Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Slayer's "World Painted Blood": BLOODY SATISFYING!

Rating: 4/5

Listening to Slayer’s 1986 Thrash Metal classic “Reign In Blood” for the first time is like a baptism for metal fans (Well…a baptism in blood, of course). It’s a rite of passage for anyone and everyone that considers themselves to be a true metal head. If Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” is the Godfather Pt. II of Metal, Reign In Blood is Apocalypse Now; brutal, bloody and horrifying. Produced by the legendary Rick Rubin, Reign in Blood was truly one of a kind upon its release, faster, darker and uglier than anything metal had to offer before them, and basically gave birth to the genre of death metal.

Fast forward to 2009, and metal is quite a different genre. But while there may be bands out there faster and heavier than Slayer, nobody does dark, evil, blistering heavy metal insanity quite like Slayer. I guess it’s the difference between the teacher and the student. Other metal frontmen may have learned how to screech out an ear-shattering scream with ease, but Tom Araya really sounds like he’s singing while being burned alive in the pits of hell.

Slayer do an incredible job of creating the illusion that they aren’t faking it, even though they’re in their mid-40’s and probably take showers with water in the morning, rather than blood. Hard to believe, right? One might even assume that after over 25 years of singing about blood, murder, dismemberment, the evils of religion, and necrophilia, perhaps Slayer might want to branch out a bit, and maybe touch on a few fresh topics this time around. Well, how does snuff films, burying dead bodies, human sacrifice and American Imperialism sound?

It sounds fucking amazing, actually. Slayer’s new album, “World Painted Blood” begins with the title track, a song that absolutely shreds through anything anyone else is doing in heavy music right now. Everything is a ten, including the production, which puts everything right in your face (an acquired taste perhaps, but I’m digging it). The third track, gloriously titled “Snuff,” is what Slayer does best; pure sonic chaos and terror. The song surges forward from the very beginning; lightening fast drums, mindboggling guitar work from Jeff Hanneman and the great Kerry King, and evil vocal work from Mr. Araya, who at one point shouts maniacally “Action, torture misery/Endless suffering/Torment, agony/Captured for eternity/Action/You’re the main attraction!” And Slayer do a great job of incorporating elements of not only the lightening fast Reign in Blood, but many of their slower, wonderfully eerie moments, exemplified best on their other indisputable classic, “Seasons in the Abyss.” The masterful “Beauty Through Order” and the beyond creepy “Playing With Dolls,” even hint at out-and-out melody, before being swallowed whole by pummeling double bass and scorching guitar mayhem.

Seriously people, this is some of the best metal money can buy. If you like metal, and especially if you like Slayer, World Painted Blood is beyond satisfying; it’s better than their last two albums, and may even stand up with some of their best work. Sure Slayer’s been on this same shit for 25 years now, but who cares? The question is not when Slayer’s going to grow out of this nonsense; it’s when people like me will.

And the answer to that is definitely…NEVER.

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