Slayer Repentless 01If you’re reading this site, then I’m sure you’re aware that Slayer has been through a couple of changes in recent years. At the moment, only vocalist/bassist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King remain from the band’s original lineup, augmented by returning drummer Paul Bostaph and touring guitarist Gary Holt (Exodus). With Jeff Hanneman gone and Araya being a non-songwriter by his own admission, the burden of writing Slayer‘s first album in six years falls solely on King’s shoulders.

After a short suspense-building intro, the album kicks off properly with the title track, “Repentless.” This one contains most pieces of the Slayer puzzle, lyrics aside (more on that later). It’s fast and to the point. The riffs and solos feel adequately Slayer-esque, and Tom Araya’s trademark shout sounds better than it has since the early ’90s. Perhaps this might not be so bad after all?

Sadly, somewhere during the third track, “Take Control,” Repentless slips back into the same mid-tempo mediocrity they’ve been churning out since Diabolus in Musica, and stays there for the next 35 minutes. I don’t know who influenced the band’s descent into down-tuned chug territory — Machine Head? Black Label Society? — but it’s not good and it needs to stop. Some of the songwriting feels oddly random and directionless, as though the band forgot how to structure a track effectively. This is most apparent on “When The Stillness Comes,” when a clean guitar intro leads into yet another clean guitar intro, killing the momentum completely.

“Cast The First Stone” is basically a rewrite of “Gemini” and/or “Eyes Of The insane,” yet lacking the flow and gravitas of either. “Implode” has some energy to it, but is undone by juvenile lyrics and entry-level riffs. Closing track “Pride In Prejudice” is yet another chunk of down-tuned, half-assed modern Slayer, ending the album in the most anticlimactic fashion possible. It’d be convenient to blame the record’s shortcomings entirely on King, but even Hanneman’s posthumous contribution “Piano Wire” feels like disparate musical ideas being forced together, and doesn’t really work.

There are, however, some bright spots. “You Against You” is actually fun once it kicks in, bringing in some of that Undisputed Attitude punk aggression and topping it off with plenty of guitar divebombs. “Atrocity Vendor” begins with an old-school riff straight out of Show No Mercy, leading into some speedy riffage and a classic guitar solo tradeoff. Speaking of which, new-ish guitarist Gary Holt (Exodus) makes his recorded debut with the band here. His role is limited to a handful of guitar solos, and while it’s weird to hear Slayer with solos that are in tune, he generally fits in well.

Many have argued that Dave Lombardo is the ultimate Slayer drummer, but no one makes a stronger case than his replacement, Paul Bostaph. Where Lombardo was able to add flair and musicality to even the most boneheaded musical ideas (of which Slayer has many), Bostaph merely plays along with the riffs. There are sections in several songs where all four of his limbs merely mimic what King’s right hand is doing on guitar. Add in a couple double-kick sections that sound like his timing is simply off, and you can consider me unimpressed (impressless?).

While Jeff Hanneman’s death left a gaping hole in Slayer‘s songwriting, his absence is felt most in the band’s lyrics. King tries to uphold the tradition of edgy, “controversial” subject matter, but while Hanneman’s contributions were typically well-researched and delivered with subversive glee, King’s efforts come across as merely thuggish and ignorant. “Vices” boasts a chorus — “A little violence is the ultimate drug/let’s get high!” — that is so stupid that I’m cringing just typing it out. Even the title track, which King supposedly wrote as a tribute to his fallen bandmate, feels like a gross oversimplification of a human being’s life, reducing Hanneman’s supposed worldview to bumper-sticker slogans and cussing. Some “tribute.”

The fact that Repentless even exists raises serious questions about Slayer‘s legitimacy. It comes off as complete arrogance on the part of King and Araya, for one thing. It also serves as a reminder that Slayer is a business now, and their touring and merch sales are dependent upon fresh material, no matter how rancid. The result is an album of mostly forgettable (rememberless!) songs and unforgivably (forgiveless!) stupid lyrics, topped off by an ill-conceived album title that has already earned the mockery of the metal public. Slayer will continue to do fine as a live band no matter what, but if they want people to care about their new music, they’re going to have to do better than this.


Rating: 1.5/5.0
Label: Nuclear Blast
Websites: slayer.net | facebook/slayer
Releases Worldwide: September 11th, 2015

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  • I haven’t heard the album yet, but this review gets a Ralphie A+++++++++

  • Darren

    Talentless.

    (Probably a bit harsh, but hey, I’ve never been a Slayer fan)

  • Iain Gleasure

    So AMG is at the point where he just wants to burn every major metal bridge he has? Is that what the review is?

    Seriously though, great review Dr., I’m not a Slayer fan but it’s disappointing for metal titans like them to be brought so low.

    • We actually have a few very positive reviews on deck. Sadly, this is not one of them.

      • Carl Anderson

        O! ye readers! Take solace in the review of the new Amorphis! :) ;)

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Speaking of reviews, a little bird tells me there’s a Mgla review forthcoming. Is that true?

        • It is, and stop spying on us!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            I think we need to talk about that thing you do in the bathroom every morning.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Whoa Nelly!

          • It’s called combat yoga, and no we don’t.

    • Dr_Fisting

      Between crapping on the new Maiden and crapping on the new Slayer, I feel pretty awful about the current scenario. But hey, it’s not our fault they didn’t make better albums.

      • Worldeater

        Well as the actor Klaus Kinski once said, high standards are only taken as arrogance from below …

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Awesome quote! It makes a hell of a comeback line after being called arrogant.

          • Worldeater

            Yes, i’ve been using it quite offen in discussions, most oft the time people shake their heads in disbelief when hearing it for The first time. By the way Kinsky really was a arrogant prick Form time to time…

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Kinski was not arrogant. You are just below his high standards.
            ;)

    • Kevin Dillon

      Honestly it’s probably created more bridges through mixing/mastering engineers coming here and defending their work. At least all the ones I’ve seen have been professional and insightful. The Riverside engineer with the low rating comment was funny though. 3.5/5 on AMG is like 4.5/5 on Metalsucks.

    • Kronos

      I’ve never seen a bridge that I didn’t want to immolate.

  • IamRipper

    I’m listening to it right now in my truck.. 1.5 seems a little low, but I’ll get back to you when it’s over.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I have seen some recent interviews with Tom Araya regarding Repentless and its upcoming tour and he seems less than enthusiastic about it. It is obvious Slayer has become his job and as most people with a job, he would rather be doing something else

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      I saw those too and completely agree, it made me sad. They’re a band a lot of people have a lot of passion for, yet he just…doesn’t anymore.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Am I the only one who thinks Tom Araya now looks like a Biblical prophet? He´s only missing the robe and a staff.

    • He does look rather biblical in that photo.

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      Biblical Hobo, maybe.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Your comment just made me realize that what we call a hobo today would have been called a prophet 2000-3000 years ago.
        Some unwashed, unshaven guy eating locusts and preaching loudly about how the end is near?
        3000 years ago that was a prophet, today is a stark raving mad hobo.
        Seems mankind has actually proggressed a little in those 3 thousand years.

        • [not a Dr] Gonzalo Salazar

          Only, his sign should read “DON’T repent, the end is near”

          • Cedric D

            “Repent less”

        • What if god was one of us ??

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Just a slob like one of us?

          • I’m just trying to imagine a slayer cover of alanis. It would massively improve their output for this year. ;)

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            That´s not Alanis… And God Hates US All! So I don´t think Slayer is covering that song. And last time Slayer did a bunch of covers it massively lowered the average quality of their output.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      I don’t know, I’m getting a Maharishi Mahesh Yogi vibe.

