SLAYER – World Painted Blood

For almost thirty years, SLAYER has unleashed no-frills, no-bull speed metal setting the benchmark for countless acts to follow. They have stuck to their guns and remained unflinching in their approach to uncompromising metal. On their 10th proper studio album, World Painted Blood, the Cali-quartet digs into their extensive bag of metal tricks with another strong offering. The title track starts with an ominous almost SABBATH-like vibe before drummer Dave Lombardo kicks things in to gear and sets the album’s tone with some effective hard-hitting. This continues throughout the first three tracks and one can only marvel at the fact that most of these veterans are in their 40’s. Nonetheless, the band comes on strong attacking the material with the enthusiasm of youngsters half their age. “Beauty through Order” sees the band adopt a more sinister vibe before kicking in full-throttle throughout the remainder of the song. Lead off “single” “Hate Worldwide” keeps the full-throttle spirit alive, but it’s Dave Lombardo‘s incorporation of blast beats on “Public Display of Dismemberment” and closing track “Not of This God” that really set SLAYER apart from the other “big three” of thrash. SLAYER is willing to go that extra mile and pull out all the stops to keep up with the never ending plethora of metal bands coming out of the wood works as many of their contemporaries are content to sit back or get out of the way of the competition. But while SLAYER is SLAYER, and the band’s commitment and intention is clearly evident, World Painted Blood isn’t without its faults. “Human Strain” plods along in an uninspired manner, coming across as unfinished idea rather than a complete song. “Americon,” with its oddly preachy political bent about oil, drives along like a more aggressive metal-oriented MINISTRY song than something one would expect from these genre leaders. The peculiar “Playing with Dolls” also comes out of left field, delivering an odd curiosity rather than the face smashing thrash or a disturbing sense of atmosphere that the band is usually known for. But those are minor complaints, as the majority of World Painted Blood brings it strong, standing tall against the grain and holding true to the strength of metal that many of have forgotten. (American Recordings)

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