From page 57 of Classic Rock Magazine November 2006
SIX OF THE BEST FROM SLAYER.
Show No Mercy Metal Blade, 1983
A strong case can be made for the claim that this was when thrash was born. As much influenced by American punks like Black Flag as by Venom and Motörhead, the youthful Slayer more than made up for any lack of technique and experience with a baseline energy that still amazes. There’s also a brutality that took Venom’s blueprint to greater extremes. Standout track: Die By The Sword
Hell Awaits Metal Blade, 1985 The opening mantra of ‘join us, join us’ almost acts as an incitement to violence and mania, as Slayer truly found their groove and style. The standard of playing is formidable, while there’s no lack of vibrancy. Arguably Slayer’s darkest album, it spoke of monsters, both real and imagined. This record proved the foursome were leaders in their own right, and not dogged by Metallica’s shadow.
Standout track: At Dawn They Sleep
Reign In Blood American Recordings, 1986 Quite simply, the ultimate thrash album. Nothing even comes close. The moment when the genre found its focus, with a set of tracks that burst out of the speakers. What makes this a classic? The musicianship’s world class, while the songs are so damn melodic. And there’s a fire here that the years have only made more incendiary. Just 27 minutes long – but every second’s used to the max.
Standout track: Angel Of Death
Seasons In The Abyss American Recordings, 1990 After the comparative disappointment of 1988’s South Of Heaven, Slayer realised that the best way to get away from unfavourable comparisons to Reign In Blood was do what they wanted – and hang the consequences. This is a more rounded, almost progressive metal record, with a subtlety that might not be immediately obvious, but does reward those who dig beneath the surface. Slayer were, ulp, maturing.
Standout track: War Ensemble
God Hates Us All American Recordings, 2001
If Slayer drifted a little during the 90s, then there was a regeneration as they marched into the 21st century. Producer Matt Hyde gave them a modern, yet heavy sound, and there was a belief that Slayer had something to say again, as they took on organised religion and politics, sparing nobody from a suitably spiked rod. God may have hated this, but a new generation of metalheads learned to love Slayer. Standout track: Bloodline
Christ Illusion American Recordings, 2006 For the first time in over 15 years, the original Slayer line-up – King, Hanneman, Araya and Lombardo – got back into the studio, and delivered possibly their best album since Reign In Blood. While a new generation of American metal bands were busy taking their legacy in fresh directions, the masters themselves showed they’re as relevant today as 20 years ago, with tracks that combined invective with invention. This is what we want from true metal giants.
Standout track: Eyes Of The Insane