on March 4, 2000
To imagine the metal scene today if "Reign In Blood" had never been released, is impossible for me. This album is beyond any of my compliments. Every credible metal band today has cited this epic album as a major influence; and if they said otherwise, they'd just be lying. To be a metalhead and NOT own this album is a sin in itself. This album not only demolished and rebuilt new metal standards, "Reign in Blood" combined those Metallica-esque chugging riffs and completely off the wall, unorthodox guitar solos, and exposed them to a huge crowd that didn't know what to think at first (they obviously caught on in no time). Althought Kerry King's and Jeff Hanneman's guitar solos aren't the most musical and intelligible ones in the world, they are ALL about aggression, which is certainly what classic Slayer is all about. Even with so many excellent guitar players surfacing in modern metal, King and Hanneman's unmatched rhythm chops on this album continue to turn heads today. And although Tom Araya does no real "singing" on the CD, his screaming fits the music perfectly. From that legendary first scream of the infamous "Angel of Death", to the last growls of the epic, "Raining Blood", Tom's vocals are one of the most aggressive things about this album. But of course, what would Slayer be without that madman behind the drum set? Even today, in a world of black metal and death metal perfectionist drummers, Dave Lombardo is a thrash drumming god. Throughout the entire album, the drums are fast and pounding, never giving your ears a chance to "take a break" or "rest"; there's no such thing. Slayer never tries to mix it up with a soft breakdown or interlude either. The consistent brutality of this album is what makes it so epic, even today. If you're a relatively old Slayer fan, you probably shouldn't be reading this, because chances are, you already own it, and have owned for a long time. But if you're new to Slayer, starting with this album is a must. This is not one of those albums that is just a "good for it's era" recording. This epic blaze of an album would thrash just as much if it was released today.
on December 13, 2003
If anyone, Slayer has to be, undoubtedly the definitive band in thrash metal. From the years of 1983, when such bands as Metallica and Queensrÿche also debuted, Slayer, unlike the other bands, is still making good music (just pick up either Metallica's "St. Anger" or Queensrÿche's "Tribe" and you will see how their music has changed). Reign In Blood is an example and a history lesson of what may be Slayer's best album ever. Every song is non-stop aggressive, upbeat and mean thrash metal at it's best. From the onslaught of the dual guitars to the pounding of the double kick drum, this one is great.
This recent fall, I saw Slayer in concert at the Mid Hudson Civic Center, and they hold together live faster and better than many bands wish they could. Not only did they come up with a 2-hour set, but after about the first 8-10 songs, Slayer's finale was, well, Reign In Blood. They played the entire album from start to finish, from Angel Of Death to Raining Blood, all in order. Damn, I guess that means that they like this album a little bit too. Well anyway here's the breakdown of it all.
Angel Of Death - To be brief, this is the best Slayer song ever, no kidding. You just can't get any better than this song. It is not only hyper fast but has a sick breakdown in it too.
Piece By Piece - It's a two minuter. Not bad by any means, in fact it's all well rounded song. This also has one of those good old breakdowns.
Necrophobic - This song wasn't as good as Angel Of Death, but hey, not really any of them are. But it's the general sound of the album here still. Fast and thrash.
Altar Of Sacrifice - This is one mean song. I love how Kerry and Jeff just abuse the whammy bar beyond belief! It's got a slow and heavy bridge. It bleeds right into the next song. 'Kin great.
Jesus Saves - This was the first song on the album where you realize that it doesn't start off at 100 miles per hour. But things change quickly and it picks up in the first minute. Also a killer.
Criminally Insane - You really get a taste of what Tom Araya loves to write his lyrics about. It's a slow song compared to the rest but it's also one of the best. Since it's slow it's pretty heavy.
Reborn - This is about the only moderate song on the album. It's pretty good but nothing spectacular.
Epidemic - It kicks off with one of those signature Slayer drum rolls. Pretty fast like, everything and well yeah it's good.
Postmortem - This song sounds like it's way out of it's time, like some band wrote it only a couple years ago. I wonder what people thought in 1986 when a song like this was around. Another one that bleeds right into the next...
RAINING BLOOD - This is Slayer's meanest, crudest, songs of destruction and violence ever!! You have to listen to it to understand. From the intro to the main killing riff to the, whole song it's just one of the best.
The absolute best songs on the album are Angel Of Death and Raining Blood. This album is home to two of Slayer's best songs to date, with the rest of the album rocking more probably than any other Slayer release.
on May 25, 2005
Not much can be said about this album that hasn't already been said. Thus, I will try to write this review without sounding cliche. But mind you, if you've already read reviews for this album, then you already know how great it is, so what are you reading my review for?
