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SLAYER - Discography Review

In our discography reviews we will rank all full length studio albums from important heavy metal and hard rock bands from best to worst ... with accompanying rationale and scores, of course. This time we review - SLAYER!

1. Reign In Blood (1986)

The heavyweight champion of thrash metal records, likely never to be toppled. Rick Rubin perfectly captures the juggernaut that is Slayer over 29 minutes of pure, unadulterated excess. Intense from first note to last, but also every track as memorable as the next. Perfection. (10)

2. Show No Mercy (1983)

Often overlooked, this debut is an early speed metal masterpiece that introduces the world to the genius of the band. Each song a well crafted gem, the Hanneman/King guitar solos on this are the best they ever put to tape. (10)

3. Hell Awaits (1985)

Switching gears from speed/thrash to pure thrash, Slayer extended the songs on this sophomore full length, creating a punishing experience. Complex and unrelenting, the band was truly spreading their evil wings, testing the boundaries of extreme music. (10)

4. South Of Heaven (1988)

Punished for not being Reign In Blood II, the follow-up to the thrash masterpiece is always going to be unfairly maligned. However, strip away expectations and what you are left with is another brave record from the band. Introducing mid-tempo tracks to bring diversity works remarkably well here (refer 'Mandatory Suicide', 'Behind the Crooked Cross', 'Spill The Blood' and the title track) . (9)

5. Seasons in The Abyss (1990)

Perceived by most as a correction from the South Of Heaven misstep, I see this in a slightly different light. Rather, I interpret this simply as a South Of Heaven II. Yes, the outright thrashers are superior ('War Ensemble', 'Spirit in Black', 'Hallowed Point' and 'Born Of Fire'), but the mid-paced, atmospheric tracks pale in comparison (refer 'Dead Skin Mask', 'Skeletons Of Society' and the title track). (8)

6. World Painted Blood (2009)

The Slayer beast immediately grab the listener by the nether regions with the title track/'Unit 731'/'Snuff' opening trifecta. Then you also get 'Hate Worldwide', 'Public Display Of Dismemberment' and 'Psycopathy Red' for your intense listening pleasure. A return to form. (8)

7. Undisputed Attitude (1996)Yeah, it's mostly a covers album, but, man, playing some hardcore punk brought the excitement and intensity back to a Slayer camp that was starting to list. (8)

8. Repentless (2015)

The lone record without Hanneman finds Slayer in fine form. There are a few strong thrashers ('Take Control', 'Implode' and 'Atrocity Vendor'), along with the beyond classic title track, but, really, what stands out is that the band sounds focused ... and pissed. (7.5)

9. Divine Intervention (1994)

Slayer settle into their comfort zone here, content to mix mid-tempo stomps with their trademark thrashers. And the thrashers were damn intense. Check out 'Sex Murder Art', 'Dittohead' and 'Mind Control'. Yowsa. (7)

10. Christ Illusion (2006)

Slayer albums live and die on the number and quality of speedy thrashers they contain. In this case, the number and quality are in short supply. (6.5)

11. God Hates Us All (2001)

'Disciple' and 'Payback'. Nothing much else of note. However, luckily for us Slayer don't make outright bad albums. Or do they? (6)

12. Diabolus in Musica (1998)

Nah - this doesn't suck as some may suggest. Similar to God Hates Us All, the highlights are limited ('Bitter Peace' and 'Stain Of Mind'), but here the band does experiment a little ... but with limited success. (6)

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