Record label: Nuclear Blast
Release date: September 11, 2015
Since coming into existence in the early ’80s, Slayer has developed into of the best thrash metal bands known to man. Slayer has this rare ability to produce mind-blowing, adrenaline pumping, vein-bursting, intensely invigorating metal that would calm a psychotic person and give a passive person a cerebral hemorrhage. And yet, from the initial onslaught of their debut album Show No Mercy back in 1983, to their recent release of Repentless, they have always stayed consistent, bringing their fans the kind of jarring metal that would put most therapists out of business. Unlike their counterparts in the Big 4, primarily Metallica and Megadeth, who gradually transitioned to radio friendly songs, Slayer remained true to their menacing sound.
Repentless is Slayer`s twelfth studio album, and their first to feature guitarist Gary Holt of Exodus and drummer Paul Bostaph of Testament. Some bands lose their magic when line-up changes occur and their sound tends to go the way of the buffalo, but Slayer has found absolutely no problems in this area. Repentless offers only a few subtle changes, notably, the addition of a power metal and punk flair to the album. With the intro “Delusions Of Saviour”, a one minute and fifty five second instrumentally infused taste of what will come, Slayer takes its listeners on a power trip through the thrash kingdom of which they ruled. The album opens with the title track, “Repentless”, and keeps listeners enraptured with the heart pounding metal reverberations of “Take Control”, “Vices”, and “Cast The First Stone”. Meanwhile, “When The Stillness Comes” has a similarity to the track “Seasons In The Abyss”, the eponymous track from Slayer’s 1990 release, which could actually be classified as a power ballad.
The seventh track on Repentless is its strongest. It’s a thought provoking song called “Chasing Death”, which carries the message that time waits for no one. This is one of those songs that will remind you why psychiatrists have found such a deep correlation between the way music and drugs affect our brains. As soon as this song enters your cranial cavity, you will almost immediately transform into a drug addict craving his next fix.
The remainder of Repentless is strong and variable, for instance “Implode” transitions back and forth from the punk rock infused, power metal sound to the classic thrash the band is known for. With Repentless, Slayer has once again proven to be that burst of adrenaline after a rollercoaster ride, an unapologetic album full of vigor, a metal cacophany without even the slightest douse of repent.
LIKEYOUSAID Critic Score: 8.0/10.0
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Album Review by John Sullivan.