      • More a like a Slaytanic Jerry Garcia.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          That’d work. He just needs the sunglasses.

          • Chris Timbó

            I thought he was going for a Arabic look, just for the sake of controversy. Put a keffiyeh in his head and watch the people lose their shit … :-)

    • Iliast

      He looks like a bearded potato.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        All my potatos are shaven. I´ll let one grow a beard just for the sake of comparison.

    • Aggrael Obadiah Dunn

      I think his wife released some photos from renowing their wedding vows and he is now beardless.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        So the wife made him shave? That´s SOOOO not Metal!

  • tomasjacobi

    Very entertaining review, as always. I haven’t listened yet, but to be honest I gave up on Slayer a long time ago, so I might not bother at all with this one.

  • Danny Becker

    The only album I really liked post seasons was honestly Christ Illusion.

    • Dr_Fisting

      Ditto!

    • That is by far the best album of their later years.

    • Worldeater

      True, but i also liked god hates us all a lot for its raw energy.

  • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

    ” while it’s weird to hear Slayer with solos that are in tune, he generally fits in well”

    Haha, zing! RIP Jeff Hanneman

  • Karmazov

    I haven’t really been a fan of Slayer since Seasons of the Abyss (which I regard as their best album next to Hell Awaits) and this new album doesn’t really change my opinion on the matter. You can tell that Araya doesn’t really want to do this anymore and eh… I got bored listening to it. As much as I wanted to like I it, I just couldn’t… Atrocity Vendor was pretty cool though.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Atrocity Vendor is a pretty cool song title too.

  • Jón Aldará

    Makes The Book of Souls sound a lot better, doesn’t it?

    • Phil Daly

      The feeling I have from these two albums and reviews is that despite the reservations some may have about Maiden’s more recent style, they are still very much enjoying being Iron Maiden, whereas Slayer really don’t seem to be enjoying being Slayer any more.

  • groverXIII

    My thoughts on this, copy-pasted from elsewhere:

    “This is the metal equivalent of the color beige, utterly bland and unremarkable. At this point, I am on the 7th song, but the only reason I know that is because I actually pulled up my music player to check. I remember absolutely nothing about any of the previous songs, other than they’re all pretty mid-paced and have Tom Araya vocals. This is the sound of a band coasting, riding the laurels of their past work, phoning it in with the knowledge that a decent portion of their fanbase will buy enough records and go to their shows that they will be able to keep making money. This is a band that needs to follow the Bolt Thrower rule of making new albums: if it’s not good enough to stand up to your past material, then don’t bother recording it. Just tour off your old material, because that’s the stuff people want to hear when they see you live anyway.”

    Also, I can’t look at the album art without thinking of Potato Jesus.

    • This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while.

    • Dr_Fisting

      “Potato Christ Illusion”

    • Monsterth Goatom

      He he. That’s a good one. : )

      For one of my favorites, google “This Dog’s Butthole Seriously Looks Like Jesus”.

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        Nuh uh, that’s how you get on lists. And not the awesome Iron Maiden retrospective kind.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          ? : )

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Well, it’s been widely circulated on the Internet; I’m definitly not the first to reference it.

          Besides…. It does. That poor Pug.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      MIND CONTROL FOR COMPULSORY RELIGION! MIND CONTROL FOR COMPULSORY RELIGION! MIND CONTROL FOR COMPULSORY RELIGION AND THE POTATO CHRIST!

      …And Jeff is dead so he can’t do that wicked solo :(

    • Kryopsis

      That was an eloquently worded insightful observation, quickly followed by some of the funniest shit I’ve seen today.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      I still feel like the cover is the best part of this album.

    • Aggrael Obadiah Dunn

      Sir you deserve a potato cookie for Potato Jesus.

    • Dr. Scorpion

      Don’t insult beige.

    • siegbran

      Yeah at this point I’d rather see Slayer do something batshit insane like ‘Lulu’ than this, even if it would ‘tarnish the brand’ in the process.

  • Alexandre Barata

    I had almost the same feeling listening to this album, except that I stopped after the 4th song… “Repentless” song sounds kinda cool, although outdated by 20 years. But the mid-tempos are so awfully boring that I couldn’t keep massacring my ears. Not that I have been a Slayer fan before, but I can appreciate what they did with their early albums. This is just worthless, and worse, shows a band that should have retired long time ago (as any of the other big 4)…

    P.S. No DR rating? :)

  • Refined-Iron Cranium

    I’m going to take this opportunity to say that I fucking hate the production on this album. It just kills the music. It’s the same crap that plagued the latest Overkill and Exodus albums – in fact, they all sound so homogeneous that if it weren’t for the vocalists and other musical nuances, I’d swear they were the same bands. Some genres like tech-death have no problem with this, but thrash suffers because it ends up sounding so boring.

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    I’ve said this elsewhere, but I dunno, I don’t hate this. I’m a massive Slayer fanboy though. They made two big mistakes in releasing 5 songs before it came out (which is half the damn album if you don’t count the intro) and not letting Gary Holt contribute on the songwriting front, because his mid-paced material is much stronger than KK’s.

    That said, it is far and away Slayer’s absolute worst album, and I probably won’t listen to it in full very often. No song here jumps out as awesome, which even Diabolus in Musica had going for it. Hanneman is sorely missed, as he had a hand in the band’s best stuff and it shows. And dammit, I don’t care how stupid it was, I loved his solo in “World Painted Blood” and there’s not even anything like that here.

    • IamRipper

      I don’t think it’s their worst, but maybe you’re a bigger Diabolis in Musica fan than me. And other than Disciple, God Hates us All is pretty weak too.

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        I probably am a bigger fan of that, “In the Name of God” is worth the price of admission that album alone in my likely unpopular opinion. GHUA had a few solid parts, I liked “Here Comes the Pain”, have a soft spot for “Exile” and “Threshold”, and even find “God Send Death” pretty cool. “Disciple” rules though, it’s probably my favorite post-Seasons Slayer opener honestly.

        • Vice-President of Hell

          God Send Death is a masterpiece. it’s seems like a old fucking trend to hate new slayer albums

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            It is! That trend sucks though, because Christ Illusion flat out rules and World Painted Blood was pretty damned great minus “Americon”.

          • Vice-President of Hell

            Christ Illusion my favorite Slayer album by the way

            and what wrong with americon? pretty catchy song. lyrics? yeah, they kind of lefty and edgy

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Lyrics and the main lead/melody damaged it for me. It just sounded so limp-wristed. Especially being preceded by “Human Strain” and followed by “Psychopathy Red”, which were both killer. I don’t hate it, but it’s mediocre IMO. Christ Illusion is probably tied for number two for me, behind Reign and Blood and beside South of Heaven.

          • eloli

            Americon is actually my favorite song from WPB. I find that clumsy stomp rythm pretty creative for the band, and the lyrics are surprisingly aware for this, or any band from the US for that matter.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            WPB is honestly one of the most interesting Slayer records because of how many different songs are said to be the best on it. Now there’s one more to add to the list, and one more time to spin WPB to hear it in context! Also of note is the punk vibe in the verse coming from a Kerry King composition, as Jeff Hanneman was the big punk fan.

          • eloli

            You make a pretty valid point, I’ll have to revisit that album. Personally, outside Americon and the title track, nothing really stands out for me.

        • IamRipper

          On second thought, Bitter Peace and Scrum are better than anything on Repentless, so you’re probably right. You definitely know your Slayer.

        • Chris Timbó

          No love for Payback’s Bitch? New Faith? Along with Disciple, they are my favourite. But I’m no true fan of Slayer … a song here and there …

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            I quite like both! The vocal break in New Faith is still awesome. Payback is just needlessly mean in its lyrics, and I love it; many rugby games were preceded by that somg, among others.

