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Review: Slayer - Reign In Blood
Reign In Blood

Label: American Recordings
Year released: 1998
Originally released in: 1986
Duration: 34:46
Tracks: 12
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 5+/5

Review online: September 3, 2011
Reviewed by: Adam McAuley
Readers Rating
Reign In Blood

Rated 4.81/5 (96.18%) (110 Votes)

Slayer peaked magnificently with their 1986 opus, an album that added a more polished feel to early albums, while adding a little intricacy in the riffing department that the band's next couple of albums would showcase at the forefront. The music here has endless drive and passion that seemed to coalesce perfectly for this one album in particular. It's a relatively short disc, but uses every second to its full advantage.

There are many aspects that are commendable on Reign in Blood, such as the scalpel-like riffing and the perfect backbone that the drumming plays, but one has to give special mention to the vocals of Tom Araya. While inconsistent on some of the band's other releases, the work of Araya on this album acts almost like a tapestry that enhances each individual note to a measure of pure brilliance. Dark, twisted lyrics also complement the style of the album incredibly well, as can be seen from obvious highlights like "Angel of Death" and "Raining Blood". When compared to Master of Puppets, another album from 1986 that comes incredibly close to matching this, there is more aggression and drive, but slightly less dynamics on Reign in Blood. The solos are brief, but perfectly placed in comparison to that album's somewhat more extended solos. They were an amazing complement to each and largely defined an amazing year for metal, which can make you ignore some of the wayward steps Slayer and especially Metallica have taken since then.

Reign in Blood is a one-of-a-kind album that is memorable and powerful in equal measures, despite its short length and easily the finest work in the Slayer discography. The only other albums I would hold on the same level of virtual perfection are Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious by Carcass and Operation: Mindcrime by Queensryche and that's saying something.

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