Slayer weren't the first thrash-metal band to ever exist (that credit goes to Motorhead, Metal Church and Metallica), but they might as well have been. Tom Araya, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman, and Dave Lombardo are the godfathers of thrash and extreme metal; they are to thrash as Bob Marley is to reggae and Ministry is to industrial. Slayer almost single-handedly popularized the genre and set the standard for what it should be like. Slayer is as important to heavy metal as any other band, and "Reign in Blood" is equally as influential and innovative as Metallica's "Master of Puppets" and Pantera's "Vulgar Display of Power."
Even though Slayer didn't give birth to thrash-metal, I do think their 1983 debut "Show No Mercy" popularized extreme/death metal. The bands Venom (a Slayer influence) and Death came along before Slayer, but I think of Venom as black metal, not extreme; and I believe Death are only thought of as the creators of death metal because of their name. The fact is, (at the time) nobody made music as fast, heavy, and extreme as Slayer. Slayer are the inspiration for (probably) 90% of all speed/thrash/death/extreme metal bands, including two other influential death metal bands from the 1980's, Sepultura and Morbid Angel.
No one does what Slayer do better than them, and this album proves it. Everything about "Reign in Blood" screams that this album is a pure, unadulterated masterpiece that has definitely withstood the test of time. It is full to the brim with explosive, rocket fast beats and tempos, propulsive riffs that fly by like lightning, scorching solos, insane drum work, and eerie, tortured screams. And it never lets up. Throughout these eleven tracks (or twelve, if you buy the remastered version) and 28 minutes of music, the massive onslaught only slows down for a few seconds, before picking up where it left off.
Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman won't go down as the all time best guitar soloists, but they do play precise guitar riffs at a speed that makes other guitarists want to chop their hands off in frustration. And, their solos may not be much more than a bunch of random notes played as fast as possible, but I've never heard solos that are as wild or blistering as Kerry King's. Furthermore, Dave Lombardo's drum work and Tom Araya's vocals are also super fast. With guitar riffs this fast, Dave and Tom sometimes fall behind, and have to play "catch up." The drum work is (obviously) very talented and Tom's words are so speedy, they sometimes sound like gibberish.
Since almost every second of every song is as fast as the one before it (and this album has only one tempo and mood), it is sometimes difficult to discern where one track ends and another begins. You're just not metal if you don't know the song "Angel of Death." As an album opener, it sets the bar high, and is also a good representation of the album as a whole. Slayer waste no time getting to the good stuff: "Angel of Death" shoots out of the starting gate; within three seconds, Slayer are waist-deep in blindingly fast riffs. This riff remains throughout the song, and five (count `em, five!) blistering, trademark guitar solos are also included. This song has brutal lyrics (which are about the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, and Dr. Mengele torturing and killing Jews in a variety of ways) and fitting, equally as brutal music."Necrophobic" begins as fast as any other song on here, but it gradually slows down. It does pick up where it left off, however, before two wild solos."Jesus Saves" seems like a continuation of track four, "Altar of Sacrafice." It starts out fast, and from there it only gets faster (ending with a rocket fast beat and riffs). Similarly, "Raining Blood" has fast chugging riffs, then a tempo change kicks in and makes the riffs even faster. The drums on this song give the beat a "boom boom" sound.
With so much hype surrounding it, I, initially, didn't like "Reign in Blood" as much as everyone else. Luckily, it took me only a little bit of time to believe the hype about this C.D. and become addicted to it. I am so addicted to it, it has become worn out (the bottom has been worn off, because I almost always press the PLAY button again when the C.D. is over). Even if you don't like this C.D., or don't like this type of music, you should still give Slayer props for making an album that's as fast, extreme, and influential as this one.
In conclusion, (as aforementioned) there isn't much that can be said about this C.D. that hasn't already been said, because metalheads all around the world know how great it is. "RiB" is simply a standard-setting and genre defining album. If there ever was a landmark/milestone album, this is it. Oh, and in case I forgot to mention..."Reign in Blood" is also, hands down, the finest thrash-metal album to ever be known to man. (Note, however, that I consider Sepultura's "Beneath the Remains" to be death metal.) The bottom line is no heavy metal collection is complete without this C.D. If you're a metalhead, you should already own this C.D. (and you should have listened to it at least a dozen times by now). And if you're new to metal, you definitely need to make this one of your next purchases. Also, if you're new to metal, I have three words of advice for you: believe the hype!
on June 1, 2003
This CD changed the landscape when it came out.
Thrash/Metal had been, at that point, "evolving" into long overly complex songs with lots of guitar solos. That's not to say some of those records aren't great but when I originally got this on vinyl I couldn't believe how raw and stripped down the whole thing was. Clocking in at just over 25 minutes Reign in Blood is rage, pure and simple.