        • Sh0ck-wave

          I only remember Diabolus getting all this hate when it came out, but I thought it sounded great. Lot of my mates were serious slayer fans (eg. back when blank CD’s cost more then album’s and CD players didn’t have ‘repeat’ buttons they’d make whole discs of just ‘Angel of Death’ so they could play it over and over again) .. and they all loathed it. GHUA had some great tracks too, but stuff like ‘Starstruck’ had me scratching my head. It kinda lost it’s way after War Zone.

    • Dr_Fisting

      If I was Kerry King, I’d be very nervous about letting Gary Holt potentially kick my ass at writing riffs and songs.

      • Potentially?

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Probably Kerry King is more concerned about having to pay royalties to Gary Holt than about Gary Holt potentially kicking his ass at writing riffs and songs.

      • Lasse Momme

        It’s not like the last Exodus records have been thrash masterclasses either though. It’s basically two of the most overrated thrash guitarists in the same band trying to write cohesive music even though their styles don’t match one bit.

        • Here’s Johnny

          Sure thing, internet expert.

          • Lasse Momme

            I wouldn’t say that, just someone who has spent quite a lot of time listening to thrash, who knows what is a good record and what isn’t. This really isn’t a good record, and I don’t think Holt could’ve done anything to make it better.

          • Here’s Johnny

            It’s just a Slayer record for better or worse, apart from a couple of groove type tracks its the Slayer sound all over. I’m glad they are still around kicking arse and hope the album does well. Saying its a bad record is ridicilous, even Diabolus wasn’t a bad record. I remember magazines like Terrorizer giving that one 9/10.

          • Lasse Momme

            So because the press gives a record high marks upon release it’s automatically a good record? c’mon man, hype inflates review scores all the time, that’s why you look always have to look back on these things and their legacy. I mean, Rolling Stone Magazine gave Led Zeppelin IV 1 star when it first came out, so does that mean that that record sucked?

            I also disagree that they’re “kicking arse” on this record because all of the aggression virility is absolutely gone, imo. I don’t think they should’ve made this record, in light of the circumstances they absolutely didn’t have to make this record, and listening to it, it definitely sounds like some of them didn’t even want to make this record.

          • Here’s Johnny

            No, i mean i thought The Satanist was wildly overated everwhere. I still thikn thats a good record though.

            Thats where i disagree i think they do sound a bit more pissed off on this album, especially with what has happened over the last few years. Slayer are like Motorhead now, you know what you are going to get. I’m happy enough with that and came to terms with it a long time ago, this is quite a cool headbanging record. I will go see them with Anthrax in November and i’m glad they are still around kicking arse.

        • Cedric D

          The last few Exodus albums before the latest may not be *thrash* masterclasses, but they’re awesome albums nonetheless.

          • Lasse Momme

            no they’re not, especially if you consider the legacy behind a band like Exodus.

  • Stefano Kevin Prince Vitali

    Slayer’s music at its best resembles a snarling, rictus smile, or a creepy, psychotic leer. This record sounds like a mid-aged guy in a Slipknot mask. There’s no urgency in the drumming, no sadistic glee in the guitars, no punch in the vocals. It’s like watching your favourite mad surgeon doing dentist’s work. Not. Worth. It.

    • Kronos

      So, Slipknot?
      After all, they’re just nine middle aged guys in Slipknot masks.

  • Aggrael Obadiah Dunn

    I have not listened to the album thoroughly and while Repentless and Cast the First Stone are cool I could agree with the current grade as I found myself bored a couple of times. But I think the puns with the -less endings are over exaggerated. Would Slayer be what they are today if they played by the rules? Are their riffs following scales or are their solos in tune all the time? Nope. So even if King ignored that this word is non existing I think it is bloody awesome.

    • Dr_Fisting

      Music is subjective; English is not.
      Seriously though — I was just having a little fun with the idea. I could only think of 3, otherwise there might have been more.

      • Aggrael Obadiah Dunn

        Well I can understand it might get addictive hehehe. Probably you could have fun with Rotting Christ lyrics.

        PS:I tried to make a -less pun for two comments now but I failed terribly. Damn.

      • [not a Dr] Gonzalo Salazar

        Modern languages are living things. If the existing vocabulary can’t express what you want to say, it’s your duty to enrich the language.
        It’s not like he decided to do Latin 2.0
        Maybe he is a poet.

        • Dr_Fisting

          The existing language DOES have a word for what Mr. King was trying to express. It’s called “unrepentant.”
          But yeah, he’s like the Shakespeare of thrash metal.

          • Aggrael Obadiah Dunn

            So without Kerry King one could say that thrash is either Shakespeareless or unshakespearant. Ha.

          • Dr_Fisting

            YES!!!!

          • [not a Dr] Gonzalo Salazar

            At the very least, it would be kerrykingless.

          • [not a Dr] Gonzalo Salazar

            To me, repentless sounds like relentlessly unrepentant. A fun word.
            And now it exists.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            It works so well in the chorus too! Unrepentant wouldn’t sound nearly as good IMO.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      It would be the greatest of “Fuck you”s if Merriam-Webster ended up putting the word on their dictionary. Bonus “Fouck you” points if they give credit to Kerry King for “coining the term” and placed their picture next to it.

      • Aggrael Obadiah Dunn

        Yeap they could even say that using -less instead of un- is a Kerrykingism. And though these modernisms are always welcome I dread the day that dictionaries will switch you’re with your…

  • Worldeater

    Deserves them right! I listened to the previously released songs and could not finish because of frustrated-boredom-disorder. I mean come on, writing a new slayer Album is not rocket science, at least they could have tried harder.

  • Francesco Bordoni

    I haven’t got solid proof, but I’ve heard rumors that “Repentless” – I’m talking the song now – was an old unreleased track, going back to the 80’s-era. Clever, clever bastards. No wonder it stands so much above the other material.

    • Dr_Fisting

      I read “Piano Wire” was actually the outtake track, written for one of the more recent albums and (rightfully) left on the cutting room floor.

  • kmal666

    This album just makes me sad. I hold RiB through SitA in very high regard. I even liked Christ Illusion and bought WPB on the first day it came out. But this… I couldn’t make it through the album. The music reminds me of the worst aspects of albums like GHUA and Diabolus – nondescript. The lyrics… oh man. I cringed so hard my balls receded into my body. RIP Slayer, should’ve stopped after World Painted Blood.

  • sssgadget

    Good I didn’t pre-order this album. No ragrets! I was hoping for a Slayer comeback. I guess I was wrong and God hates us all was and is my last favorite album.

    • KingKuranes

      Regretless!

      • sssgadget

        Ragretless!

    • Here’s Johnny

      Your opinion doesn’t have much credibilty if GHUA was your last fave. Christ Illusion and World Painted Blood and this new one, are all better than it.

      • sssgadget

        That’s why it’s called “SUBJECTIVE OPINION” and not “OBJECTIVE FACT”.

  • Rob Nine

    I clearly am in the minority in enjoying this album. It’s no Reign in Blood, but then again, what else is? I’m not sure why people give Bostaph such shit for his drumming. I think he does a fine job, but maybe I’ll easily impressed as I am a mediocre drummer.

    One thing seems to be consistent. Just about every new release I’ve liked this year has received a 2.5 or less from AMG. I do appreciate the consistency!

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Not trying to be a dick, but how many times have you listened to it? I’ve found it loses some luster on repeat listens personally, not sure if that’s a shared sentiment or not. Also, Bostaph is a beast but he lacks the runaway train feel of Lombardo which I think a lot of people miss. I didn’t hear anyone giving him shit for his work with Testament or Exodus, but I didn’t look that hard either.

