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Slayer - Show No Mercy review


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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]

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.

The Slayer pentagram, made of swords, was born and a demonic looking figure with cloven hooves, a goats head and a man's upper body brandishing a sword graced the record sleeve.

Lyrically the whole album is some sort of twisted satanic fantasy tale about magic, the Antichrist, general evil and a satanic war against the world. Hopelessness is a general theme throughout; as mankind's future has already been decided and this may be a technique to bring the listeners guard down to encourage greater perceptibility to other themes on the album. The only song which deviates from this is "Crionics", a standout track exploring the advances of science.

The influence of The New Wave of British Heavy Metal on this record is obvious. The songs are generally structured along the same lines, regular riff patterns, bursts of guitar wizardry at every available moment with the occasional unexpected gear shift. For its time it was musically a fairly complex album, the very short punk influenced songs had not yet fully seeped into Slayer's music. Musicianship is outstanding although, is nothing compared to Slayer's later works.

The high points of this album are "The Antichrist", "Die By the Sword" and "Black Magic" which all went on to become Slayer classics covered regularly. The title track is a little disappointing in the context of the album. Overall it's a solid Thrash album, very important at the time but is beginning to sound a bit dated. It is a worthwhile purchase for anyone interested in the history of Thrash Metal or Slayer.

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

Written by Stuart | 03.04.2008


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
"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.

published 29.03.2008 | Comments (13)

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: 1   Visited by: 10 users
09.06.2016 - 23:41
Bad English
A point you had about artwork , somehow its a bit evilized twister Conan lol but same time I don't remember this band ever had been accused in Striper Gore case as Satanist and non of any magazines, stories acused this band in public as others well seems key was band never was on MTV
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