Slayer - Reign In Blood review



Reviewer:
4.5

2086 users:
9.01
Band: Slayer
Album: Reign In Blood
Release date: October 1986


01. Angel Of Death
02. Piece By Piece
03. Necrophobic
04. Altar Of Sacrifice
05. Jesus Saves
06. Criminally Insane
07. Reborn
08. Epidemic
09. Postmortem
10. Raining Blood
11. Aggressive Perfector [1998 re-release bonus]
12. Criminally Insane [remix version] [1998 re-release bonus]


For more than a decade, Slayer has proudly fused thrash and speed metal into loud, offering doomish dirges, voraciously boisterous and blasphemous songs groaning over lyrics that depict madness, suicide and murder in excess, a style which should definetly suit a ten-year-old metalhead. On October 7, 1986, Slayer released what was to become their masterpiece, "Reign In Blood". An album discribed by Kerrang! Magazine as "the heaviest album of all time" and peaked at number 22 on Metal Storm's "top 100 albums of all time" survey, a position that only "the crème de la crème" bands could get. Believe me, reviewing a very popular album from a very popular band isn't easy at all, but sometimes justice must be done.

"Reign In Blood" could be summed up in four simple words, strenuous, volatile, asymmetrical and brutal...maybe too brutal. At first I was completely blown away by its amazing structural proficiency, I couldn't get over it. Fortunately, there was a day when I realized that except Metallica, even a band from "the big four" could suck. The answer is pretty clear now, this is a notoriously inconsistent effort.

The journey commences with "Angel Of Death", an impressive opener , built around ultra-fast repetitive thrash riffs followed by... well, rigourous barks and high-pitched growls of Tom Araya, but that's vocally speaking, sure there's nothing inherently bad with it. However, even the most ardent fans of Slayer will admit that the one-dimentional vocals of Mr Araya are probably the thing that should be removed from Reign In Blood. In case you haven't noticed it yet, the singer tries his best to mix things up without resorting to clean vocals, and I don't blame him for that, at least he screams like a man not like Dave Mustaine. Songs like "Raining Blood" and "Angel Of Death" are the album's highlights, despite being too uniformed for some to stomach, they are quite catchy with their crushing guitar riffs and the furiously thunderous drumming. However, in its entirety, the album is not as consistently memorable as "South Of Heaven", but let's make it clear, I've never been a fan of Slayer and if they're going to stick on "Christ Illusion meets Reign In blood" style I won't be, but to be fair, there was a time when I liked Slayer pretty much, I liked Reign In Blood though but not anymore, these guys don't deserve to be a part of "the big four" neither does Megadeth.

In the end of the day, Slayer will always have an audience because their discography is worth picking up, but when it comes to this album here's my advice, listen to it for one year or maybe two and then throw it away. Folks, I give you "the most overrated album of all time"... Reign In Blood.

Written by Mindheist | 14.08.2008


 


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
Edible Autopsy
Rating:
10
The greatest metal record of all time. This topic is often debated upon in the Metal Kingdom and to most there is no definite answer. A worthy contender for this title is Slayer's 1986 masterpiece, Reign In Blood. Few albums withstand the test of time as well and even fewer have had such a huge impact on the metal world as this one.

Read more ››
published 24.09.2003 | Comments (65)

Guest review by
Stuart
Rating:
9.2
Where does one begin reviewing an album with as much hype and influence as this? An album branded as revolutionary and with such a fanatical following. It is always going to be a difficult task, so I ask that for a moment we forget the hype surrounding this album and we look at the musical value it holds.

Reign in Blood was in many ways a brave new world for Slayer. It had a completely different sound to anything before it; they abandoned all the pretentiousness of the long, drawn out, complex song structures they had experimented with on Haunting the Chapel and Hell Awaits. In this, it was far more accessible, yet they didn't sacrifice any of their integrity or alienate any of their core fan base. Their intention was quite clear, that this was to be the fastest, heaviest, angriest music ever to be unleashed on human ears.

Read more ››
published 04.04.2008 | Comments (18)


Comments page 7 / 7

Comments: 197   Visited by: 582 users
28.08.2012 - 16:51
Spirit Molecule
spirit molecule
Written by Guest on 22.08.2011 at 15:36

I'm largely oblivious to anything thrash or heavy related, at least in the classic sense ;] If you asked me to name Megadeath's best album I probably wouldn't know. I've never even made it past the first couple of songs from Rust In Peace.


Honestly I've never been much of a Slayer or Megadeth fan, neither Metallica. I always get people gasping when I tell them that, its quite the piss off.
So I totally get what you mean. I do listen to some thrash, but not much.
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28.08.2012 - 19:03
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Spirit Molecule on 28.08.2012 at 16:51


Honestly I've never been much of a Slayer or Megadeth fan, neither Metallica. I always get people gasping when I tell them that, its quite the piss off.
So I totally get what you mean. I do listen to some thrash, but not much.

