Sunday, 4 October 2015

Slayer "Repentless" (2015)


Has Henry Rollins once so elegantly put it, Slayer are like a band frozen in ice, every few years they are taken from hibernation to write a record and they sound as angry and ferocious as in their youth. That is very much true of Repentless, the first slayer record I've given a proper listen since 2001's "God Hates Us All".  Its their first without legendary guitarist Jeff Hannerman who contracted a flesh eating disease which seriously affected his health before passing from liver failure two years ago.

Of what little I heard from "Christ Illusion" and "World Painted Blood" I was only expecting disappointment from a band well beyond there peak. But Repentless is an accessible and anger fueled record with the speed and aggression of past heard through a weighted production that makes light of tightly rounded, dense distortion tones and a hammering drum kit that pounds away endlessly. Its heavy, hard hitting yet a very warm and open sound that's about as audible as Slayer can get.

Unfortunately the songwriting isn't on the same level and the record opens up with some promising songs that get the blood pumping with those classic circle pit riffs, pummeling snare beats and erratic guitar solos, but after a few tracks the album drifts into a lull of slower power chord led songs that wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the lack of progression or direction these songs showed. Just some temperate riffage and angry vocals. The songs had a distinct lack of spark to fuel the energy and define the songs. A break out moment or interlude moment, like "Angel Of Death", could of added so much to these tracks but instead they settle for linear songwriting.

On the vocal front Tom is his usual self with the typical Slayer approach and for the most part its great. At times it gets a little starch and off key from the music and the lyrical content is blunt and unapologetic with the usual range of murderous, satanic, misanthropic themes coming across very direct and without poetry or much to dilute the point. Relentless has there best sound ever, but the songwriting is far behind, with a touch more inspiration and creativity this record could of been something great.

Favorite Tracks: Repentless, Vices, Cast The First Stone, You Against You
Rating: 5/10

4 comments:

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  2. I just wrote a rather large comment and it got deleted for some reason -.-, what it came down to was, Repentless sounds the most Slayer- like to me (fast, heavy and angry), the rest of the songs I've listened to so far were too slow for my taste, I sped them up in the YouTube player a bit and that sounded much better in my opinion, I'll have to give the full album a shot once to see how it is, thanks for the review man!

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  3. Are you going to review the new Iron Maiden record "The Book Of Souls"?(thoughts on the song " Empire Of The Clouds "?)

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