      • Rob Nine

        You’re not being a dick at all. I love people questioning my opinions, even when I know I’m right and they are totally wrong. :-)

        I’ve listened to the whole album twice, plus the previously released songs a bunch of times. I’ve also listed to the other discs with Bostaph and think he is pretty darn good. Do I like Lombardo better? Absolutely. Do I think even he gets a bit formulaic in his playing? Yes.

        I guess I just appreciate the band for what they are today.

    • Alper Memioglu

      I’m with you, I also enjoyed the album. I am not the biggest fan of Slayer – they are my least favorite out of the so-called Big 4 – so I approached this album thinking I wasn’t going to enjoy it but I like it for what it is. I liked it a lot more than World Painted Blood and Christ Illusion.

      And I agree about Bostaph too – I can understand why people love Lombardo so much (I do too) but I don’t think Bostaph did a bad job at all. Sounds good to me.

  • madhare

    There are things that age well. Like whisky. Wine. Cheese. Paintings. Well printed books. And so on. Metal bands are not among them.

    • Handy Donut Hole

      Iron Maiden? Opeth? Gojira?

      • [not a Dr] Gonzalo Salazar

        Hardrockica?
        never mind…

      • Cedric D

        Iron Maiden sounded outdated 20 years ago. Opeth are no longer metal. But no, I don’t actually agree that metal bands can’t age well.

  • Handy Donut Hole

    I’ve let it play to completion three times in a row now and while I wholeheartedly agree with Fisting’s astute observations I do believe that 1.5 is a wee bit low and this is at least a 2.0 or 2.5.

  • Vice-President of Hell

    nice album. not best, but nice.

  • Martin Langley

    I generally agree with the review, but I think it should have gotten a higher score. With KK handling all the writing, no one expected a masterpiece. Hanneman was always the experimental one. Given their age and the fact that the band has been gutted, it’s not that bad, haha. They still write songs you can headbang to and they are still giving the big middle finger to organized religion. Some of the riffs are generic, but Kerry always says they are just an angry street metal thrash punk band, Don’t expect an intricate Master of Puppets type record. I guess I want them to be better than they are out of respect for what they’ve done for metal.

  • Here’s Johnny

    Haha 1.5? Fuck right off!

    ‘M’lord all my evidence concerning this review site are all here in one review’.

    You hate Nile, hate Slayer, anything else? ‘Bostaph just plays to the riffs and his timing is off’? Are you kidding me?!

    Clickbait, that is all these reviews are these days.

    • Dr_Fisting

      Nobody here ‘hates’ Nile, or Slayer. Those bands both ruled, a long long time ago, and we want them to rule again — but we’re not gonna give them a free pass if they release a turd of an album.

      Also, if you haven’t heard “Repentless” yet, go listen to Bostaph’s kick drums and tell me I’m wrong.

      • Here’s Johnny

        I have listened to it, how about you email Bostaph and ask if his kick drums are out of time on the album?

        If you think Nile and Slayer are releasing turds then i have to really wonder. A turd is something like Morbid Angels last album, the new Nile is good and this is Slayer. Repentless isn’t their best but still kicks arse when Araya and King could have released a real turkey. They played it a bit safe but have probably secured a couple more albums, hopefully with more input from Holt.

        • Dr_Fisting

          I’d gladly email Paul Bostaph, except A) I don’t have his email, and B) he’s too busy counting his money, while I’m too busy reviewing bands. Also, I know what I heard.

        • Weirwolfe

          Well said Johnny. Just finished listening to Repentless and am digging the shit out of it. Then again I don’t sit and analyze every lyric and drum roll when I’m listening to an album. If it moves me on some deeper level I dig it. I was happy that Slayer were able to storm back in such a strong way after the events of the last few years. I remember buying Show No Mercy on vinyl years ago when it first came out eons ago but am far from a fanboy.

    • Kronos

      I love old Nile almost as much as Dr. Fisting here loves old Slayer, but both bands are in a bit of a rut and it’s our job to call is as we see it. If we don’t like a record, we will tell you, no matter who released it.

      • Here’s Johnny

        Nile’s new album is really enjoyable, some really stellar guitar work and drumming. Call to Destruction is worth the admission price alone. It is more direct and brutal, the second half brings back a lot of atmospherics too.It is nothing new but why should it be? Nile is above most death metal bands anyway, what they do is unreal.

        Slayer were in a rut, with this album they haven’t broke the mould but they have secured their future when it could have all fell apart. 1.5 is a ridiclous score, its a generic but enjoyable album. Its not a stinker. I dont think Slayer or Nile have released a bad record per se anyway.

        New Maiden ‘not a good album’? Oh FFS! You lot are having a laugh now i think.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          I’m actually kind of bummed by it (as I know the staff at AMG are as well). I love me some Slayer but this album does absolutely nothing for me. No laughing here. Just bummed.

          • Here’s Johnny

            It’s Slayer, nothing more nothing less. I bet if they ventured out in this album people would have freaked out and criticised it even more. People are fickle as fuck.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            You’re absolutely right. It is Slayer as they are now. Nothing less, nothing more. My opinion of the new album is not a bash; however, this album does nothing for me. If you enjoy it, that is great. I just wanted something else. Not an out-of-left-field change in style or sound, but something I could keep coming back to and enjoy.

          • Here’s Johnny

            Slayer is Slayer, thats good enough for me. I don’t expect anything more. I think there is well enough on this record to please long time fans. I think this album has more energy/aggression about it than the last couple of albums for sure. I really liked World Painted Blood, it is underrated it was the production that killed it.

            This album is like Divine Intervention with better production.

          • “Slayer is Slayer, that’s good enough for me” is the eternal credo of a fanboy. That’s well and good, but it isn’t the basis for a review of an album. If it were, we would just give everything that sounds remotely like a band’s older material a 3.5 and move on. That isn’t the point of reviewing music.

          • Here’s Johnny

            I was making an observation, not doing a review. Slayer being just Slayer is worth more than 1.5/5 any day. Would you give Motorhead or AC/DC 1/5 for just being themselves anyway? Is Repentless groundbreaking, no. Is it Slayer still kicking arse with a pretty good album, i’d say so. No way does it qualify to be a bad record. Super pooper and something like Morbid’s Insanus, now they are bad.

          • You’re just constantly pissed by the scores because they don’t align with your own opinion. And then constantly name call and insult everyone who don’t agree with you.

            GIVE MORE MEANINGLESS POINTS TO MY FAVORITE BANDS THAT ARE DOING THEIR OWN THING is not an observation. It’s just whining.

          • Here’s Johnny

            You are the one name calling. As i said to Steel Druhm i have showed others the recent reviews and their opinions were much like mine.

          • Show me one name I’ve called you.

            As I said, if you’re so crossed, make articulate counterpoints. To call the writers lazy, clickbaiters or hipsters are not counterpoints.

          • Joel Plamondon

            After this review and the Maiden one, I’m just wondering if I take the same music and change the band name, let’s say XYX Record is proud to present Terrorzone’s first cd titled Repentless and Adamantium Virgin debut called The Book of Soul, are they still rated so low ? are you sure you guys don’t expect too much from these old bands ? Like someone else said above, Magic has a small window, the 80’s are long gone, Musical gems should be brought by new bands.

        • But Nile has forgotten to craft memorable songs. Fireworks and showmanship are not enough to make a great record. Couple that with the fact that Nile records pretty much sound like utter non-sense production wise and I think that score was totally justified in my book.

