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Album Review: Slayer

BY ERIC ANDERSEN | NOVEMBER 03, 2009 7:20 AM

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Slayer: World Painted Blood
**** 1/2 out of *****

Slayer is the AC/DC of extreme metal.

The group is defined by its repetitious combination of violent vocals, speedy riffs, and chaotic solos.

While its last two records, God Hates Us All and Christ Illusion, had a few high points, both ultimately felt as if the band were playing metal by numbers.

Which is why World Painted Blood, the newest addition to the band’s catalogue, is an unexpected kick in the nuts. The album is on par with Slayer’s ’80s thrash-metal trifecta Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, and Seasons in the Abyss.

Rather than playing 200 beats per minute throughout the entire album, Slayer intersperses slow sections and vicious melodies into the mix that allow listeners breathing room. The band’s slower tracks always sound more ominous than the fast ones anyway.

For dudes in their mid- to late-40s, the metal maniacs still manage to sound pissed off from the start.

The title track is one of the fiercest tunes of the band’s career, not to mention the longest on the album, reaching almost the six-minute mark.

Around two minutes into “World Painted Blood,” longtime guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman deliver a groove-laden riff-fest as vocalist/bassist Tom Araya sings, “God send death / watch it bleed / justified manufactured lives / born in hell / angels fall / wings on fire crucified / terrorizing man / burn the world.” Dave Lombardo tops it all off with some impressive drum work, proving he is still one of the best players in history.

Araya’s vocal performances are so evil on “Snuff,” “Public Display of Dismemberment,” and “Not of This God” that it’s possible to forget the man is really a Christian singing about Satanism, serial killers, and chemical warfare.

King and Hanneman are the primary songwriters in the band and evenly spread the writing throughout the disc.

Both guitarists manage to play tons of impressive harmonies — most notably at the end of the three-minute “Snuff,” which sounds like it could have been written during the Reign in Blood days of the band because of its in-your-face intensity.

Strangely enough, the weaker moments on the album come from two tracks the band first released online, “Psychopathy Red” and “Hate Worldwide,” which are full of generic sounds that fail to provide anything worth remembering.

On World Painted Blood, Slayer continues to spread its message of evil to the masses and manages to stay relevant in the new age of metal. The music provides the ultimate middle finger to mainstream society and will get metal fans new and old head-banging once again.


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