(American Recordins, 2009)
by Andi Hamilton, age 7.
Its SLAYER, innit? Eight out of Ten.
No, really. What more needs to be said about a SLAYER album? “Its SLAYER, innit?” is a mantra that can sum up every single album they’ve put out since Seasons in the Abyss – which added a definite accesibility to their thrash sound – many, many moons ago and World Painted Blood is no different. Most people quite rightly put the boot to Metallica’s St. Anger but for fucks sake at least James and the boys tried something different, rather than stick ridgidly to the same thrash formula that has served them for fucking DECADES.
Not entirely a bad thing, of course. Its SLAYER innit?
So, you’ve got a typical post-Seasons in the Abyss record here – full of thrash passages, chunky breakdowns and (whisper it!) catchy choruses you can shout along to in some shitty field come the next festival season. Same as Christ Illusion. Same as God Hates Us All. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. SLAYER are an excellent band and will continue to be one until their demise. King and Hanneman’s riffs are still taken from the absolute top drawer of thrash metal, while their lyrics are usual taken from one a bit nearer the bottom. Dave Lombardo’s drumming is flawless, tight and at times absolutely breathtaking and Tom Araya’s vocals still sounds like he’s a wide-eyed psycopath, belting out some kind of rage-fuelled noise as he rampages through some church with a machete. The two singles – Psychopathy Red and Hate Worldwide – are classic examples of everything so SLAYER about SLAYER, and there are a few mid-paced beasts, like AmerICON, in the mould of Spirit in Black or Mandatory Suicide.
You’ve heard it all before, obviously. Not that it should matter – it’s SLAYER, innit?
Here’s another thing. If this album came out instead of Seasons in the Abyss, it’d probably be revered as some kind of metal classic. Sure, there’s nothing here that beats the aggression of War Ensemble or the genius chorus of that album’s title track, but World Painted Blood is… well its SLAYER, innit?
AND before you neckbeards start pointing your fat, sweaty fingers at me and starting jabbing away at your keyboards, accusing me of wailing on these legends, you should know this – I LOVE SLAYER. Love them. I honestly believe that if you don’t get AT LEAST a semi-on when the drum solo hits towards the end of “At Dawn They Sleep” you’ve got to seriously question your place in this whole “Heavy Metal” thing. So, of course, I do really like World Painted Blood. I really like Slayer, and this album… you’ve guessed it.
So, if you’re a decent, SLAYER loving citizen, you already know you’ll enjoy this and you’ve just wasted several minutes of your existence reading this. If you don’t like SLAYER, and you’re a cunt, then why bother with this? It is just like a bunch of their earlier albums, only not as good. I’m sure a few of you will want to bitch about the production, with Araya’s vocals and the drums really high in the mix, and with the guitars lower down drowning out the bass somewhat, but then if you had Dave Lombardo in your band, you’d get the drums mixed higher in the mix too, wouldn’t you?
Personally, as much as I like my bands to show a little evolution over the course of a few albums, I’m too much of an Iron Maiden fan to chew SLAYER out for a lack of fucking musical growth. So, this gets a pass. It is everything you could want from a SLAYER album, which is, of course, that it is fuckin’ SLAYER, innit?