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Release Date: September 11, 2015
“Violence” and “aggression” are two words that have always been associated with thrash metal gods Slayer. For over thirty years Slayer has been leading the charge as one of the pioneers of the most aggressive thrash metal music in history. Beginning with their 1983 debut album HAUNTING THE CHAPEL the LA based quartet have produced some iconic albums that have withstood the test of time and has defined a whole genre of music.
With the untimely passing of original member Jeff Hanneman and thirty plus years of head banging it could be easily deduced that Slayer is irrelevant or non-existent, but nothing could be further from this assumption. Slayer is alive and well and they are here to stay. On Sept 11, 2015 the band released their long anticipated twelfth CD REPENTLESS and maybe it should have been more aptly titled “relentless” because this album does not let up for one second. After the introduction track “Delusions of a Savior” the album quickly kicks into high gear with “Repentless”. From this moment on the CD continues at break neck speed and highlights some key tracks like “Vices” which is a call to violence as the chorus goes, “A little violence is the ultimate drug, so let’s get high!” and the song “Implode” which was originally released via Rolling Stone in 2014. "Chasing Death” is a song about alcoholism and the perils related to it (guitarist Jeff Hanneman died of alcohol related cirrhosis of the liver). The album wraps up with “Pride In Prejudice” which is classic Slayer to the core.
REPENTLESS is a solid Slayer album musically and lyrically from start to finish. Missing from the album is obviously Jeff Hanneman but (Exodus guitarist) Gary Holt has done an excellent job filling his shoes keeping true to the true Slayer sound. A couple disappointing aspects of the album the missing drum tracks of Dave Lombardo and Tom Araya’s voice. Drummer Paul Bostaph does a great job replacing Lombardo but Dave has a sound that is unique and totally compliments the speed of the music that makes Slayer the band they are. Unfortunately Araya’s vocals are inconsistent as he sounds like he is straining at times and some other times he is spot on. All in all this CD is not going to break any new ground for the band, but it will certainly appease the rabid fan base that has loyally followed them for over three decades.
Reviewed by Jeff 1340