          As for the scores: They are opinions. Do I agree with AMG’s recent Book of Souls review? Not on your life. However, AMG made his case in a well written honest review and THAT my friend is the entire mantra of this site: Well written, honest reviews whether you agree with them or not. Period.

          • Here’s Johnny

            I disagree, the recent album is full of great songs – Call to Destruction, Evil to Cast Out Evil, Negating the Abominable Coils of Apep, Rape of the Black Earth. One thing about NIle is they write songs, i know all those ones already. I love Origin but couldnt name one of their songs right now.

            I know they are opinions but the negativity is becoming overwhelming, Slayer, Maiden Nile and so on. Don’t i have a right to voice my opinion on the site and the reviews too?

          • Absolutely, and it is frankly encouraged here and in the forums (why don’t you start a topic there? There is a whole thread on the Book of Souls and most of it is from people who LOVE the record).

            But the fact is you are constantly complaining (and frankly whining to some extent) about OTHER people’s opinions that are different than yours. And then on top of that, you accuse this site of publishing doctored reviews in order to incite controversy as some subversive way to get more clicks. That’s poor form on your part. Plain and simple.

            You like Nile. You like Book of Souls. Great. No one is saying you are wrong last I checked.

            Btw, now that on my high horse I’d like to say something:

            I have been a long time reader of AMG way before I became a contributor. There have been many, many times I vehemently disagreed with, but I have always – *always* – appreciated the candor and articulate style of each review offered on this site.

            In FACT, I think Steel needs to get a check up. I am very worried for his health. All that cheese he listens to is bound to clog his arteries. Just saying.

          • I’m in an iron lung most of the time. but that just ups my metal cred.

    • Thanks for your oh so valuable clicks in a site with no ad revenue at all. You’re rather clueless for someone who has us supposedly all figured out.

      • Here’s Johnny

        No wonder if your slagging everything off. I didn’t mention cash though.

        • Bullshit, you’re just always pissy that anything and everything the big names do it’s not constantly praised and revered as if the obligation of this site was to them and not the readers.

          • Here’s Johnny

            Not true, if it was crap i would say so. I think this is a good record, made me headbang all way through all can ask for Slayer these days really. I think its far better album than Christ Illusion, GHUA and Diabolus for a start.

            Insanus and Super Collider, now those are worthy of 1/5. This album is just Slayer and if you like Slayer, you will love it.

          • “STOP DISLIKING THE THINGS I LIKE”

            -Here’s Johnny’s *entire* post history.

          • Here’s Johnny

            It isn’t true though, it is more the sheer negativity of all these type of releases is becoming standard. It did a long time ago. I used to really like the reviews on here, which is why i started coming in the first place. Now when i see Nile and Maiden etc i know its going to be a bad score. It has put me off the site immensely, the standard of reviewing has utterly nose dived.

          • Then why are you always here?

          • Here’s Johnny

            Well I used to really like the site, plus i love you and want your body.

          • Fair enough. Right back at you, hot stuff.

          • “Saying its a bad record is ridicilous, even Diabolus wasn’t a bad record”

            “New Maiden ‘not a good album’? Oh FFS! You lot are having a laugh now i think.”

            “Haha 1.5? Fuck right off!”

            “What? He’s a great singer, you got power metal mice?”

            Those are just a few examples.

            Tell you what. Dissatisfaction is the greatest motivator. If you’re really so disillusioned with this site, go make a wordpress blog. Put your highly informed opinions and clearly superior metal taste there and work your ass off promoting the shit out of it. I promise I’ll read it when you put half the effort all the “hipsters” here do.

          • So, according to you,we’re doing all this to get clicks in a site that doesn’t have any ad revenue BECAUSE THERE ARE NO FUCKING ADS AS THE OWNER’S DECISION.

            So I guess we all are just doing to get wildly popular on the singles bar where they play the latest SLAYER, NILE and IRON MAIDEN all fucking time and we say “You know girls? I’m big on this blog because I once said Nile is bad, now come and show me your admiration for my highly clever scheme with your lavish kisses.

            Guess what, there’s other people who don’t think like you. It’s a shocking thing to learn but most people who like this kind of music kind of get it quite early. Either you grow up and accept it or leave the hall.

          • Here’s Johnny

            MetalSucks insults everything to get clicks. Do you blame me for being cynical, i never mentioned making money from ads anyway. AMG does appear high in Google. Hipsters was a joke but was a parting shot at how some semi-obscure folk black metal band will get album of the month were as legacy bands get slaughtered. AMG slagged off At the Gates, Slaughter of the Soul. It has been a constant, i am not whining for no fucking reason.

          • Nobody does anything just for the clicks, if you’re going to accuse anyone of it, understand that clickbaiting it’s a tactic to get ad revenue.

            AMG being high on the search results also has nothing to do with the number of clicks it gets. It comes from a lot of background work optimizing the content for the search engines and a lot of organic promotion, that is, other people independently linking to them on other high ranking sites. It would have to be A TON of people linking to the reviews here saying “NOW LOOK AT HOW THIS HIPSTERS DON’T LIKE SLAYER” to benefit at all of that scheme if that were real.

            Writers at AMG write reviews to be actually read. It’s a radical concept but that’s how they roll.

          • Here’s Johnny

            I am allowed my opinion too and that is calling out the elitist attitude on this site to established bands.

          • I wondered when the “e” word would make its appearance. Keep jerkin’ my man.

          • Here’s Johnny

            No worries and i’m sure this site will do well when it keeps jerking obscure folk black metal as album of the month and giving scathing reviews to established bands every time. I guess it will keep the elitists cosy in winter.

          • Yes, we should totally consider putting albums like the new Slayer up as Record o’ the Month regardless of quality because they’re a big name and we can’t possibly criticize them. Now that sounds like a review site the world needs!

          • Here’s Johnny

            Haha i never said do that either. I would personally give the new Slayer 3/5.

          • HA HA! VVELL SAID! YOVR PERSONAL SCORE IS THE ONE TRVE SCORE THAT BINDS ALL SCORES TOGHETHER. OV COVRSE. VVE’VE BEEN SOOOOO BLIND!!!! CHANGE THE SCORE!!!! OCCVPY AMG!!!! DOVVN VVITH THE ELITIST ONE PERCENT!!!! VP THE IRONS!!!! M/

    • … So if a reviewer dislikes 3 albums the entire site is built around a clickbait scheme? OK, you have me convinced.

      • Here’s Johnny

        Been more than 3 albums, i think they might just be hipsters haha.

        • are you 12? I’ve never seen anyone with a full functioning frontal lobe use “hipsters” as an non-ironical insult.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            lol

          • Here’s Johnny

            this is where you name called btw and you are calling me immature? i was making a joke, insulting my intelligence is not cool to be honest.

          • Oh! No no my trve man, I vvasn’t insvlting yovr intelligence, vvich is abvndant, I vvas qvestioning yovr trveness. Bvt do not fret vret, yov have passed the test. *AND* yov proved an EPIC sense ov hvmovr as vvell vvith that joke, HA HA HA. All these hipsters and posevrs shovld leave the hall novv and leave it to the real SLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRR fans.

          • Here’s Johnny

            Well you are the one showing yourself up with all these type of posts. I’m not a fanboy of any band, this album is far better than Death Magnetic and the last couple of Megadeth albums. The only band of the big four relevant soundwise, are Anthrax.

            This album is a mix between GHUA and Divine Intervention, which is why people like you probably hate it. It is the cool thing to hate on Slayer/Nile these days, keep on being cool and kvlt though. I will keep on seeing Slayer/Anthrax and Nile & Suffocation live this year. I will be sure to shout at Bostaph his kick drum is out of time and that Nile don’t know how to piece a song together these days.

