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Metal - Released October 7, 1986 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Metal - Released July 5, 1988 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Metal - Released March 5, 2018 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released October 9, 1990 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Metal - Released January 1, 1991 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

Decade of Aggression is Slayer's live double disc. It was recorded in 1990 and 1991, with mobile units in Lakeland, FL, at Wembley Arena in London, and in San Bernardino. A live set from this band is risky business because it's Slayer live that gained an international reputation for taking on all comers and ripping them to shreds on a stage. The fear is simply that the audio recording alone -- without the subsequent live DVDs they've issued -- won't capture the sheer overblown intensity of the unit in a concert setting. The bad news is that it doesn't; the good news is that it comes a lot closer than one might imagine before hearing it. It's a double live album that approaches the league of Ted Nugent's Double Live Gonzo!, the Who's Live at Leeds, and the Allman Brothers' At Fillmore East when it comes to representing a band perfectly. This is the original incarnation of Slayer with blastbeat progenitor Dave Lombardo beating hell out of the drum kit, guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, and vocalist/bassist Tom Araya. They run through the material on virtually all of their studio albums to that point, going all the way back to 1983's Show No Mercy with the tracks "The Anti-Christ" and "Black Magic." While it's true that the majority of the tunes here come from South of Heaven, Reign in Blood, and Seasons in the Abyss, that's as it should be, reflecting live the band's compositional and overdriven blend of thrash, hardcore, and classic death metal. Producer Rick Rubin stays out of the way; his production seems to be in terms of shaping the live sound to make it sound like this is all one gig. It's exhilarating ("South of Heaven") and exhausting ("Dead Skin Mask"), and by the time they get to "Angel of Death" closing the first disc, most listeners will be drained. That said, disc two is just as furious, with classic Slayer performances of "Born of Fire," "Spirit in Black," and the closer, "Chemical Warfare." Decade of Aggression is a record for any serious Slayer fan to own, and one that serves as a fine -- if excessive -- introduction to any late bloomers out there. ~ Thom Jurek
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Rock - Released January 1, 2003 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

If ever a metal band deserved the box set treatment, it's Slayer. Love them or hate them, their accomplishments in the thrash metal subgenre is pretty much unequaled. For over 20 years, Slayer have remained doggedly and stubbornly persistent in their approach to playing the heaviest, loudest, and darkest metal in America. Compare them to the higher profile Metallica and Megadeth, and laugh: Slayer have grown musically without giving an inch to the populace, while the aforementioned bands have become artistically lost in increasingly MOR recordings, and hopelessly entrenched in their popular culture image -- Metallica -- or have imploded altogether -- Megadeth. Many of the Nordic black metal bands owe them their allegiance for influence and sustenance; Slayer broke open the door in America for underground music to be heard outside the small ghetto it began in, without sacrificing its street cred or audience Soundtrack to the Apocalypse's Deluxe Edition is a whopping four CDs and one DVD. Discs one and two feature tracks from Reign in Blood, and all the albums that proceed from it, and includes bonus cuts previously only released in Japan, and cuts from soundtracks -- "In-a-Gadda Da Vida" from Less Than Zero, "Disorder" with Ice-T from the film Judgment Night, "Human Disease" from Bride of Chucky, and more. Disc three is, appropriately, titled Sh*t You Never Heard because that's what it is -- 16 tracks that have been unissued anywhere -- from rehearsals, to in-concert recordings, demos, and one "No Remorse," a collaboration with Atari Teenage Riot, from the Spawn soundtrack. The fourth disc is a DVD of concert recordings, an electronic press kit video for Diabolus in Musica, and an appearance at the Kerrang magazine awards. The first three cuts on the DVD are live in California from 1983, and document Slayer's earliest live appearances. The set comes packaged in standard CD-size format, in a plastic sleeve that folds out into a single rectangle. The enclosed booklet, though smaller in size from the deluxe version's, nonetheless contains dozens of rare photographs, and quotes from the band and media, with fantastic and exhaustive liner notes -- including a full biography and fans' appreciation of the band by Marc Pasche and Eric Braverman. Don't expect either to win a Grammy for liner notes, or for the set to, either. Herein lies a document and a testament to the grand rebel tradition in American underground rock; it will gain no acceptance outside its niche, but that niche is growing, and it is here to stay. This is the very item Slayer fans have been waiting for, and it is worth your hard-earned cash. ~ Thom Jurek
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Rock - Released January 1, 1996 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Metal - Released October 16, 2012 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

