting our way through the boundaries of hell, no one can stop us tonight..."

Slayer, the now legendary Thrash act that needs no introduction, has been putting out fairly consistent music for over 25 years. However, the old farts we know as kings of thrash these days, started somewhere in time, and that's where this album comes into play.

'Show No Mercy' is a balls-to-the-wall, relentless debut that is oozing with evil. While their Bay Area counterparts were more heavily influenced by the NWOBHM and took that more melodic road, Slayer slammed down some of the most relentless music known at the time, and even today. They pushed the boundaries of extreme music, and never looked back.

Technically, the album isn't flashy. None of the musicians are at the top of their game as they would be later in their career. It's understandable because this is a debut album from young men who, at the time, just wanted to kick ass. However, none of this detracts from either the Metal factor or the fun factor.

You'll find our guys doing what we know they can: Araya's menacing bass lines and hell-screams are ever present. King and Hanneman manage to pack the album full of simple, yet memorable riffing and the wild solos they're now known for, while sharing lyric duty and churning out some over the top, yet classic lyrics that make your insert booklet a legit satanic grimoire. And of course Dave is behind the kit, doing what he does best, and quite efficiently too.

While this album may often be overlooked for their later classics, Slayer managed to create not only devastating music, but songs that are still live staples for them today. Songs like "Die by the Sword" and "The Antichrist" can still be heard at any Slayer show today, while definitely being on par with anything post-1983.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 7

Written by Clintagräm | 29.03.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
San Francisco and Los Angeles must have been an exciting places to live in the early 80's. Thrash Metal was in its formative years and the scene was absolutely massive in the Bay Area and LA. Great bands were coming out of every dark corner and none more so than LA based ex-Deep Purple cover band Slayer.

The main difference between Slayer and the other bands in the scene was that from the very beginning they were covered in satanic imagery and mysticism which made them stand out from the crowd but also alienated them from ever achieving superstar status. Controversial from the start, Slayer released their debut "Show No Mercy" in 1983 on new label, Metal Blade Records, who had already helped get Metallica noticed on a compilation released the previous year.

published 03.04.2008 | Comments (1)

Guest review by
Slayer have become one of the most respected bands in the metal scene by the fans and their peers. They've just released their eleventh studio album, World Painted Blood, and show no sign of stopping. This relentless career started back in 1983 with an album titled Show No Mercy, and it did exactly what it said on the cover.

published 16.11.2009 | Comments (14)


Comments: 13   Visited by: 85 users
12.02.2009 - 10:34
Valentin B
This is the only album where you can actually hear Slayer's prime influences(of course, NWOBHM, mainly Venom)

and aside from the atrocious sound quality it's an extremely good album.
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
02.04.2009 - 04:01
I love this album, definitely their best
15.06.2009 - 07:17
Liver Failure
Good review. This album is very cool , everything is good, the voice didnt bother me, the solos are amazing, the old blasphemous catchiness! One of their best for sure.

The solo on ''Die by the sword'' is fantastic!

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
15.06.2009 - 09:14
I found this album too "heavy metal" for my taste. also the production is decent. but there are some great songs here. crionics and the antichrist are maybe the best imo..
Υou've sold your human essence to the cold world of dead and empty things... You're SOLD!
05.11.2009 - 03:24
The best slayer album imo
05.11.2009 - 06:09
Underpaid M.D.
This album has some really underrated songs, even in their debut they made an extremely good album, King and Hanneman had a great style since this first album and that's what amazes me the most, also Dave and Tom did a great job here. Very nice album indeed!
"Les vers savent qu'ils n'ont pas d'ailes, c'est pour cela qu'ils se cachent sous terre"
28.03.2010 - 05:52
This is a terrible review I mean seriously this was incredibly brutal for 1984 and slayer has gone downhill since reign in blood BUT THIS IS THE DEFINITIVE SLAYER album 10 out of 10 savage, and unrelenting this album made metallica's kill em all only decent not a masterpiece. One of the most underrated albums from a band i actually dislike.
28.03.2010 - 15:13
Written by Valentin B on 12.02.2009 at 10:34

and aside from the atrocious sound quality it's an extremely good album.

Funny how tastes differ. I prefer production on this album than on any other Slayer release. I think it suits their music better.
"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
28.03.2010 - 15:29
I agree that this has "atrocious sound quality", and way too much echo in the vocals.
But that's how all heavy music was at the time, I swear.
Still an OK album essential in the collection of every Slayer fan!
Old enough to be your Daddy... speaking of which... you look familiar... do I know your mother???
28.03.2010 - 15:53
Written by I_Die_Often on 28.03.2010 at 15:29

and way too much echo in the vocals.

That's precisely one of the elements I like on this album. I enjoy when metal music has reverberation.

I miss the 'reverberation effect' on many metal albums these days. I think with it lots of them would not sound so empty and synthesized.
"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
28.03.2010 - 16:00
Erotic Stains
I love this album and the review was spot on! "The Final Command" and "Crionics" really shows just how much the band was influated by Iron Maiden.
17.02.2013 - 05:32
And aside from the atrocious sound quality it's an extremely good album.

That "atroucious" sound quality is one of the reasons it is so good. Too many studio effects can be really lame.
09.06.2016 - 23:33
Bad English
About technical think, maybe its best, maybe its magic of 80's metal , simple, everyone could play and actually get some money. Not many of that time big ones were good musicians, but sound was awesome , Iommi cut part of his fingers when was working on factory, he plays guitar , a classical piano player in suit wearing audience whit chosen ppl a little needle cut in arms can ruin a career
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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