Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year.
This is Slayer’s third and most famous album. Both the title track and “Angel of Death” have just become songs in the metal community, and even a bit outside it, that most people know even just from the first few notes. “Criminally Insane” is another pretty well known track on the album. Dave Lombardo helped to really establish double bass on this album, and Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman perfected their quick, dark riffs, and the way Tom Araya just spits out quick lyrics on tracks like “Necrophobic” is amazing. This is just another album that helped establish so many building blocks in the history of metal.
For me, the most disappointing thing about this album are how, barring three tracks, these songs are all two minutes long, or less. Slayer, both before this album and after it, made songs with just as much intensity, and great parts with more length. It seems they sacrificed length for aggression on these tracks. In addition, I’d be lying if I said the riffs didn’t get repetitive in a lot of places on this album. When this album shines, it really shines, but even on such short tracks, I feel there are more repetitive moments then there really should be.
Favorite Tracks: “Angel of Death,” “Altar of Sacrifice,” “Raining Blood.”
This is a legendary album just for the framework it built, and the influence it had on the future of metal. Not many, if any, bands were doing things like Slayer did in the mid 80’s. The speed, and aggression this album contains make it a treat to listen to, however, I wouldn’t say this is a perfect album, or even their best record. The short, and in my opinion, underdeveloped tracks drag this one down for me. If you haven’t listened to it, there’s no question you should check it out, but even for as legendary of an album as it is, I don’t think this is their best record.