Unrepentant. That is how Slayer feel at this moment in time about having an album that spawned it’s legs by being released on 9-11-2001, “God Hates Us All”. In any case this new album carries the stench of death also by being Slayer’s post-Hanneman affair. “Repentless” (bad English is not cool Mr. Araya and Mr. King and co.) is the 11th full-length that the Californians have released. But, my favorite on drums, original Slayer sticksman Dave Lombardo is gone. It wasn’t amicable the split.
I guess nobody is getting too excited about this new album “Repentless” or anything Slayer has done since interest started waning after the SLAYER megathrash glory years that saw 6 incredible original platters by Slayer being released (“Show No Mercy” — 1983, “Haunting The Chapel” 12″-inch in 1984 , “Hell Awaits” — 1985, “Reign In Blood” — 1986, “South Of Heaven” — 1988 & “Seasons In The Abyss” — 1990). Subsequent albums, “Divine Intervention”, “Diabolus En Musica” and album of Punk covers helped bring the Blackened Slaytanic Thrash attack to a slow rumble. People tried real hard to like the 1990’s output of Slayer but it was widely not to be. The reformation of the original line-up and a extremely decent Slayer album from this millenium, “Christ Illusion” should be applauded. Yet, the last LP, 2009’s “World Painted Blood” was a travesty. Araya was straining and just didn’t sound at all powerful. I really feel that is Dave Lombardo who helps define the Slayer sound with his incredibly fast feet dancing on the drumset’s foot pedals is the fire of this band and an integral necessary part of it. Lombardo, now though, will most likely never be back. His exit was unceremonial, to say the least.
Unrepentant is Gary Holt, the hulking Exodus man piercing the musical landscape with his lead guitar. And it is on the “Repentless” video that the presence of Holt and the discombobulating figure of a twisted and bodily-possessed Kerry King help bring the message home that “Repentless” as an ode to Hanneman; an “HannemanAnthem”, as King puts it just might drive the message home. At one point the song stops and Araya stops the clock with a bloodcurdling scream. That Slayer pride, at that point welled up in my body and I am so glad the engine is driving again. Slayer are the best and most fierce of the so-called Big Four. In my humble opinion, they are better than Metallica and Megadeth. Forget about Anthrax, the band from the Bronx, they suck.
The other material that has been let loose from this album, is hardly worth mentioning. For some reason any YouTube videos with songs from this upcoming album don’t sound as good in the “live” setting. Yet Araya kicks asp* (*sic) in the studio.
At the end of the “Repentless” video, which is so so awesome, we see the stern repudiation that the day of release of this 11th full-length studio LP is at hand on September 11th, 2015.
Though any other song I have heard so far — and I have heard a few — don’t come near the quality and strong driving fury of title-track, “Repentless”.
Face the Slayer.
– Rich Castle