Yeah 90% of metallers probably wouldn't understand the idea that people could listen to metal without listening to, or really liking, those bands. Same with Iron Maiden too if you ask me.
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28.08.2012 - 21:19
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Guest on 28.08.2012 at 19:03

Yeah 90% of metallers probably wouldn't understand the idea that people could listen to metal without listening to, or really liking, those bands. Same with Iron Maiden too if you ask me.


Even so... I still think the review is crap and I'm not a thrash guy either.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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23.06.2013 - 13:33
Himedal
Written by RavenKing on 26.03.2011 at 23:05

Written by Deadmeat on 26.03.2011 at 21:14

you'll find many people and i am one of them claiming that COMA OF SOULS is better than any megadeth or anthrax album


And I'm one of them.
Imo, the first 5 Kreator albums and every album they released since "Violent Revolution" are all better than anything Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax ever released. Only early Slayer (until "Reign In Blood") can compete with the Kreator albums I mentioned.

Anyway, when it comes to the "Big Four" (God I hate this expression), Slayer is the only one I ever liked and cared for.
Metallica? Never liked it and always found it insanely overrated.
Megadeth? Never cared much and never liked.
Anthrax? Never gave a fuck.

I agree with whatever you just said.
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What goes by is life to be taken
The doom calls upon the forsaken
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06.03.2014 - 09:21
Timelord
How I never read this before I have no clue. You guys are not getting the real message from this "review". This says 'Hey I am a man now and I have outgrown Slayer's adolescent presentation of shock and awe. So be it then! Let the door crack your skull on the way out, People who were not even alive when an album was originally released shouldn't be reviewing the ones considered to be all time classics because they will NEVER know the full impact upon release. When Reign in Blood was brand new NOBODY that I knew personally could play that style. Reign in Blood became what Master of Reality was to many thousands of players. There will never be such an album that carries the influence that Reign in Blood continues to have. Like it or not credit needs to be given.
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30.09.2015 - 05:11
masterofdisguise
I can't but agree that this is the most overrated album ever...
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01.10.2015 - 10:12
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by deadone on 30.09.2015 at 07:34

You probably would think that as judging by your votes you listen to mainly melodic gothic/black metal and not thrash metal, death metal or indeed anything much pre-2000.

Quite possibly he has never actually listened to the whole album either.
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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01.10.2015 - 13:28
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Saying that one of the most influential thrash albums ever is overrated is totally preposterous. I can understand people prefering another thrash album but that has nothing to do with judging an album on its merits.

I for one think Venom's first three albums are total crap but calling those overrated would never cross my mind due to the impact those albums had.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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02.10.2015 - 09:43
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Written by Daniell on 01.10.2015 at 10:12

Written by deadone on 30.09.2015 at 07:34

You probably would think that as judging by your votes you listen to mainly melodic gothic/black metal and not thrash metal, death metal or indeed anything much pre-2000.

Quite possibly he has never actually listened to the whole album either.


And one only needs just under 29-minutes to do that.
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The sun shines over The Fool...
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02.10.2015 - 11:01
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Daniell on 01.10.2015 at 10:12

Quite possibly he has never actually listened to the whole album either.

Quite possibly he had an affair with each member of Slayer and upset them, who then went on to kill his dog and burn his house down.

Of course that would also be idle speculation, which is a really lazy way to denigrates someone's opinion, just like any and all "Oh, they probably didn't even listen to it" argument.
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02.10.2015 - 16:39
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Guest on 02.10.2015 at 11:01

Of course that would also be idle speculation, which is a really lazy way to denigrates someone's opinion, just like any and all "Oh, they probably didn't even listen to it" argument.


It's not unprecedented.
Go there: http://metalstorm.net/pub/review.php?review_id=8685 and read the review.
It was obviously written without hearing the album.
People talk shit about music without hearing it all the time.
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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02.10.2015 - 16:54
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Daniell on 02.10.2015 at 16:39

It's not unprecedented.
Go there: http://metalstorm.net/pub/review.php?review_id=8685 and read the review.
It was obviously written without hearing the album.
People talk shit about music without hearing it all the time.

But it's baseless speculation on your part as he has one comment with no indication either way, as well as his ratings to go by. Very much an "If they have that particular opinion then they probably didn't listen to the album" type nonsense. I hear that a lot more than opinions from people who probably haven't listened to something they claim to have. Always strikes me as a really weak way of disregarding someone you disagree with. Because of your comment you now have Ace Frawley jumping in, and between the two of you you've created a phantom personality of him. Strawman = knocked down.

For the record I vehemently disagree with blackcanvas and this review.
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02.10.2015 - 21:17
masterofdisguise
Have to say I'm quite impressed with the commotion my comment just caused.

