November 7, 2015

Slayer – Repentless album review

3.5 Stars out of 5

NEW FUCKING SLAYER!!! REPENTLESS is finally here! It’s been 6 years, the passing of founding member Jeff Hanneman, and the firing of founding member Dave Lombardo since WORLD PAINTED BLOOD. Many fans have turned their backs on Slayer, saying they shouldn’t continue without Jeff and Dave. Indeed, how could Slayer continue without their main songwriter Jeff? Would a new album be watered down crap or what? Well, now we know that Slayer can still bring it in their 50s without Jeff and Dave, even if REPENTLESS can’t compare to their classic 80s / early 90s material.

The album starts with the mid-paced instrumental intro “Delusions of Savior” which I dig, kind of reminds me of Megadeth starting ENDGAME with “Dialectic Chaos” even if the two songs are nothing alike. Then we get the heaviest and fastest song on the album, the furious title track “Repentless”. It has a bit of a “Hate Worldwide” sound, but faster riffing and Tom’s screams are frantic. Lyrics describe Jeff Hanneman’s approach to the band and life in general, which is a cool tribute – I HATE THE LIFE, HATE THE FAME, HATE THE FUCKING SCENE! Things are never as intense after the two opening tracks which is going to disappoint some fans. When I first listened to the full album I thought it was too slow and light, but this is an album that needs repeat listens to grow on you and make you realize there is a lot of good stuff going on here. “Take Control” has a good heavy groove to it and I really dig it. Has some great drumming in it too and it’s pretty heavy. “Vices” is ok, typical foul mouthed Kerry type song that feels a little forced. I find “Cast The First Stone” and “Chasing Death” to be filler tracks, ok but a little boring. “When The Stillness Comes” has grown on me, I like the intensity of Tom’s vocals and the buildup of the song, but just as it takes off, the song is over. I think it needs another two minutes of mayhem at the end. “Implode” is ok, has good energy but just feels a little empty. “Piano Wire”, the only song on the album penned by Jeff, is decent if a little disjointed. The album finishes strongly with the punk influenced “Atrocity Vendor”, the manic “You Against You’ (my personal favorite on the album, Tom sounds like he is coming unglued on this one, and yes, sometimes our toughest adversaries are ourselves!), and the moody grinding slow closer “Pride In Prejudice”.

The digipak version of REPENTLESS comes with an excellent concert DVD of their 2014 performance at Wacken. This is good representation of what Slayer is like live now, very similar to the shows I saw in 2013 and 2014. Killer set, good intensity. Not as good as LIVE INTRUSION but better than STILL REIGNING, WAR AT THE WARFIELD, and BIG 4.

REPENTLESS is a good album. I don’t like it as much as WORLD PAINTED BLOOD or CHRIST ILLUSION or DIVINE INTERVENTION (I FUCKING LOVE THAT ALBUM, but most people despise it!), but I think it is better than GOD HATES US ALL and DIABOLUS IN MUSICA. It can’t touch the classic material, I’m not going to list those, they are fucking Metal 101. If this is what Slayer has to offer at this point, count me in. This is a solid thrash album that moves along quickly and keeps you interested. They are still a great live band too; don’t let the fact that 2 original members are gone prevent you from going to see them. They can still destroy. LONG LIVE FUCKING SLAYER!

  1. Delusion of Savior
  2. Repentless
  3. Take Control
  4. Vices
  5. Cast The First Stone
  6. When The Stillness comes
  7. Chasing Death
  8. Implode
  9. Piano Wire
  10. Atrocity Vendor
  11. You Against You
  12. Pride in Prejudice

Live at Wacken 2014

  1. Intro
  2. Hell Awaits
  3. The Anti-Christ
  4. Mandatory Suicide
  5. Hate Worldwide
  6. War Ensemble
  7. Postmortem
  8. Captor Of Sin
  9. Disciple
  10. Seasons In The Abyss
  11. Born Of Fire
  12. Dead Skin Mask
  13. Raining Blood
  14. Black Magic
  15. South Of Heaven
  16. Angel of Death
  17. End Credits

Slayer is:

Tom Araya – Bass, Vocals

Kerry King – Guitars

Paul Bostaph – Drums

Gary Holt – Guitars

 

Buy Album: http://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/products/sound/cd/cd-digi-dvd/slayer-repentless-cd-dvd-digipak-.html

Band Contact: http://www.slayer.net/

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