|Review: Slayer - World Painted Blood|
|World Painted Blood|
Label: American Recordings
Year released: 2009
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: November 10, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
for:World Painted Blood
Slayer have been around a long time; that much is unquestionable. These guys got popular way back in the 80s, ironically for promoting things that were generally unpopular, like Satanism, bloody crosses, evil demons and everything else that made the soccer moms quiver in their expensive green station wagons. So, with such a history of blasphemous blasphemies, how does Slayer's latest foray into grimy, hate-filled metallic misery entitled World Painted Blood stand up? Pretty damned well, I say.
I mean, okay. It's not great. It's not even really that good from an objective point of view, but, damn, it's fucking Slayer. I didn't really know what to expect, but they churned out a really thrashy, ballsy album, especially for guys who have been past their prime for the better part of the last twenty years. World Painted Blood is filled with short, angry manifestos that have as much attitude as a boozed up Hell's Angel on a fourth of July rally. Sure, the solos are messy and barely even sound like solos to begin with, and sure the music is sloppy as all get out, but that's the charm of the whole thing! At the core, the band exudes primal, pure attitude from every pore.
That's the best thing about Slayer, you see; the attitude. These guys write music that is so cathartic to the angry mind that it made them famous, and it carried them kicking and screaming through whatever trend of the day arose, coming out bruised, but mostly unscathed. And World Painted Blood continues this, without an inch of subtlety or restraint in their blood at all. The title track is a heavy, chugging ball-buster, with Tom Araya belting out brash, hastily written lyrics with enough energy to topple a street full of power lines. The band follows up with ass-kickers like "Snuff," "Public Display of Dismemberment" and the more calculated "Beauty Through Disorder," which has some nice build ups for the grinding riffs. Really, the only song I don't like on this thing is "Playing with Dolls," which falls victim to some truly ghastly experimentation. Seriously, guys, lose the alt rock guitar strumming. It's lame as fuck.
The only thing truly wrong with this is the production, which sounds like it belongs to some lame nu-metal band or something, not a classic Thrash band like Slayer. Bring back the gritty Reign in Blood guitars and ditch the modern shit. There are also some parts that get pretty Hordes of Chaos-esque embarrassing, like the chorus of "Not of This God" in particular. Yeah, Tom, nice vocals there. You sound about as credible as a kid throwing a temper tantrum, it's just pitiful.
But otherwise, good job, Slayer, you smashed my expectations for this album with an iron-barbed ax. World Painted Blood is heavy, vitriolic, fast and gnarly, with a lot of bite and vinegar added in. And since I know you're all waiting for the part of the review where I compare it to the recent releases by the other Big 4 bands, yes, I think this is better than Death Magnetic and Endgame. A Thrash band releasing material in 2009 that is in the same ballpark as their 80s material? Fuck me sideways; it finally happened.
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