Anyway guys, this is just my opinion, so you don't need to be upset if I don't think every track here to be in the same level as angel of death or raining blood. Of course, I know this album is one of the most influential and all that, but thats not my point here. And perhaps you should know me more before stating I didn't listen to it, as I got into metal music mostly through thrash metal, but maybe I shouldn't even be replying to that, because this argument is as stupid as the review itself.
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04.10.2015 - 10:22
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Written by Guest on 02.10.2015 at 16:54

But it's baseless speculation on your part as he has one comment with no indication either way, as well as his ratings to go by. Very much an "If they have that particular opinion then they probably didn't listen to the album" type nonsense. I hear that a lot more than opinions from people who probably haven't listened to something they claim to have. Always strikes me as a really weak way of disregarding someone you disagree with. Because of your comment you now have Ace Frawley jumping in, and between the two of you you've created a phantom personality of him. Strawman = knocked down.

For the record I vehemently disagree with blackcanvas and this review.


Was just poking a bit of fun, not sure why you have to take everything so seriously and literally. Must just be your personality or perhaps my written comment lacks the other cues required to see that it was just a bit of fun i.e. facial expression or tone of voice that you get in face-to-face interaction.
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The sun shines over The Fool...
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04.10.2015 - 14:29
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Ace Frawley on 04.10.2015 at 10:22


Was just poking a bit of fun, not sure why you have to take everything so seriously and literally. Must just be your personality or perhaps my written comment lacks the other cues required to see that it was just a bit of fun i.e. facial expression or tone of voice that you get in face-to-face interaction.

If you say so.
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09.06.2016 - 18:50
Enteroctopus
"Reign in Blood" is not so much a 'great album' as it is influential, a key in the evolutionary chain of metal. In terms of someone outside the genre picking a certain album, putting it on a decent stereo and enjoying it this would not be my pick. "Ride the Lightning" would be better for exposing a newcomer to old-school thrash. It's a much more dynamic, more consistent piece of work.

"Reign" is a branching-off point in the development of the Slayer sound, where "Show No Mercy" and "Hell Awaits" are much more adolescent efforts. Each offers a few great songs; "At Dawn They Sleep" and "Black Magic," but overall they are sloppy, forgettable efforts. I feel like "Seasons in the Abyss" is the culmination of the Slayer sound, bringing back the aggression and some of the lyrical sickness lacking in "South of Heaven," but keeping some of the more progressive compositional elements, like spoken vocal passages, from that earlier work: "Hello, hello Mr. Geen... LET ME OUT NOW!!!"

Reign, though, lent musical and lyrical influence to both black and death metal. Certain tracks, "Angel of Death" and "Piece by Piece" (a slab of lyrical sickness offered up by King), probably lent more to death metal, and the middle of the record, "Altar of Sacrifice," and "Jesus Saves" pushed the envelope of questioning Christian authority, making a lot of young people (me) of the era feel okay with doing so. While Slayer is by no means the most important black metal influence - Merciful Fate and Venom are far more influential - they did lend a viciousness, a raw, punkish kick in the ass we hear in faster-paced black metal, bands like Brymir or Stortregn definitely have thrash influence. If you like that faster-paced black metal sound Slayer had a lot to do with vitalizing that aggressive punch.

It is, to be true, a flawed record. The drumming is flat and uninventive: kick-snare-kick-snare for most of the faster sections. Tom is still trying to figure out what kind of vocalist he wants to be, reaching for Judas Priest-type high notes, which let's be honest doesn't work for him. He sounds better screaming in his monotone, which became more comfortable and consistent on "Seasons" and later efforts. That style is easy to criticize, but it works for Slayer. Much like the lead guitars it is hardly the most proficient, but it fits the band's sound.

I would say Slayer achieves something with Reign few bands ever truly do: finding a sound that WORKS, a unique presence, an identity that is definitely one-of-a-kind. Slayer is not "like" anything, Slayer is Slayer, and this is the album which truly set them apart. The strongest piece of the puzzle is Jeff's writing and riffs. This is where the "legendary" status of this record is truly deserved. "Angel of Death" is a guitar masterpiece, unapproached by anyone except possibly Chuck Schuldiner and Death. Slayer in 1986 is an adequate backup band for the man, Jeff Hanneman, who is changing the way the instrument is played. As the band developed into a mature outfit with "South of Heaven" and beyond, they became the "bad news bears" of metal, a misfit band of less-than-perfect musicians who found a way to win. Eventually everyone began to find their groove and work together as a unit. Jeff was owning it on "Reign in Blood", though, kicking pure ass regardless of the underdeveloped band he was a part of.

Slayer is blue-collar, approachable yet shocking. They made us (well at least me) feel like we could do this, too, and this launched countless careers of musicians who continue to make great music today. My own career never quite took off, but it was Slayer who gave me the balls to get up on stage and try!
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14.12.2016 - 01:01
Bad English
Masterchief
Reading about kerrang, those magazines even Kerrang is not TrOO metal anyway, are paid to write good shit Is say X or Y ms reviver can say better words about music as any mainstream music media magazines and reviews
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I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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