          • You’ve made your point that you disagree with the reviews and think we have an agenda to bash big name bands to be kvlt or something. We get it.
            If you hate the site, go elsewhere. If you disagree with our views, tough luck. But you’re starting to veer into the “I can’t stand when someone disagrees with me” zone and it’s becoming tedious.

          • VVell said my man! This is clearly a SLAYER album and vve should like it because they’re obviovsly being SLAYER. IT SAYS SO IN THE COVER DVH! Ov covrse you’re not a fanboi! Fanbois vvill only care for their ovvn opinions and ignore everyone else and fight every little thing you say vntil their point is accepted as ABSOLVTE TRVTH!!!! HAHAHA fanbois are so FALSE.

            I HOPE BOSTAPH-SENPAI NOTICES YOV JOHNNY-CHAN!!! SO EXCITED!!! HE VVILL SVRELY LAVGH A LOT VVITH YOVR JOKES!!!! :DDD
            OTHERVVISE HE’S JVST BAKA >:(

  • surreptitious pounders

    Ah reviews like this make one wonder what arm chair critics like this one would have said about Soouth of Heaven back then. For better or worse this is Slayer in 2015. It still sounds and feels like Slayer, so if you consider yourself a fan you will find something to like from this album. Oh and the mindless Lombardo worship has got to stop. His performances on the last two Slayer albums had almost zero fluidity.

    • Lasse Momme

      So being a fan means lowering ones expectations for your favorite band? that just seems stupid to me. furthermore I find the notion that this sounds and feels like slayer to be inaccurate. There is no aggression or nerve in any of the songs what so ever, they are basically mailing it in, imo. sure, Slayer was basically writing rip-offs of their own music years before this but back then at least there was some sort of passion. on this record they sound like a tired, old cover band.

      • surreptitious pounders

        You sound like you have an axe to grind. It’s not about lowering expectations, but being realistic. These guys are 50ish and still at least trying not to let their fans down.

        • Lasse Momme

          oh I don’t have an axe to grind at all, but I think it’s weird to insinuate that you should settle for less just because you like the band a lot. On the contrary I find the opposite to hold much more weight and validity. You’ve fucking seen how good they can be and how good their music can be, it should extra much to be subjected to a subpar record. I don’t subscribe to the age argument either, I personally don’t find it commendable that you keep making mediocre music until your teeth fall out. It honestly seems desperate to me.

          • surreptitious pounders

            Not settling for less. This is music remember it’s all subjective. I loved GHUA and many consider it one of their worst albums. These guys having been doing this for 30 years so you expecting them to reinvent the wheel with each new album is unrealistic. There will only ever be one Reign In Blood. They are all well off as well so it is not desperate to me at all. They are legends and deserve respect. They are pioneers who’ve been at this for over 30 yrs and never sold out. Bashing an album before it even has a chance to settle in is a part of this instant need to bash everything veteran bands put out these days. I honestly don’t get it.

          • Bashing an album before it even has a chance to settle in is a part of this instant need to bash everything veteran bands put out these days.

            We don’t write here as part of any gimmick. All they ask every writer is to express their opinions in a clear and consistent manner and to properly support every argument. We don’t get any indication as how we should score any band, be it veteran or new. Even if AMG himself strongly disagrees with a score or a review he will only take it to the comments as anyone should.

            To suggest the site or the writers have some sort of personal vendetta against veteran bands in an effort to appear “cool” or “hip” for whatever gain you could imagine it’s utterly disrespectful to the work, time and effort writers and editors put every fucking day just for the love of music. We spend weeks listening to these albums just to share that experience with the readers.

            You don’t have to agree with that experience and those opinions and you can even call them wrong, but to suggest that they’re dishonest in any way for whatever reason it’s just plain bullshit.

          • surreptitious pounders

            Bands like Slayer are the reason sites like this exist. I’m not suggesting blind loyalty here, but expectations should be realistic for a thrash band 30 yrs in don’t you think? Are you telling me there weren’t people just waiting to bash this album for circumstances not related to the end output?

          • The reason that sites like this exist are the readers.
            Read the review. All the reasons for the score it got here on this site are there. If you have any beef with other sites’ opinions take it to them. And yes I’m telling you that exactly no one on the staff of this site got anything else but the music in mind when writing and publishing this review.

            You say you don’t want blind loyalty but your whole attitude says you don’t want an honest review, you just want cheerleading.

          • surreptitious pounders

            The readers into bands like Slayer you mean. Whatever man, there are many other reputable sites giving the album high average to good reviews for as many ones saying Kerry King cannot play guitar. I have no beef with anyone who doesn’t like the album, I just find it disheartening metalheads these days tend to want to kill their idols. It’s the fall, there’s a new Slayer album out, life is good.

          • Lasse Momme

            No, ’cause Jeff Hanneman is dead, and Slayer would have been better off not making a sub par record.

          • surreptitious pounders

            Yeah have two people kill a successful career cause another member died by his own hand. Makes sense. Name for me a few other as popular metal bands with all original members.

          • Lasse Momme

            what’s your point? that tons of metal bands make shit music after 20 years? I agree. It doesn’t change the fact that the music is actually bad, nor does that mean they should get a pass. I’m not saying Slayer should stop making music, I’m saying that this record is bad and Slayer would’ve been better off not making a bad record. I don’t find solace in the fact that a band that was struck by tragedy put out a record that isn’t good.

          • surreptitious pounders

            I’m just curious, can you name me a band you like that is still putting out what you consider great and/or classic albums 30yrs in?

          • Lasse Momme

            I’d say Sabbath has put out some pretty neat albums very late in their career, same with bolt thrower but I don’t see how it disproves anything I’ve said in my previous posts? If a record is bad, it’s bad. Whoever released it doesn’t matter to me, I don’t play favorites. Do I have favorite bands? absolutely, but if they release a shit album I’m not gonna give them a pass, even if they’ve released records steadily for 20 or 30 years.

          • surreptitious pounders

            Fair enough man. I am still enjoying the new Slayer, they have yet to disappoint me like Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth has in the past.

          • Lasse Momme

            And that’s totally cool. I simply took umbridge with the notion that you put forth in your initial post, which seemed to demean the reviewer and trivialize the work they put into the review.

          • I’m not much of a Slayer fan, but what you’re saying makes sense. I pick up the latest Deicide reflexively each time, and it’s a nice enjoyable listen, like going to see the latest Jurassic Park movie. It doesn’t change my world, and it doesn’t stay in rotation for very long, but that doesn’t hinder my enjoyment of it. Crucifying the old guard for doing what they’ve been doing forever does seem unkind, and unnecessary.

          • Here’s Johnny

            not good to you, you mean.

          • YEAH! You can’t be spovting yovr obviovsly svbjective falseness @lassemomme:disqus. The only opinion that matters here is the one ov TRVE SSSSSLLLLAAAAAAYYYYEEEERRRR fans. Hails! m/

    • so if you consider yourself a fan you will find something to like from this album.

      Make me.

      • surreptitious pounders

        That would be the ultimate last thing I’d do even with a life of 3000 yrs.

  • Lasse Momme

    I can’t believe that people are actually giving out 4 star reviews for this shit, it’s the most timid Slayer record I’ve ever heard and absolutely toothless in every way. what a complete fucking shame.

  • Logos

    It’s twilight of the idols here. First Maiden, now Slayer. Who’s next??

    • Dr_Fisting

      Probably Anthrax and Megadeth.

      • Logos

        I guess it’s the philosophy of Batman The Dark Knight: you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

        • Dr_Fisting

          Now I’m picturing Kerry King as Bane.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          That’s deep, dude. Stop it!

