Slayer is one of the biggest bands in metal history. Overall, one of the biggest bands in music history as well. They need no introduction after tearing off faces and blowing out eardrums in stadiums and arenas around the world for the over 30 years now, but they certainly deserve one. Thrash metal at its finest, the band has been a force to be reckoned with for ages now. It’s no wonder they’re considered to be the rightful heirs to the throne of “The Big Four” in thrash metal. If you can name a band that plays rock or metal music today, they most likely will cite Slayer as some sort of influence to their musical style. Thrash metal at its purest form, they have pioneered the genre for decades now and are showing no signs of slowing down. Even with the tragic loss of Jeff Hanneman in 2013, the band pushed forward and are ready to unleash another brutal album in the form of Repentless.
Slayer’s instrumentation is the stuff of legends. The guitar riffs are ruthlessly savage, but the solos leave a little bit to be desired at times. They’re not bad, they sound great overall. But they certainly aren’t anything the band hasn’t done before. However, Kerry King has been majorly consistent in his guitar work over the years, and gives us some of his best efforts on this album. The drum work is barbaric, merciless, and a downright eardrum disintegrating force from the first beat to the last. This all combines to bring another solid instrumental effort from the kings of thrash, albeit with a noticeable setback. Tom Araya has one of the strongest voices in the history of metal, and has definitely maintained that strength over the years. It has this burly might to it, and portrays the perfect amount of both vexation and strength while keeping a solid commanding tone to it at the same time. Combined with an undeviating ability to tell an amazing story through his lyrical content, he has given a spectacular effort in every song.
A ferocious return to form, six years removed from their last album, Repentless is one of the best metal albums of the year. With monstrous instrumental work and soul-crushing vocal efforts, Slayer has crafted yet another masterpiece that further cements their legacy as the kings of metal. It’s a brutal reminder as to why they were given the title of kings, and one that will be replayed for years to come.