Label: Nuclear Blast
BY: TJ FOWLER
I have always been a casual Slayer fan. I was never the guy to carve Slayer into my arms or praise the glory of albums like ‘Hell Awaits’ or ‘Reign in Blood’. There have been songs and albums from Slayer I liked and there have been others that I could have cared less about and never gave a second thought too.
The last Slayer album I purchased was ‘God Hates Us All’ and this was the time I really kind of lost track of Slayer. I didn’t particularly care for that album and really up until that point the recent output from the band I had heard, I just was not finding interesting and so at that point I just let Slayer fall by the wayside and stopped caring
That is until today, with the release of ‘Repentless’ and after giving it just one listen it sounds as if the band sounds full of energy and ready to take on the world…for the most part. The best part of the album is that the band is putting out some killer riffs that are full of energy, catchy and that really get back to their thrash roots. I can tell there is a difference now that Hanneman is no longer around and Gary Holt has definitely left his stamp on the album. The sound of the guitar is a bit more controlled or doesn’t have the chaos barely held in control that Jeff was able to capture or as my friend once described when he heard Slayer, ‘The sound of a bat screaming out of hell.’ Holt doesn’t ever venture into that kind of sound but I think this album is still the best Slayer album I have heard since the 90’s. And Holt has his own signature sound he gives the band now.
Vocally, well…it is Tom doing what Tom does…either talking/yelling real fast through the songs…or Tom…talking/yelling real slow through the songs. Haha. No disrespect meant here at all…but let’s face it, Tom really isn’t a ‘singer’ but then again I am not sure a traditional type singer would ever really sound right doing Slayer tunes and Tom has given the band a lot of personality…along with his Santa Claus beard. So if you know how Slayer sounded vocally before you know how they will sound vocally now…just with more beard.
I guess if I had a weakness to point out about the album, I would have to possibly say the production. Not because the production is BAD. The album has a good sound but I also think it makes the band sound a little TOO clean but it is a minor qualm and not a big concern but it is a noticeable.
Overall for me, the casual Slayer fan, or probably to you hard core Slayer fans, ‘A piece of shit poser who thinks he knows metal.’ I really enjoyed ‘Repentless’ and felt it really delivers a solid old school thrashing that both Slayer fans will like and also the poser losers like me can enjoy! 😉
GO GET IT!