SLAYER - Show No Mercy
Old School!!!!! Released - 1983 (Metal Blade)
Review originally published Feb 7/18
I distinctly remember the first time hearing this release and immediately grasping its importance. Attending an Anvil showcase gig at the El Mocambo in 1983 (at which the members of Iron Maiden attended), somebody in the crowd put Slayer's newly released debut on a ghetto blaster before the gig started. Jaw suitably dropping to my chest I hurriedly rushed over to the table inquiring as to who the hell was making this new racket. The next Saturday I rushed off to the Record Peddler (Toronto's old heavy metal record shop) to buy the album ... and have been following the band ever since.
Time has passed, and in hindsight most people seem to have discounted Show No Mercy as simply being a little step in Slayer's evolution to the kings of thrash. I beg to differ. In my humble opinion, this debut represents the band's second best album ever released (slightly ahead of Hell Awaits and a shade behind the almighty Reign In Blood). Hell, I find that I reach for Show No Mercy the most when in the mood for some Slayer harassment.
Why the love for this release? It's the songs dammit. 'Evil Has No Boundaries', 'The Anti-Christ', 'Die By The Sword', 'The Final Command' and 'Crionics' still resonate today and are amongst Slayer's best. I'd argue that the band thereafter jettisoned the fine art of crafting memorable/catchy tracks in the pursuit of all-out aggression and speed (not that here's anything wrong with that!). Speed metal personified, Show No Mercy raced, sliced and diced like no other at the time ... and still stands as one of the premier speed metal albums of all time. Enjoy and let its wrath unfold!