There's nothing subtle about this record, it's just fury. To this day there's no other record that gives me the same adrenalin hit as this! There's no selling out and playing longer/slower songs, every song is fast almost the entire way through and the lyrics are more of the same. Araya never sounded better...screaming, cursing and blasting away at subjects from organized religion, serial killing, canabalism and Auschwitz. The lyrics of this LP were so intense that there original label dropped them rather than release it...thank Rick Rubin of Def Jam for saving this masterpiece and making it available to us all.
The cassette was the only full length LP I had that fit the entire record on both sides of the tape.
In closing, this is possibly the most important record of the 80's. It sums up how I felt and changed my life (I heard this in 6th grade....) I hope you enjoy it too.
on November 25, 1999
Slayer first burst onto the metal scene with Show No Mercy. This album showcased their songwriting talents(Die by the Sword, Black Magic) but overall was just mediocre, their follow-up(the "Hell" album) offered much of the same. It wasn't until their third album that Slayer found the perfect formula for their type of music. It is called Reign in Blood.
Reign in Blood offers furiously fast & extremely dark music. Slayer's trademark barbaric chord progressions are still present(Angel of Death, Piece by Piece, Necrophobic, Reborn & Raining Blood) but the songwriting overall is much better. Jeff Hanneman finally matures as a writer & Kerry King contribtes his doomsday lyrics & bezerko solos as if he's in Hell himself. Tom Araya's vocals & Tom Lombardo's brilliant technical drumming add the finishing touches to this masterpiece.
Although this album is not musically complex in an extreme sense(why should thrash be anyway), there are enough meter changes, ambitious chord progressions & good to great song structures to make this a timeless classic for the genre it represents. This album has no weak spots. It contains the right mix of classic & transition songs to make it, arugably, the greatest thrash recording ever.
Bottom line: if you love dark, atmospheric metal, buy this now. Or if you're just looking for pummeling no mercy music, this will also do the trick.
Every track is good, but the ones to watch out for are Angel of Death, Necrophobic, Jesus Saves, Reborn, Epidemic, Postmortem & Raining Blood.
Chris Raye of Classic Albums Magazine
on May 9, 2000
While some may say otherwise I personally feel the opening to Raining Blood is probably the most played by local bands the world over. Its no surprise either, Reign in Blood stands far above all others as the most extreme metal album ever created. The mindblowing speed kicks in from the first second of the album for gods sake, no time at all for rest. Sure Jesus Saves has a short little break at its start but then it gets so fast and brutal it starts to hurt. On it goes until it ends with THE greatest song ever recorded, Raining Blood. Some may dismiss this album as two dimensional with no real weight behind the songs. These people obviously are not Slayer fans, a band whose situation always has been that you either love em to death or just don't get it. If you like metal then you should buy this, though chances are you already have it somewhere (I won't say collecting dust, i've had this thing for years and its never gone out of rotation for more then three days). This is, simply enough, the greatest metal album of all time
on August 31, 2014
There is really not a whole lot about this timeless work of revolutionary thrash metal greatness that I can say that has not already been said. After all, this album is indeed considered to be one of the most influential metal albums since the '80s. It brought about a new level of extremity and controversy to the genre, relative to what else was being released during its time.
So, straight into it. I very much agree that it just is not right to call yourself a metalhead and not have this album in your collection. Like another reviewer said, it is really hard to imagine what the metal scene would be like, had this album never been released. Certainly, we would not have awesome bands like Death, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, etc. That, however, is a different story altogether. To get more into it, even though most of the songs are quite short, relative to the standards of song-lengths for quality metal, Slayer demonstrate the epitome of their musicianship abilities at every level with this album on every single song. Tom Araya spits out the words to every song with sheer abrasiveness and edge, all while shredding the living daylights out of his bass. Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman (R.I.P.) keep the tight riffs and mean solos going every step of the way. Dave Lombardo, meanwhile, just beats those drums within an inch of their lives, living up to his well-deserved title as the "godfather of double-bass drum." Seriously, if I didn't know any better, I would think that a thunderstorm as approaching upon hearing him do a solo! \M/\M/
All in all, this album is a true thrash metal masterpiece, and I think it makes no sense at all to consider yourself a metalhead and not have this album in your collection. Not only that, but, like I said before, this album marks a relevant moment in the history of heavy metal music itself. It stands a revolutionary effort that, for its time, gave a whole new meaning to what it meant to be heavy and extreme, and not to mention a new level of controversy. When you get right down to it, this album is simply beyond any of my highest compliments of any extreme metal album, and I encourage any metalhead who does not own it to pick it up without delay! Just buy it already!