        • Vice-President of Hell

          same quote was in shutter island – “Which would be worse – to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?”

  • Andrew Bagwell

    It’s a great album, nothing wrong with it, I’ve learned over the years that reading reviews on albums is often pointless, this review would prove that point once again. Key thing is if you find yourself playing any album over and over chances are you like it, and fuck what others may think. Toms vocal is vicious, drumming is great, solos are pure SLAYER including Holt’s, production is good. Nods to early SLAYER, seasons and south of heaven….. What’s not to like?? Not enough songs about Satan???? Hahahaha

    • Here’s Johnny

      Exactly and this site is destroying itself with these type of reviews with no other perspectives.

      • THIS!

        The site is obviovsly dying becavse of all this clickbaiting!!! (MORE LIKE FVLSEVAITING AMIRITE??!?!) that makes posevrs believe their opinions matter more than the trveness ov a SSSLLLLLAAAAAAAYYYYEEEEERRRR fan!

        AMG IS DYING! REPENT NOVV!!! OR REPENT LESS… VVatevs.

  • Bryan94

    I have to agree… this is pretty awful…

    Specially the drumming (Sounds to me like he just hits cymbals in a random order sometimes?). Also that guitar work, completly stale… boring and those what do you call it? “Solos?” (I really had a lot of “Dude, calm down on that Wah-Pedal” moments^^)

  • Vice-President of Hell

    but drums sounds like shit, yep. minus point for Terry Date

  • savafreak

    I thought Angry Metal Guy hit rock bottom with his Book of souls review, but wow man, u hit a bottomless pit with this one, congrats!, its not a great album by the way and not even an excellent one, but decent, a la what they have been doing for the past couple of albums, a tad better in fact, it deserves 2.5 at least and not more than 3, cheers. m/

  • Wilhelm

    Slayer has been shit since Diablous, terrible vocals, lame riffs catered for the brootal meathead metal fan and bad repetitive lyrical themes (How many times can we hear about serial killers, terrorists, and war?)

    Basically, they’ve been awful around twice as long as they were good. I just cannot hear Araya yell anymore and the subpar version of thrash metal, I hope it’s their last album…please!

    • Here’s Johnny

      shut up!

      • YEAH! SHVT VP VVITH YOUR FVLSENESS… YOV… YOV…FVLSIE!!!!

        Hovv dare yov have independent taste @disqus_vN4wmRF4Gu:disqus??? That’s ELITIST. VVhy are yov so mean to SSSSLLLLAAAAAAYYYYEEERRR???

        LEAVE SLAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYEEEEERRRRR ALONEEEEE!!!!

  • Punk has been dead since 78 right, the same year the Clash started.

    Shrug, I dunno. Maybe AMG needs to write a big article that says “METAL IS DEAD” to force the irony gods to put a band on the scene that truly re-energizes the genre.

    In the meantime, can I just point out how different it is to see how the surviving members of slayer have wrecked this band compared to the surviving though not original members of riot (V) have kept that band incredible to this day?

  • Óðinn

    I like Slayer, but I’ve never really liked any of the albums they’ve recorded with Paul Bostaph. With both Hanneman and Lombardo out of the band, I’m not excited for this record. Gary Hold may be a Kerry King clone in terms of his attitude, which may make Kerry happy, but he’s not Jeff Hanneman.

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    This is very sameyless in comparison to Seasons in the Abyss.

  • eloli

    Slayer’s my favorite band, ever.
    There, I said it. I’m a shameless Slayer fan boy.
    Also, as much as I enjoy reading reviews and metal criticism, I consider myself completely incapable of writing a good review, since I simply can’t analyze music divorced from the circumstances I’m in when a particular piece of music hits. That’s why I’m really thankful for sites such as this, they give me a different perspective from my usually insular views.
    All that said, I don’t really disagree that much with this review.
    DI was the last record that the band put out that could be considered a classic, despite the fact it wasn’t that well received at the time because it was mostly a lesser RIB retread. IMO, UA, was the worst Slayer record ever, because it was a lame attempt by the band to rebrand itself as punk, at a time when metal was considered an embarrasment in the US. DIM was a little better, even if it was written to appeal to a nu metal crowd.
    The next three albums were simply abou the band recycling old ideas, trying too hard to write in the RIB, SOH, SITA vein, with very mixed results. Over time, I’ve come to view GHA, CI and WPB as virtually interchangeable, three albums worth of songs that can be edited into a roughly album sized playlist. Of the three, I find GHA the best and WPB the worst, but the differences are very marginal. IMO, both CI and WPB were much better received at the time because they were made by the original lineup despite the music in them was nothing to write home about.
    After listening to Repentless twice (having worked in advertising for almost 20 years now I guide myself by first impressions almost exclusively) I can say this album’s not really much different from the three that preceded it: an uninspired attempt by a legacy band to keep the tour machine rolling by putting out a mediocre collection of songs that, from a mere formal point of view, are good enough, but that they don’t really sound special.
    Much has been written about how Hanneman’s and Lombardo’s absence has affected the band, but IMO, this is completely irrelevant. Paul’s accents may be a little different than Dave’s and Gary’s soloing may be a little more technical than Jeff’s, but these are just subtle differences, and Slayer was never about subtlety.
    Repentless sounds exactly like a Slayer album should, just like its three predecessors did, and it wouldn’t have been that much different with Dave or even Jeff in tow.
    Let’s face it, the band got older, but we also got older.
    When Jeff died, I got really sad because I sudenly realized how far I’m now from that 15 year old, carefree headbanger that fell in love with thrash metal in late 87, it was as if the burden of adulthood crushed me that day. But, being 40 ay the time, I got over the sadness the next morning, since, you know, those bills were not going to pay themselves. :D
    Anyhow, I don’t really see the point of expecting legacy bands to recapture the magic of their classic works. Those records were the combination of young, talented and hungry musicians with a cultural landscape that won’t be replicated, the best these bands can do is churn out decent faccimiles of that era, but the sad truth is that real magic has a very small window to happen.
    Our beloved 80s bands aged. We got older. The world changed. New bands carry the torch, while the old bands hang on to their legacy. That’s life, I guess.

    • Joel Plamondon

      Amazing comment ! so true. i felt the same when Jeff died. And me too i much prefer Lombardo on drums, but sadly even Lombardo was not able anymore to help Slayer sound angry and dangerous like the old days, He didn’t make a masterpiece out of Christ Illusion or World Painted Blood. I don’t blame Paul for anything regarding Repentless. I love Lombardo for all he have done but it seems he don’t have it in him anyway. For me Ventor is now the best thrash drummer, he still bring speed and aggression for Kreator. Of all the thrash bands of old, Kreator is the one aging best. I think the rating of AMG is too low, just like the one from Maiden too, he expect too much from the old guard. I think the masterpieces, the gems should come from the younger bands, not the old ones who are mostly out of fresh ideas. If metal need a home run from Slayer and Maiden instead of having it from the new rookies, then we have a big problem.

