Two years ago, when Jeff died, I said that Slayer as I knew it is no more. And that is very true. Slayer will never be the same again since Jeff is dead and Dave has left the ship. The only 2 remaining members from the original formula, Tom and Kerry, have decided to carry on this legacy instead of calling it quits.
I must admit I was very surprised by this, I really thought they will realize what the loss of those 2 members meant for Slayer. But I was wrong and here we have the 12th Slayer studio album, called Repentless, released by Nuclear Blast on the 11th of September AS.
I love Slayer. I have carved its name into my skin. I have travelled hundreds of kilometers just to see them play live. And I must say I am not disappointed by this album. While almost every metal head from around the world is outraged by Repentless because it’s not Raining Blood 10, I like it very much. In fact I can say that for me this is one of the best Slayer albums in a very very long time. Of course I am sorry Dave and Jeff are no more but at some point you have to learn how to deal with things and let go of the past. And Slayer did just that.
It’s pretty much obvious they will never be able to release something like Reign in Blood or Seasons In The Abyss again, they don’t have that inspiration anymore. But my question is: Why to release something like that anyway? Times have changed, they are older (and wiser) and they do what they think is best. And they succeed at it.
For the first time since Hell Awaits, we have an intro. A very powerful one, Delusions of Saviour, a crescendo of riffs and midtempo heaviness. When it ends, Repentless kicks in and punches you in the face. 100% pure thrash metal, galopping riffs and speedy drums, harsh voice and catchy lyrics. A perfect song to open the album with.
Repentless is about fast and in your face songs (Repentless, Take Control, Implode and the majestic You Against You) mixed with some slow, atmospheric but very heavy ones. Mid tempo is best used here in Vice, Cast The First Stone, When The Stillness Comes, Chasing Death, Piano Wire and Pride in Prejudice.
Jeff is no more? We have Gary Holt, who handles the guitar duties very well, his duels with Kerry King are kinda awesome. Dave has parted ways? Old time partner (in crime) Paul Bostaph was eager to replace him behind the drum kit and smash its cymbals.
Of all the albums he played on (4), this is the most complex one and I loooove the way he kicks those drums. Huge sound, great double bass and speed. Lots of it. Bostaph is amazing behind his drum kit, beating the shit out of those fuckers. Beautiful work of art for a very talented and somehow underrated musician.
Tom Araya barks as he always did and spews the words full of hatred and contempt towards society, religion and human race. His voice is perfect, it fits as a glove with the style and with the music.
The common denominator here is aggression, heavyness and in your face metal. Thrash metal or not, it has the Slayer tradmark all over it. I’m pretty sure Jeff would have been proud to see how the guys managed without him. They have released one of their most solid works until now and I’m extremely happy they have found the perfect combination to continue this legendary legacy.
“We shall be victorious
Attack – continue – never
Tom Araya – Bass, Vocals
Kerry King – Guitars
Gary Holt – Guitars
Paul Bostaph -Drums
1. Delusions of Saviour
3. Take Control
5. Cast The First Stone
6. When The Stillness Comes
7. Chasing Death
9. Piano Wire
12.You Against You
13.Pride In Prejudice
Review made for the Limited Edition Deluxe box set (exclusive Picture LP, digipack CD/Blu Ray, DVD Live Wacken 2014, Live audio CD Wacken 2014, Poster, photo cards with printed autographs).