There will no doubt be a lot of hoopla concerning the name Slayer have chosen for World Painted Blood. In many ways, it could have been called Reign in Blood Revisited. But the word "revisited " is the key. Some compositions on this new recording have more of the band's early-style melody in them, with lightning flare-up riffs between verses; quick, unexpected guitar pyrotechnics; and blastbeat power drumming from Dave Lombardo (the band's original drummer who returned to the lineup for 2006's Christ Illusion) pushing it all into the red. But there are mannerisms and strategies from the band's later albums at work as well -- even if they are unconsciously employed. Christ Illusion reached deep into Slayer's old bag of tricks to reorient themselves to more speed-based playing after the midtempo records of the late '90s, and there was a fantastic concentration on riffs and call and response between the guitars and rhythm section. On World Painted Blood the focus is more on songs, and therefore the return of the "melodic" aspect of the band's past -- and let's face it, during the classic years Slayer were peerless in that department. The riffs make sense in the context of Tom Araya's sung verses, and so do the considerable beats. Check the opener with its intricate instrumental intro bracing the listener for the eruption of power that follows -- Araya's spoken word interludes notwithstanding. "Americon" combines wah-wah riff heaviness with thundercrack drumming and Araya's downtuned bassline. Check the speed and intense guitar exchanges in "Public Display of Dismemberment" and "Psychopathy Red" for the best evidence of Slayer at their most powerful on this set. Despite great songs and great playing, there are more midtempo tracks here than on Christ Illusion, and Greg Fidelman's production style takes a different tack altogether for this guitar-manic crew. Lombardo's drums are WAAAAAAAY up in the mix, as are Araya's vocals -- you can understand every word, even on the thrashers; the guitars are simply further down in the mix and sometimes it becomes difficult to discern Araya's bass. Therefore, the first listen or two to World Painted Blood might be a bit confusing for the seasoned Slayer fan, but that changes quickly, and the sound of those drums blasting in one's head will become a more than welcome presence in the mix. [There are two other editions of World Painted Blood: the Deluxe Edition comes with a bonus DVD containing a thematic narrative (and disturbing) animated video, and the other one is on vinyl with a copy of the CD enclosed in the sleeve.] ~ Thom Jurek
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Metal - Released June 9, 1998 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Metal - Released October 16, 2012 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

The reunion of the original Slayer lineup appears for the first time in the studio since 1990's Seasons in the Abyss (a record that topped off one of the great four-album stands in metal history: Hell Awaits, Reign in Blood, and South of Heaven preceded it). Drummer Dave Lombardo's retaking of the drum chair places the band back on the edge, pushing themselves and the genre to look back at where they've been and where they go from here. For a band that has been together as long as Slayer has, they have never made concessions and have stubbornly refused to sound like anyone but themselves. Christ Illusion is a raging, forward-thinking heavy metal melding with hardcore thrash; this is what made them such a breath of fresh air in the first place. And while they no longer sound terrifying, that was never their point anyway. Slayer rips through these ten songs, complete with lightning changes, off-kilter rhythms, and riff invention, together with plodding crescendos, sick-as-hell guitar breaks, and dark, unrelentingly twisted-as-f*ck lyrics that reflect a singular intensity. The big themes on Christ Illusion center on the perverse myth of religion and its responsibility for, and cause of, war. One can talk about the power big-money has at stake in the Middle Eastern havoc, but the root, according to some of these songs, is the culture war between two competing myths, Christianity and Islam, that this time out could result in the apocalypse. On the opener, "Flesh Storm," Tom Araya roars the refrain above the guitars and frantic drumming: "It's all just psychotic devotion/Manipulated with no discretion/Relentless/Warfare knows no compassion/Thrives with no evolution/Unstable minds exacerbate/Unrest in peace...only the fallen have won/Because the fallen can't run/My vision's not obscure/For war there is no cure/So here the only law/Is men killing men/For someone else's cause." Elsewhere, such as "Eyes of the Insane," the story comes in the first person from the point of view of a soldier who is suffering the effects of PTSD, yet he may or may not still be on the battlefield. Lombardo's drums open it slowly, then the Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King guitar gods create an intensely harrowing and angular riff that changes from verse to verse, through the refrain and bridge, and comes back again. Yeah, Slayer actually crafts and writes songs. Check the little skittering vamp that leads into "Jihad," where Lombardo just shimmers his hi-hat before the band begins to enter and twist and turn looking for a place to create a new rhythmic thrash that's the most insane deconstruction of four/four time on tape. The indictment of "holy war" is possible only through the telling of the narrative from a Jihadist's point of view. The blazing, low-tuned heaviness of "Consfearacy" turns the entire principle of patriotism's blind ideals into an evil joke. Araya's voice is mixed way up this time, every utterance is understandable, thanks to producer and mixer Josh Abraham and label boss Rick Rubin. This scathing rejection of religion as the cause for world conflict is best characterized in "Cult." The low-tuned, two-string vamp that slithers into the foreground creates a tension as Lombardo's cymbals call the band into the riff that opens the tune. It's slow, meaty, unrelenting in its tautness. When Araya's voice comes in, the whole track is off the rails and stays there: "Oppression is the holy war/In God I distrust...Is war and greed the Master's plan? The Bible's where it all began/Its propaganda sells despair/And spreads the virus everywhere/Religion Is hate/Religion Is fear/Religion is war...." Whether you agree with Slayer's anti-religion militancy is one thing, but their view that it underscores this war and so many preceding it has to be taken with some seriousness. And musically, they are in a league of their own. Christ Illusion creates an interesting dilemma for people of faith who like heavy metal: the stance against war here is unreproachable, but can one hang with the conflicting point of view that faith in a god is responsible for it? Given the defined presence of the vocals, one cannot simply listen to the voice as another instrument, as in much of heavy metal. One has to deal with the music and the words this time out, and yes, they're printed in the lyric booklet. Christ Illusion is an antiwar record that asks people to think for themselves. At one point Araya makes his choice, "six six six," but even that's in reaction, an irony. Christ Illusion is brilliant, stomping, scorched-earth thrash metal at its best. Lyrically, it may offend people, but getting the listener to think and make choices is what this music is all about. An anti-Christian/anti-Islam/anti-theocratic, antiwar album, Christ Illusion is essential for anyone interested in the genre. ~ Thom Jurek
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Rock - Released January 1, 2003 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