      • eloli

        Totally agree with you here, German thrash bands are aging way more gracefully than their American counterparts. Destruction, Sodom and Kreator went through some very rough patches in the 90s, yet rebounded nicely by 2000, putting out albums albums that quality wise, are not that far from their classics.
        I was lucky enough to catch Kreator on the Enemy of God and Destruction on the Devolution tours, and they still goti it, no doubt about it.
        Of the American bands, IMO, Testament is the current MVP within the yank ranks: The Gathering is, by far, my favorite Testament album, and the two follow ups were pretty good.
        I have a tougher time with Exodus. Tempo of the Damned was a great comeback, but the Rob Dukes albums were pretty weak, mostly because they were written to appeal to a metalcore/NWOAHN crowd. Blood In was pretty good, but I’m not that optimisticabout the future of this band with Gary being in Slayer.
        Overkill’s had a been putting out pretty good albums since Ironbound, but they’re basically thrash metal’s version of AC/DC, so they never really went away.
        Truth is, there’s still a lot of great classic sounding thrash out there, especially if you listen to rethrash bands like Municipal Waste, Havok, Evile, Toxic Holocaust, Gama Bomb and Warbringer, or slightly more obscure stuff like Game Over, Tuck from Hell, Dust Bolt, Dr. Living Death, Deathhammer, Violator or Lich King… the problem is simply that the Big 4 have basically become nostalgia touring acts.

  • Elton Chagas

    I went to two Slayer’s concerts and have seen thousands of their live perfomances on DVD or youtube. I NEVER saw the crowd asking for the band to play songs from the recent albuns.

    Nobody cares for those albuns, nobody remembers them. This is kinda sad, because the last worth Slayer album dates from 1994!

    Its been more than 20 fucking years of forgetable albuns!

    • Here’s Johnny

      Two concerts wow, you know them so well to know everything thousands of fans are thinking.

      • YEAH! VVhat do *yov* know? Everybody knovvs yov have to attend 777 (The TRVE nvmber ov the BEAST as vve all novv) concerts in your vicinity and @least 7 more overseas to be a *TRVE* SSSSLAAAAAAAAYYYYYEEEEERRRR fan. Novv leave the hall vvith yovr falseness vvimp.

  • beurbs

    lol what’s going on with Paul on this title track… the lead guitarist isn’t supposed to be the one keeping the tempo.

  • sickbroski

    They really like 9/11. I guess I’ll have to replay Hatred with a new soundtrack.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Rememberless…boom tish!

    Hard arse review! I think you’ve been a bit harsh and maybe looking at this a little through angry fan glasses…

    To me, first impression it seems more like it hovers between OK (most of record) and good (implode, you against you and Repentless) with some (Pride and Prejudice Piano wire) noticeable dips below OK. At least it doesn’t stick around too long … It’s definitely a more satisfying listen that WPB.
    Gary Holt is an interesting addition though you can’t really hear any real change in the band at the moment. I’d love to see what would happen on a new record if King would let Holt write some material and steer some of the dynamics.

  • Timothy Roberts

    It’s sad, I’m a die hard fan, and at 52 years old, have been for the better part of my life. I hate to admit it, but I feel like I have been faithful to Slayer, and in a way….and they have let me (us) down. I have paid for all the albums and a shit ton of merch, gone to the shows whenever they are in my neck of the woods, even driving a good distance a few times to see them because live is where they excel, but this mess that is Repentless leaves me with thoughts of the end of a long relationship. It most certainly won’t go down as my new favorite album, although it does have a few good cuts, it’s just not at all living up to the hype they promoted it to be. I will always love (the old) Slayer, but I think the new stuff is falling short of what I had hoped for, and I think that’s probably true for a lot of metal heads out there,….sad. Again, I am a huge fan,….Just disappointed in this latest work,…the fire may have finally left, and it may be time to hang it up, and just let the fans live off the older stuff that doesn’t sound forced or packaged for marketing purposes to a new generation of younger fans, or like they are desperately trying to hang onto their careers by just getting that album out there be it half assed or not. They have definitely made their mark in the history of metal, And they are a killer live show, I just feel like Repentless won’t be in my cd player very often, I’ll be sticking to the old stuff.

  • Man… I was hopeful that Holt would help them get back on their feet. Oh well.

  • Statherian

    Ugh. So bland. The moment that best describes this album is the moment mentioned in the review, where one intro gives way to a second intro (with no musical “link” between them) in When The Stillness Comes – most of this album is kinda like that; uninspired riffs and melodies that barely (and often not at all) fit together to form a song.

    Yes, it’s Slayer doing their thing, but even if it’s formulaic it should be possible to write better songs than this? There’s almost nothing that sticks out as memorable on this album, which was pretty much the same problem I had with the last one as well. I quite liked Christ Illusion, but that was the last time there seemed to be any inspiration in their songwriting.

    Maybe letting Holt contribute would’ve made things better, maybe not. I certainly think he’s a better riff writer than King these days – he could’ve done with some song-editing in his own band (not all songs need to be 8 minutes or more, in fact few thrash songs do), but if he and King collaborated on stuff, perhaps they could’ve made some decent ragers.

    I’ve been a Slayer fan for 25+ years now, but this seems like the final nail in the creative coffin for this band. I might still catch them live, but this album doesn’t exactly inspire me to…

    • Here’s Johnny

      That’s funny because Atrocity Vendor, Repentless, Take Control, Pride and Prejudice, You againt You are all cool Slayer songs. So that is 5 songs from the album i mentioned already but you said they can’t fit anything together to form a song.

      This album is better than Christ Illusion by far.

      • YEAH THAT’S VERY FVNNY @Statherian:disqus If vve like five (5!!!) songs yov cannot possibly dislike them, CHECK MATE ELITISTS! HAILS666777 SLAAAAAAAYERRRRRRR M/ M/ M/

      • Statherian

        Yeah,well… you know, that’s just like… your opinion, man…

        • Here’s Johnny

          Well those songs are just Slayer, so if you don’t like Slayer why are you on this review? Oh i forgot its ‘cool’ to diss big bands now liek Slayer/Nile and so on.

          • Statherian

            Like I said in my first post, I’ve been a Slayer fan since the late 80s, but that doesn’t mean I have to like all the songs they make. And now they made an album where I barely like any of the songs on it. Opinions – ever heard of ’em?

  • mauler77

    Well the production isn’t so bad for a Slayer album… Apart from that I struggled to finish listening to a single song all the way through. Tis embarrassing and even the fast bits sound slow. I think it’s just a problem with the ‘Slayer-style’. They can’t do much else riff-wise, they’re stuck with it.

    Slayer have been dead to me since 94 pretty much.

  • Oberon

    This is why I get my music reviews from AMG and his jolly cohorts. Penthouse should stick to nude chicks not music reviews

  • Mr T

    Reminds me of Slayer

  • Luke_22

    Any shred of optimism I had was canned pretty quickly after the first play through. The title track has grown on me gradually, but in the end it just reminds me how great their classic thrashers of yesteryear are. Much of the album sounds flat and uninspired. With a bit of luck this might be the final nail in the coffin. On the plus side, cheers for the very entertaining review.

  • Marc L

    Long time fan of the site first time poster. I do not have the new Slayer disc yet but I’d like to say this. Every band whether it be rock/metal cannot hit it out of the park every single release even the best of them. Whether it be Kiss,Rush,Slayer,Judas Priest,Motorhead etc.. Although with Jeff Hanneman’s passing is slightly different. I would think it’s tough to come up with good material that fans would enjoy considering some of the classic releases of the bands mentioned earlier in this post. The weight on their shoulders must be immense at times in order to try and please the fan of said bands.

  • dblbass23

    I must be listening to a different album. I think it kicks ass. Of course it’s not a classic Slayer album….but it’s good. And that’s all I was expecting.

  • LibertyToad

    Yeah, I was hoping that Slayer would finally come out with a good album after not having any for years and I get this one. Oh well, it’s good to know that I’m not alone in thinking the album is weak at best.

  • Joe Rico

    You REALLY slammed this one. While I agree with a few of your points it deserves BARE MINIMUM a 3/5. And as a drummer I always liked Lombardo’s flair but Bostaph is a more solid drummer. He’s much more proficient at double bass and has a higher level of accuracy and stamina than Dave.