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Slayer Repentless Review

SLAYER
REPENTLESS

NUCLEAR BLAST
Release Date: September 11th 2015

Slayer Repentless

The first Slayer album in 6 years has been a hotly anticipated one for several reasons, the biggest one probably being it's the very first Slayer album ever without one of it's original members, Jeff Hanneman who unfortunately passed away in 2013. His mark is still left on this album and has been stepped up with the help of Exodus axeman Gary Holt and former Slayer drummer and now back in the band since Dave Lombardo's departure, Paul Bostaph, who was last on 2001's "God Hates Us All". So what is the new Slayer album like?

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If I had to use comparisons which always sounds like a cop out when writing a review, it's simply a continuation of where "World Painted Blood" left off, in fact one of the tracks, "Atrocity Vendor" is a leftover track from that album which was also released on that title track single. That being said, the continuation is not necessarily a bad thing as the band have stepped up the songs and production a little where it's more tighter and less muddy, less fiddling around and more straight up. While the older tracks like "Implode" which was first heard some time ago is very reminiscent of "Public Display of Dismemberment" and "Atrocity Vendor" clearly fit with "World Painted Blood", it's the newer stuff that really stand out on this album. The first 2 songs (not counting the very cool intro track "Delusions Of Saviour") which are the title track "Repentless" and "Take Control" are the thrashiest pieces on here but don't really set the tone for the rest of the album where things slow down as each song comes through.

Fans afraid of the lack of the twin guitar attacks because of the absence of Jeff Hanneman, fear not as Gary Holt really does a tremendous job filling in and keeping the signature Slayer style fairly intact. The title track probably featuring the best example of that too. "Vices" sounds a little inspired by death metal in a way with it's groove and heavy riffs in tandem while "When The Stillness Comes" comes across as much doomier in it's tempo. It's at this point that the real thrash aspect has dwindled away and the album becomes much more groove based, which is not necessarily a bad thing as the songs are still great but if you are looking for a full on thrash album, the second half might be a bit of a let down.

The most noteworthy track on here may be "Piano Wire" which was worked on by Jeff before his passing. It's a left of centre kind of song and lacks the groove of other songs but it has a strong dark atmosphere and you can't help but think of Jeff and what he went through before his time came up. Unfortunately it's not my favorite song on here but I'm sure fans will be looking to this one as the last of Jeff's legacy in Slayer. Towards the end of the album is a little gem in "You Against You". It kicks off as another mid-tempo track but turns into quite a thrasher, it's easily a highlight on the album and one which surprised me as it's so close to the end of the album. Overall "Repentless" definitely has that "World Painted Blood" vibe with sprinkles of "Seasons In The Abyss" and "God Hates Us All", the sound has been stepped up slightly though not hugely by any means but at the end of the day, it's a Slayer album. There's enough here to satisfy the diehards and maybe a few tracks that might interest the usual metal fan in general.


TRACKLIST
Delusions of Saviour
Repentless
Take Control
Vices
Cast the First Stone
When the Stillness Comes
Chasing Death
Implode
Piano Wire
Atrocity Vendor
You Against You
Pride in Prejudice

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Review by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie