18 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2004
The first time i heard this album, i felt like i'd been run over by a semi truck, and back then i felt that was a bad thing. But back then i was into "melodic metal" ala Maiden, Priest, and Metallica. After the first listen i promptly hid this album away swearing to never listen to it again.
But recently, after getting into the heavier side of metal with bands like Opeth, In Flames, and most recently Meshuggah i decided to re-visit Reign in Blood. One thing i'll give it credit for is it NEVER loses it's power and punch. I felt just as flattened the last time i heard it as the first time. And that's saying something considering how old this album is and how far metal music has advanced since.
First, what i like about it:
1) The two slow(er) tracks, Angel of Death and Raining Blood are terrific slabs of grade A metal. Awesome riffs throughout. And the two songs combined must have spawned 1000 imitators alone.
2) The unified vision of the albums is astounding. I wouldn't call it a concept album, because that would implicate that RiB is more intelligent than it actually is. But what it is, and what it was meant to be is 29 mins. of the most blistering extreme music every created that would mesmerize teens and scare the bejesus out of parents. And it did it's job incredibly well.
3) Every now and then, when i'm in the mood for the fastest, most aggresive metal possible, no album fits the bill better than Reign in Blood and i seriously doubt any ever will. The only one that comes close is Meshuggah's Destroy Erase Improve.
Now, what i dislike about it:
1) Tracks 2-9 have just as much in common with punk as with metal. Sure, they all sport metal riffs, but the sheer intensity and, for the most part, completely un-melodic-ness of them completely turns me off. Quite often King and Hanneman are just playing the open E string with downstroke/upstroke as fast as possible. And a little more variation would have helped alot. Especially considering that none of tracks 2-9 stand out at all.
2) King and Hanneman can't solo to save their lives. I'm a guitarist myself and most of their solos are nothing more than notes played at complete random and as fast as possible.
3) Araya can't sing either. His screachy voice is more irritating that scary or aggressive. And the way the vocals are arranged it's almost as if he's rapping the lyrics. But even rapping would give it a sense of groove and melodicism, but the vocals have neither and it detracts from the enjoyment alot.
4) The lyrics are so horrible they're laughable. But, to Slayer's credit, not many lyrics would work with this kind of music. But the whole satanic/evil imagery thing may scare parents, uptight Christians, and the weak at heart. But anyone with half a brain realizes how contrived the whole image is. To their credit they are a little more convincing than most of the so called "satanic" metal bands, but not much.
Finally this: As where other metal bands that were kind of in Slayer's ilk come off as cheesy and unoriginal Slayer has always been the real deal. They had one speed, one mindset, one vision, and like AC/DC they stuck to it reguardless of trends. I personally can't listen to Slayer, or RiB very often. I just need more melody in my music, metal or not. But that being said, Slayer are the best at what they do, even if what they do doesn't appeal to 99% of the population.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2003
Slayer's 'Reign In Blood' got all the right elements in it - crunchy guitars, great drum fills (Lombardo is one of the best metal drummers around), a few innovative solos and melodies...but it gets repetitive in places, and the lyrics are really sophomoric (words about satan worship can only go so far before they seem plain dumb).
Highlights - The slow middle riff in Angel of Death, the main verse riff in Postmortem, and the song Raining Blood. Some of the solos are good too, but overall they just seem like random whammy bar, evil-scale noodling compared to other bands. The verse riff in Altar of Sacrifice is kinda cool as well.
Lows - Umm, where's the bass in all the songs? Can I hear some bass please? Also, where's the variety? Example - The song Jesus Saves starts off nicely (almost Black Sabbathesque), but then its the same old fast punk ride cymbal, alternating snare and bass drum rhythm that gets played in like 4 other songs on the album. Don't tell me it's how thrash is supposed to be, cos I've heard *aplenty*. Oh yeah, Tom Araya can't sing. At all. AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!
To sum it up folks: This is an overrated album that was cool 17 years ago, but falls somewhere in the mediocre category today. Better guitar playing? Megadeth's got it. Better song structure? Early Metallica wins hands down. Innovative soloing? Try Pantera. Brutality? How about a million other death metal bands - two of the good ones - Nile, Cryptopsy. Lyrics? Uhh, a 7th grader could pass this test. Next in line please...
on February 13, 2015
Good cd but the case it came in was broken
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2006
Wow Slayer... when i first heard them I didn't really like them that much mostly because I was really into other bands at the time. Wow I made a mistake! Slayer is a very very good band. Yea they might not have the best vocals and they might have guitarist that might be able to be called good, but the thing that makes them so good is that they play like thier lives depend on it. They have a kick a** additude and it really shows in all of thier music. Reign In Blood is called the best thrash album EVER!! Well that's open for debate because there are many other contenders for best thrash album but that's another story.
The album is all played at speeds that will make you arms and legs fall off if tried to be played by anyone other then slayer and the content is quite brutal but there is worse stuff out there then slayer so don't knock off slayer cause of this. My fav songs on this album have to be Criminaly Insane, Angel Of Death, Jesus Saves and Raining Blood (my fav slayer song).
To rap this album up this is a must have for every metal heads collection no if ands or buts. If you really like slayer then check out these other bands you might like them or hate them but that's your choice: Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Overkill and Dio. The part I don't get is how people don't go and buy or listen to music like this anymore everyone is into this new metal and emo and screamo. If you compare any of these bands that I have listed and talked about like Slayer and Iron Maiden to bands like Fall Out Boy, Underoath and Simple Plan... man that's not even a contest. Slayer and crew will blow them out of this world hands down. So jump on to the Slayer fan base you wont be disapointed!
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2005
Slayer fans are great!!! They are some of the most loyal fans in the world. The fact that you will hear people yelling "Slayer" at any metal concert (and at non-metal shows) never gets boring. However, and let's be honest, they are not the end all be all of Metal.
RIB is a good album. Angel of Death and RIB are classic tracks. The rest are ok. However when I read that King and Hanneman are great guitarists, it makes me laugh. They write GREAT evil sounding riffs, but thier solos are an absolute joke. Listen to the Beastie Boy's "No Sleep to Brooklyn" and you hear every single Kerry King solo ever performed. They are all the same.
Lombardo is an absolute animal behind the kit. He by far is the best muscian in the band. If you appreciate good drumming there are not many out there better,
Personally I think Seasons in the Abyss is a better album. It goes deeper than two songs and has more melody and deepness to the tracks.
To all the people giving reviews that bash Metallica for being sell-outs, they are. And yes, it has been about 15 years since they put ourt an album that is worth buying. But who cares, thier first four albums are all amazing and you all sound like a bunch of band wagon riders, riding the "I hate Metallica" bus, when if you were even alive in the 80's you know you bought every Metallica album the day they came out. And yes Master of Puppets is a superior album to Reign in Blood.
In closing, RIB is a good album and it should be in every metal heads collection. However if you are new to Slayer, buy Seasons in the Abyss first. If you like that go back and get RIB and South of Heaven. There is however no denying the influence Slayer has had on the Metal scene and bands that were spawned from thier music.
7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2004
Just looking through my metal collection, trying to decide what to listen to, and I happened upon this acknowledged classic... and I finally decided to sit down and write about what has always bugged me about this album...or at least this particular issue of it, which has held sway in the catalog for many years now.
In violation of Amazon's "review guidelines" (sorry, Amazon, there's no getting around the fact that price is a legitimate factor in an album review) this review has little to do with the music on this album. It has always surprised me that amid all of the raves about this album, it is seldom, if ever, mentioned, what an unbelievable rip-off this issue of it is. It especially surprises me, when you consider how "anti-commercialism" most extreme metal fans profess to be. Who, at the record label, thought it was a reasonable value to issue a 28-minute album with only two insignificant "bonus" tracks that barely get the total playing time to 35 minutes...AND charge full price for it! Does anyone think this is a rip off, or is this album too much of a "sacred cow" in the annals of metal to mention what a lousy value--and what a glaring example of the music industry at it's consumer-screwing worst--this reissue is! If the label is unable to acquire the rights to one of Slayer's previous albums--such as the Haunting the Chapel EP--to pair with RiB, then they need to reduce the price of this album, accordingly, and get rid of these insultingly lame "bonus tracks." This is a classic example of commerce using the "supply and demand theory" as an excuse to screw the consumer: if it weren't such a metal icon, this EP-length "album"--in fact I have several "extreme metal" EP's longer and cheaper (and btw better) than this--would only be about ten bucks...hell, most Van Halen albums are longer than this (even Diver Down--ouch)! Also, shame on the band, to some degree, for allowing this rip-off to be perpetrated on the fans to whom they are supposedly so appreciative.
If you don't already have this album, buy it used, or have someone "burn" it for you. In its current form, it is not worth full price, "classic metal album" or not.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2008
Ok... my preferred genre of metal is mainly melodic death metal/gothic metal/fusion etc, etc, etc. But even then, with all the praise this album gets, I thought at the least I could see why this album gets so much praise. Honestly, I can't. I know you've probably already reached for the "no" button, but hear me out...
The album has some good tracks on it. I've always thought Angel of Death and Raining Blood were pretty cool songs (though far from the best I've heard). The rest of the album seems to be a big mess of interchangeable slop that can't even pass as songs. Jeff and Kerry are decent guitar players. The rest of the band is faceless. Dave Lombardo is ok, but nothing special. Tom Araya.. can't really say anything about him because I can't even hear the bass!! And the lyrics? Nothing more than "oh look at us we're so scary" garbage about killing people and Satan. Wow, pretty scary, guys. Now I see where Cannibal Corpse and Deicide got their inspiration from.
I don't actually think the album is "Bad," per say. But I just don't understand why it's so revered. And I fully promote individual opinions, but how can anyone say this is the best metal album ever?! Death's The Sound of Perseverance, Opeth's Morningrise, and plenty of others surpass it in both musical competence and songwriting overall.
I have yet to hear anyone say they actually enjoy Reign in Blood. It seems most people only like Slayer and this album because of their "br00tal" image and the fact that they never went mainstream like Metallica. I find it extremely hard to hear anyone say "Wow, what a good album!" And it's not just because this album doesn't have melodic hooks like I like in metal... I can usually see past that and enjoy it, or at least respect it. This album.... no. Metallica and Megadeth are far superior to Slayer, both lyrically and musically.
OVerall, not a bad album, but definitely NOT worth the praise it gets. For a much better metal album, I recommend Death's The Sound of Perseverance, which has great musicianship, deep lyrics, sophistication, and intelligence.
Now, let the flaming commence!
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2005
Slayer's Reign in Blood (1986)
Considered the greatest thrash album of all time by many, it is definatly one of the most infamous records ever relesed and to this day it is still revered as a major influence to heavy metal music.
OK, i am going to be fair here, i never really thought that much of Slayer. Reing in Blood is often considered THE thrash album of all time, and i can see the logic behind that argument. I don't really like this, but i am still giving it it's props becuase of the influence it had on many bands, and to play at these speeds does require talent. Personally, i think the greatest thrash album ever is DarkAngle's "Darkness Decends", which boasts considerable greater depth in songwritting and arangment then this, but that is another argument all togeather. First of all, even though this is metal, and it is meant to be brutal, i had a tough time with the lyrics. I thought alot of the lyrics were pretty tastleless and downright miserable, i know that this kind of music deals with violence,death,satan ect, but they are for the most part largly fictional in most cases, but not here. Some of the things in here hit a little too close to home in terms of reality, mainly in the first song, Angle of Death, which was an actual horrible event before it was this "cool metal song". After that, they pretty much go into cartoon satanism and over the top violence which is typical of the gendre. The lyrics are pretty bad, but if the music is good, that can easily be outweighted. Musicaly, this is a little confusing but great once you get it, for one thing, this might be the greatest shred album i'v ever heard. The soloing by King and Hannemen is beyond belife, they don't resemble traditional guitar solos, they are kind of chaotic and all over the place, which is kind of a style all on to their own. The bass is pretty much inaudible, what is the point of Tom even playing bass for these guys if it can't be heard? Toms singing fits the music very well, he really doesn't sing, his style is more like shouting and yelling, kind of like early James Hetfeild. The druming is PHENOMINAL! Lombardo has got to be one of the greatest drummers ever, and this album is proof. Overall, i think it is good if you are into this type of music, and i think that they had something really going here, but i can see it's bad points as well as it's good. There seems to be a trend on this page, there are many reviews saying that this is flawless and unbeatable (which it is not), and others totally bashing it (not giving it the credit it deserves). I tend to stand in the middle of the road of this argument, i can see it's shortcomings, but also can see its strong points.I give this album credit for helping start death metal as well, even though it wasn't the first album to do it (Possessed released SEVEN CHURCHES in 1985, a full year befor this, which was almost like the first death metal album), it still had a major influence on bands like Death,Decide and Obiturary.I think it is kind of ludacris to be calling this thing the greatest metal album ever or whatever title some biased fan gives it, because it is not. I will admit it is good in some respects but i really think it is average overall, it just didn't move me. The songs seem kind of forced and not very well put to gether, depite the musical talent here. After listeing to it, i feel kind of unfufilled, most songs here are under 2 to 4 minutes which equals out to under a half hour at 10 songs, not much bang for your buck.
If you want to get into Slayer, you might as well pick this up because it is regarded as the definative Slayer album. But don't expect this to be that great, it is mostly hyped. I would recomend a much superior "Master of Puppets" over this, for that is much more worth while of you ears and listening pleasure.
on February 28, 2015
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2005
This album is considered by most to be the greatest thrash metal of all time. This isn't even Slayer's best album (HELL AWAITS is their best). It's a good album, but not a great one. First off, it's too short. The average time length of the songs is two to two-and-a-half minutes. The best songs are "Angel Of Death", "Post Mortem", and "Raining Blood". These are the songs that have some meat on their bones. REIGN IN BLOOD is essentially a hardcore punk album with sick lyrics.
Kerry King needs to stop trying to play guitar solos. Running two fingers up & down the neck is not what I call a great lead. Kerry, please let Jeff Hanneman handle all of the lead work. He's much better at it than you are. Jeff Hanneman should be the one with the monthly column in Guitar World magazine. Rick Rubin told Kerry to "make a bunch of noise" when he played on the Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Till Brooklyn". It seems Rubin told Mr. King to do the same thing when it came to his solos on REIGN IN BLOOD. Jeff Hanneman has some pretty good lead parts on "Angel Of Death" & "Reborn". Jeff has not gotten his due as a guitarist and songwriter. He's the Jimmy Page of thrash metal. The songs that he either wrote alone or at least wrote all of the music for are the best ones on the album.
Let's not forget those classic Slayer lyrics. As the story goes, Columbia Records was interested in putting this album out. That is, until they read the lyrics to "Angel Of Death". Columbia thought the song was pro-Nazi, and they told Slayer to take a walk. That's why this album came out on a rap label (Def Jam). The rest of the songs fall in line with typical Slayer themes (Death/Kill/Hell/Satan). It wasn't until 1988's SOUTH OF HEAVEN - when vocalist/bassist Tom Araya got involved in the songwriting process - that Slayer's lyrics started to get smarter.
If you were going to rate the top ten rock drummers to come along in the past twenty-five years, Dave Lombardo would have to be on that list. His playing is outstanding on REIGN IN BLOOD. Dave's fills are amazingly fast.
I know it sounds like I've been knocking this album here. Let me just say that I have enjoyed listening to it over the years. I am a fan of thrash metal. There are some classic guitar riffs on the album. The production is very good and the band sounds tight. Their aggression is virtually unmatched. Plus Slayer is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) live bands in music history. However, I also keep REIGN IN BLOOD in perspective. It is not the greatest thrash metal album of all time. If you want to get the greatest thrash album of all time, check out Dark Angel's DARKNESS DESCENDS.