Metallica may have been much bigger, Anthrax a lot more fun and Megadeth way, way angrier, but of the famed Big Four of thrash metal , Slayer were the coolest — because they were the most evil. Building their reputation on a sequence of classic 80s albums, featuring songs about murder, torture and Satan — usually played at literally terrifying speeds — Slayer were arguably the most influential extreme metal band ever to stalk the stage. Heavily influenced by Judas Priest and Iron Maiden , they honed a set of covers and reached a reasonable level of proficiency, playing high-school gigs and other low-key events. They might have gone no further had it not been for the Los Angeles label Metal Blade, who offered Slayer a slot on their compilation Metal Massacre III — the same series which had given Metallica their first break the previous year. Ambitious, loaded with satanic reverb and featuring the most striking artwork in the entire thrash canon, this LP marked the point at which the metal audience were forced to take Slayer seriously for the first time. While a few metalheads criticised the pairing of band and label, they were soon silenced by the utterly breathtaking Reign In Blood , produced by Rubin and released in Now an established international act thanks to European tours and festival dates, Slayer continued their momentum with South Of Heaven in ; by now the thrash metal movement had matured and the major record labels were on board. South Of Heaven marked the point at which Slayer recognised that pure speed was no longer sufficient to make their songwriting stand out, and though this album — and the ones that followed — contained its fair share of thrashers, heavy midtempo songs were also to the fore. By the mids, grunge, alt.
10. Necrophiliac (1985)
Across four different decades, Slayer have blazed a trail of unholy thrash metal the likes of which the world will never see again. That the band have become the cultural institution they are with little to no help from mainstream radio or television is surprising; that they have done so with such furious songs about pitch-black satanism, the atrocities of war, and sex murder is downright astounding. Then, on September 11, , they released God Hates Us All , an album that revitalized their career and took them in a new, more hardcore-influenced direction. This eventually led to them winning two Grammys in and But at the end of the day, there are a handful of Slayer tracks that every fan really needs to know. Fucking radical. The most traditionally killer of these tracks is The Antichrist, a mid-paced earworm with lyrics about being the son of Satan and bringing down heaven. The one and only.
Choosing the 10 best Slayer songs is a difficult task, considering the band's prolific career. Having unleashed a brand of unforgiving thrash metal for over 30 years, Slayer are one of the most iconic and influential bands of all time. Beyond the realms of metal, Slayer have almost built an entire ecosystem around their music, which has seen great appreciation and respect from all types of music fans. As one of thrash's 'Big Four,' Slayer have pummeled fans with 11 albums, two live records, four gold-selling discs and five Grammy nominations including two wins. Slayer are currently in the process of writing their 12th studio album, which is tentatively set for a release, but for now, we celebrate the band's phenomenal career with our picks of the 10 Best Slayer Songs.
Sometimes with howling clumsiness, sometimes with forensic finesse, for more than three decades now this Californian quintet have made it their business to compile a compendium of only the most visceral audio nasties. There are certain topics into which Slayer should not wade with their size 10 boots, the Holocaust being one of them. Whatever that means. This often deftly worded lyric is seemingly all fun and games, or at least it is until one realises that the song was a favourite of US troops in the Gulf War of A subject that Slayer ought really to have left well alone, Sex. The lyric features the level of sympathy you would expect from the band, which is none. Hugely distasteful. Slayer are often many things — repulsive, vile, incorrigible and so on — but rarely do they appear genuinely angry.