If ever a metal band deserved the box set treatment, it's Slayer. Love them or hate them, their accomplishments in the thrash metal subgenre is pretty much unequaled. For over 20 years, Slayer have remained doggedly and stubbornly persistent in their approach to playing the heaviest, loudest, and darkest metal in America. Compare them to the higher profile Metallica and Megadeth, and laugh: Slayer have grown musically without giving an inch to the populace, while the aforementioned bands have become artistically lost in increasingly MOR recordings, and hopelessly entrenched in their popular culture image -- Metallica -- or have imploded altogether -- Megadeth. Many of the Nordic black metal bands owe them their allegiance for influence and sustenance; Slayer broke open the door in America for underground music to be heard outside the small ghetto it began in, without sacrificing its street cred or audience Soundtrack to the Apocalypse's Deluxe Edition is a whopping four CDs and one DVD. Discs one and two feature tracks from Reign in Blood, and all the albums that proceed from it, and includes bonus cuts previously only released in Japan, and cuts from soundtracks -- "In-a-Gadda Da Vida" from Less Than Zero, "Disorder" with Ice-T from the film Judgment Night, "Human Disease" from Bride of Chucky, and more. Disc three is, appropriately, titled Sh*t You Never Heard because that's what it is -- 16 tracks that have been unissued anywhere -- from rehearsals, to in-concert recordings, demos, and one "No Remorse," a collaboration with Atari Teenage Riot, from the Spawn soundtrack. The fourth disc is a DVD of concert recordings, an electronic press kit video for Diabolus in Musica, and an appearance at the Kerrang magazine awards. The first three cuts on the DVD are live in California from 1983, and document Slayer's earliest live appearances. The set comes packaged in standard CD-size format, in a plastic sleeve that folds out into a single rectangle. The enclosed booklet, though smaller in size from the deluxe version's, nonetheless contains dozens of rare photographs, and quotes from the band and media, with fantastic and exhaustive liner notes -- including a full biography and fans' appreciation of the band by Marc Pasche and Eric Braverman. Don't expect either to win a Grammy for liner notes, or for the set to, either. Herein lies a document and a testament to the grand rebel tradition in American underground rock; it will gain no acceptance outside its niche, but that niche is growing, and it is here to stay. This is the very item Slayer fans have been waiting for, and it is worth your hard-earned cash. ~ Thom Jurek
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Metal - Released January 1, 1990 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Metal - Released August 13, 2013 | Metal Blade Records

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Metal - Released August 13, 2013 | Metal Blade Records

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Metal - Released October 7, 1986 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Metal - Released October 9, 1990 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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After staking out new territory with the underrated South of Heaven, Slayer brought back some of the pounding speed of Reign in Blood for their third major-label album, Seasons in the Abyss. Essentially, Seasons fuses its two predecessors, periodically kicking up the mid-tempo grooves of South of Heaven with manic bursts of aggression. "War Ensemble" and the title track each represented opposite sides of the coin, and they both earned Slayer their heaviest MTV airplay to date. In fact, Seasons in the Abyss is probably their most accessible album, displaying the full range of their abilities all in one place, with sharp, clean production. Since the band is refining rather than progressing or experimenting, Seasons doesn't have quite the freshness of its predecessors, but aside from that drawback, it's strong almost all the way from top to bottom (with perhaps one or two exceptions). Lyrically, the band rarely turns to demonic visions of the afterlife anymore, preferring instead to find tangible horror in real life -- war, murder, human weakness. There's even full-fledged social criticism, which should convince any doubters that Slayer aren't trying to promote the subjects they sing about. Like Metallica's Master of Puppets or Megadeth's Peace Sells...but Who's Buying, Seasons in the Abyss paints Reagan-era America as a cesspool of corruption and cruelty, and the music is as devilishly effective as ever. ~ Steve Huey
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Rock - Released January 1, 2001 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Metal - Released July 5, 1988 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Rock - Released January 1, 1994 | American Recordings Catalog P&D

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Metal - Released January 1, 1988 | American Recordings Catalog P&D