Slayer - Reign in Blood (1986) (1 Viewer)

MacDara

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I'm waiting for two separate arrivals at the front door, neither of whom will likely ring the bell, so I can't use my cans to listen, but I've spent hours and hours in the past with this album, and I'll go by that experience for now.

This is my first Slayer album, though I'm sure I caught the video for 'Seasons in the Abyss' on TV beforehand. This would have been sometime around '96, maybe '97, I picked up the CD in Tower when I was getting into heavier metal after classic Metallica (friend at school gave me tapes of Ride the Lightning and ...And Justice for All). I was trying out a lot around that time, I remember having a tape of Napalm Death's Scum and Cannibal Corpse's The Bleeding. So it should say something that Reign in Blood, recorded before them, still had such impact a decade after it was made.

And I think the reason it works so well is that it's not pure metal, it's cut with a huge amount of hardcore but not in the same way that 'crossover' bands were doing it in the mid '80s. By most if not all accounts that's down to Jeff Hanneman, who got the spirit of hardcore's aggressive sound and applied it to thrash seamlessly, unlocking its ferocity. All the elements of what was then the burgeoning thrash genre are there - the speed, the catchy driving riffs, the solos - but Hanneman's influence brought more dissonance to the distortion and overdrive. I mean, those duelling solos on 'Angel of Death'! That was 30 years ago and no one has done better than that. That's a fact.

It's a perfect opening track, too, because it set up fans of previous Slayer, who were already primed by the hardcore-inflected speed and rhythm of Hell Awaits, for an even punkier sound. It's an epic thrash metal track (none more metal than Tom Araya's scream at the beginning) that leads straight into a bunch of short sharp shocks - congratulations hesher, you're a punk now too!

Is it the start of death metal, too? It feels like it to me, even though I've read that there were bigger touchstones like Possessed and Venom and Celtic Frost and whatnot. But I feel like there's a direct line between the overt EC Comics imagery of these songs and the grotesqueries that would start churning out of Morrisound just a couple of years later.
 

pete

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I was just thinking about the morrisound effect this morning and how reign in blood sounds so much rawer and realer than all that stuff - it almost feels like it was done in one take.
 

MacDara

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I was just thinking about the morrisound effect this morning and how reign in blood sounds so much rawer and realer than all that stuff - it almost feels like it was done in one take.
Yep, it's raw as anything but recorded so well, that's part of why it's so timeless. Have to give props to Rick Rubin for his production job here.

Also, speaking of Rubin, this album was originally released on Def Jam! What a mindfuck that must have been at the time.
 

rettucs

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Also, speaking of Rubin, this album was originally released on Def Jam! What a mindfuck that must have been at the time.
was it though? My vague recollection of the metal heads in my area was that, over time, there was a major blurring of lines between rap and metal. Not sure how or why it came about but it was a given that you liked rap if you liked metal.
 

Anthony

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Original album came out on Def Jam. I think this was a bigger deal to the biz than it was to rockers. We certainly couldn't care less what label it came out on.



The picture disc here was a later release, it's on London/Geffen/DefJam.
 

rettucs

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From what I remember around by area Beastie Boys were the gateway to rap or metal. A lot kids started wearing Beastie Boys patches on their jacket soon after they seem to move towards more metal I went towards rap but Beastie Boys were the common ground
Run DMC were another I remember. I wondered if the Aerosmith collaboration might have had something to do with it.
 

therealjohnny

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Aerosmith were basically unknown here (GaryKnifed was their only fan in the whole of Europe) until that record. In fairness I remember being quite pleased that metal; Aerosmith, Anthrax..arguably The Beastie Boys.. was at the forefront of a crossover with black music at the time.
 

HMD

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Original album came out on Def Jam. I think this was a bigger deal to the biz than it was to rockers. We certainly couldn't care less what label it came out on.
Maybe in your circle it wasn't a big deal to us it was because it introduced us to Public Enemy, Rick Ruben and the Beastie Boys.

Also Kerry King did the solo on No Sleep Till Brooklyn
 

MacDara

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was it though? My vague recollection of the metal heads in my area was that, over time, there was a major blurring of lines between rap and metal. Not sure how or why it came about but it was a given that you liked rap if you liked metal.
Agreed but in my experience that came a few years later, Onyx and Cypress Hill and the Judgment Night soundtrack. Granted I was 6 when RIB came out so...
 

Anthony

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Maybe in your circle it wasn't a big deal to us it was because it introduced us to Public Enemy, Rick Ruben and the Beastie Boys.

Also Kerry King did the solo on No Sleep Till Brooklyn
Same here but that was after the fact. When it was coming out it didn't matter it was on DefJam. Where that took us is another thing altogether.
 

egg_

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I have no frame of reference for music like this, but will listen again.
Snap. My first listen to it at age 43.

Lyrics pretty fucking silly. Band very tight. Quite fierce, but I don't have much use for fierceness these days. Sounds significantly better when it's louder

/me shrugs

Might listen again today, but v unlikely to make it onto my regular listening list.
 

ann post

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Yesterday I set aside time to listen to reign in blood, for the first time in a few years. The energy and attack is great, and considering the year, the modern 'we know exactly how to do this because we've had 30 years to study it' bands aren't really sounding much better than this. About once every month I go to a metal bar for a pint or two for a refreshing metal and beer moment so I hear these cuts pretty often. I'm a fan of dynamics. tempo is the dynamic here really. There isn't a bad performance on this record.

I'm really annoyed on the second listen I copped on that the uploader had used the *bonus version* which adds two tracks and I ran over the time allotted by slayer for this.. Adding time to this record does nothing for it, its a much better statement at the shorter runtime. tubes.
 

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