Spin (p.78) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] paint-peeling speed-metal classic."
Spin (p.104) - "[T]his is the thrashiest thrash ever."
Q (7/01, p.91) - Included in Q's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time".
Q (8/00, p.127) - Included in Q's "Best Metal Albums Of All Time" - "Officially the heaviest album ever made....displaying an overwhelming preoccupation with death and Satan..."
Slayer: Tom Araya (vocals, bass); Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman (guitar); Dave Lombardo (drums).
Slayer's major-label debut remains one of the most brutal metal albums ever recorded, uncompromising in its extremes; ironically, it's their mainstream breakthrough release. Infusing its thrash sound with a hardcore punk influence, the cacophonous quartet shifts from supernatural terror to real-life horrors with shorter songs such as "Necrophobic" and "Postmortem." The change is most notable on the gruesome depiction of Nazi butcher Josef Mengele on the frenzied epic "Angel of Death." Only the apocalyptic closing number, "Raining Blood," hearkens back to the semi-melodic Slayer style from Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits. Throughout its short running time (28 minutes, an EP even by '80s standards), the Rick Rubin-produced Reign in Blood unleashes a malevolent maelstrom of sound. Propelled by Dave Lombardo's pummeling percussion, Jeff Hanneman, and Kerry King let loose their roaring guitars, often trading leads in their unorthodox, wailing style, while bassist Tom Araya barks and shrieks the lyrics with maniacal glee. Slayer is one of the few metal bands that genuinely sounds evil, and with Reign in Blood, it would inspire a legion of thrash and death metal followers eager to join the horror show.
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