Also, may Jeff Hanneman (Jan 31, 1964 - May 2, 2013) be forever honored in his legacy by the eternal spirit of the metal community. He was a truly great musician, and an overall awesome person. Keep on rockin' for eternity, Jeff! You deserve it, and we will always remember you! \m/\m/
LONG LIVE THE ALMIGHTY SLAYER!!! LONG LIVE THRASH METAL FOREVER!!! \M/\M/
on January 25, 2002
Hands down, this is the best album to come out of the thrash genre of the late 80's.
Some may complain that it's only 30 minutes long, but really, this CD contains a good 2 hours worth of great riffs; they're just played so fast and furiously that it clocks in at a half hour.
This was Rick Rubin's first production with the band, and just by listening to their previous recordings, you can tell how much he was able to harness their sound into a manic fury. Where the earlier records suffer from that echoey, early 80's generic metal production, Rubin whacks everything up front and center. The sound is crystal clear and uncluttered. No gimmicks here,just in your face raging guitars and manic drumming. Tom Araya sounds like he's practically bellowing in your ear. Reign In Blood is bookended by 2 of Slayer's greatest songs: Angel Of Death (featuring Dave Lombardo's astonishing double foot pedal drum break) and Raining Blood, which has one of the most neck-snapping riffs ever. The guitar solos are typical Slayer noisefests, but fit perfectly with the mania of the music. Most of the time it feels like the songs are going to careen out of control into noise, but the band always harnesses it back in in the nick of time with a great bludgening riff or a blinding drum break.
Warning :This is not for the faint of heart. The lyrics would probably kill Tipper Gore before she was 5 minutes into it. If you are easily offended, stick with some happy metal band like Bon Jovi or something. Otherwise, pick this up, and move the furniture out of the way. You may need some room before it's all over.
on July 15, 2003
First, I would give this album INFINITE stars if they were available because unless you already know, you truly do not know how completely vicious and destructive this album truly is. When I first heard of Slayer, I was in 6th grade. A Catholic school kid who had recently gotten into metal (thank you Anthrax), I was still impressionable and due to the climate of the day, very fearful of "satanic" music. As I got into more like Iron Maiden, King Diamond, and The Misfits, I let my guard down and upon hearing "South Of Heaven", I started to become a Slayer fan. By summer of 1989, I was no longer intimidated by the "evils of heavy metal". I was ready to buy "Reign In Blood".
I got home with my copy of "Reign In Blood" and headed directly for the garage, broke out my launch ramp and blasted the newly purchased cassette on my radio. The following ten songs were life-changing, each one more brutal than the last. By the time it was over, my friends and I were forever changed. We had found the most brutal recording we had ever heard to date. It was more engaging than anything before or since.
Musically, in today's world, many a band has gone on to write albums that were more technical, heavy, etc. but at the end of the day, Slayer has still achieved the accomplishment of a lifetime in "Reign In Blood". No other band has garnered the kind of crowd response that Slayer has and I seriously doubt any band has ever come close. Maaaaaaybe Pantera...but i doubt it. Opening bands were booed off stage and had things thrown at them. Pits were more violent than any ever saw or has seen since. I even heard stories of people diving from the balconies multiple times and (my personal favorite-supposedly happened right here in Chicago) a die-hard fan who hung upside down from the balcony of the Aragon Ballroom in the shape of an inverted cross and screamed SLAYER. Disturbed, Staind, Slipknot, etc. will NEVER see that kind of fierce loyalty EVER. "Reign In Blood" is the album responsible for it all.
Today; in 2003, "Reign In Blood" still ranks as one of my 5 favorite albums (metal and other) ever made. The pure evil that spews from every second of that recording puts a smile on my face and still sends chills down my spine like no other record. I could be told right that I'm going straight to hell and as long as they are playing Slayer downstairs, I'll accept my fate with a smile. It is truly that good.
on August 3, 2000
First of all, let me get something out of the way - "Reign in Blood" is the best thrash metal album ever recorded, and it is truly godly. Metal fans already have it, so if you are reading this review, you probably have never heard it.
Thrash music is aggressive, heavy, and most of all it's FAST. Slayer's guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman deliver a phenomenal performance throughout this short but priceless album. Fast picking and amazing solos delivered by the two guitarists are Slayer's trademark, and this is the peak of their song writing, where they combine good song writing with aggressive, and almost sadistic guitar riffs. Tom Araya's vocals make this record very intense, as he spits out lyrics at unbelievably high speeds at some points (Necrophobic). Speaking of the lyrics, they make this album 100% aggressive. This album's lyrics and songs weren't written for the weak.
Slayer are one of the most recognized bands in the metal world. "Reign in Blood" is the album that catapulted them into stardom, and when hearing this album most people will understand why. If you are looking for an introduction to thrash metal, you must get this CD to hear one of (if not) the best thrash album ever compiled.