35 years after Slayer’s ‘Reign in Blood’

Brutality, double bass drum and music at maximum volume, the formula with which Slayer became the heaviest metal band in the world.

Until the most recent update oganesson is the heaviest element that appears in the periodic table. Yes, that instrument that caused many severe headaches during high school Chemistry classes. But if instead of strange names it was made up of rock bands, who would hold that appointment? Although there are many possible answers, the most sensible one has six letters and is pronounced slayer.

During the 20th century there are moments in the history of music that have been marked forever. From the sexual movement of the hips of Elvis Presley that scandalized the generation of baby boomers until I see Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire and consecrate himself as the newest member of Olympus. But none of that compares to the rise of a quartet that brought metal to its height.

The origin of everything that came after

Since the end of the sixties there were groups like Black Sabbath Y blue cheer that put the capacity of their amplifiers to the test. As if it were a scene from spinal tap they raised the volume to 11. You can hear well or badly but the important thing is to burst eardrums. But all this was just the beginning for a project to emerge in 1981 that gave a new meaning to the word power.

Sunny California was perfect for Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King, Dave Lombardo Y Tom Araya They started a metal band like so many others of the time. They were all teenagers marveling at the concerts of Iron Maiden Y Kiss but they wanted to do something less theatrical and more brutal.

Already with the name of slayer began a career in which they had as generation companions Metallica, Megadeth Y Anthrax. Together they represent the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and helped consolidate a dirty, full-throttle sound that was soon baptized as thrash metal.

Although it was on October 7, 1986 when the world was able to listen to what is perhaps the heaviest album recorded up to that time. It is one of the few that can be put from you to you to motorhead and emerge victorious. With a title like Reign in Blood and a cover that recalls the work of Caravaggio but in a bloodthirsty version it is clear that romantic ballads or disco music could not be expected.

“Angel of Death
Monarch to the kingdom of the dead
Infamous Butcher
Angel of Deaaaaath”

As well as roger daltrey immortalized his euphoric cry in “Won’t Get Fooled Again” of The Who Y Robert Plant became an English Apache with “Immigrant Song” of Led Zeppelin, something similar happens here from the first minute. The set of guitars and drums are responsible for welcoming the massacre but it is the high-pitched howl of araya the one responsible for that “Angel of Death” It is considered one of the best metal songs in history. Her voice is the lightning that destroys everything in its path and stops at nothing and no one.

Sometimes the first song on an album is the most powerful to capture the listener’s attention and then the following ones fade in intensity. None of that happens here because the 12 that make up the LP are just as powerful and there are never weak or weak moments because they are 34 minutes of pure destruction.

While “Necrophobic”, “Jesus saves” Y “epidemic” (very inappropriate title today) are also noted for their strong criticism of religion and talk about topics taboo for conservative minds. Although in reality his entire discography has been marked by this type of lyrics in his songs. A song of slayer without blood and double bass is like a taco without fat: it doesn’t taste the same.

On the other hand, one of the great responsible for having achieved such a brutal sound but at the same time so well cohesive was Rick Rubin. It is true that the mix is ​​poor because the bass is never heard but in the final result that is irrelevant. At that time he was just an amateur producer who would later be behind seminal works by Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers Y Johnny Cash.

Despite the distance, the album maintains its power and it is no coincidence that it appears at the top of the lists of the best metal albums in history. It’s not just about the sound but about the congruence that the quartet maintained throughout their career. Although there were some setbacks, they never reached the point of causing others grief like many of their generation partners. In the meantime, all that remains is to turn the volume up to maximum and shake your skull as if the future didn’t exist.



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35 years after Slayer’s ‘Reign in Blood’


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