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Wish I'd seen them when Hanneman and Lombardo were in the band. Not like I didn't have my chances either. Caught the farewell tour in November last year, and another gig back in November 2015, and I enjoyed them both a lot. But yeah... one of my favourite bands, can't believe I failed to see the original line-up.

I like tracks from all of the albums, anyway, although I can't pretend that they've done anything particularly exceptional since 1990. World Painted Blood is my favourite release since then.

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I've been diving back into Slayer's catalogue lately, partly due to seeing (some of) their set in Melbourne at the Download festival. 

I've been on and off - mostly off - Slayer since a kid at my school was playing 'South of Heaven' in Drama class at school back in 1994, but I sort of regret that I didn't take the show more seriously when I finally got to see them. But it was at the end of a long day and my friend had no interest, plus Ghost started shortly after... 

Anyway, the point is that I went back through my CDs of Slayer and have confirmed, conclusively, that the greatest Slayer album is 'God Hates Us All'. It's aggressive, philosophical, (mostly) focused, and has two of their most intense songs in 'Disciple' and the amazing 'Threshold'. I also love the moment in 'New Faith' when the music stops and Araya screams "I keep the bible in a pool of blood so that none of its lies can affect me". Glorious stuff. 

I also played 'Reign in Blood' about 12 times in a row in my car about a month ago, and I guess it's ok, but I still don't love it. Even in the context of 1986 I don't quite see why it's become the classic that it is today, although I was only 6 years old in 1986 and certainly had no knowledge of thrash, Slayer or anything other than Voltron on TV. 

Hail 'God Hates Us All', the true masterpiece of the true Slayer. 

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So here is my Slayer albums ratings. I like every Slayer album. They never let me down and put out a suck album.

 

Top tier in no particular order-

Hell Awaits, Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, Seasons in the Abyss

If you want fast, aggressive, beat you over the head Slayer you cannot go wrong with HA and RIB. I would say these are Slayer's experiments of all out speed and aggression.

If you want creepy and heavy you got SOH and SIA. As far as I know up until this point, no one had gone for anything like this. Slayer experimenting and evolving.

 

2nd tier in no particular order-

Show No Mercy, God Hates Us All

SNM is very raw and catchy early thrash. Think of this as Slayer's answer to Kill em All even though it sounds nothing like it. This is definitely a cult classic and a favorite among many fans.

GHUA is criticized for having modern touches and that new experimentation panned out really good here. People who hate it say its numetal but this sounds like Slayer not Korn or Slipknot. The modern touches is what made this album so great for me, it sounded new when it came out but still has all the Slayer feel, speed, aggression, heaviness and above all great songwriting. Noone criticized this album when it first came out as far as I can remember. I was playing it constantly.

 

3rd tier in no particular order-

Undisputed Attitude, Divine Intervention

UA is a killer hardcore punk cover album and 3 new songs. In my opinion Slayer topped every band's original with their version and not only that, if there was a hardcore punk band that sounded like this album, I would say they were the greateset hc punk band ever. I would rather listen to this than Discharge any day and I like Discharge.

DI is just a good solid album. No flaws here at all, the only reason it's down here on the 3rd tier is the fact that I love the first 2 tiers a whole lot more. You will not be disappointed in this album. I remember when this came out everyone being like fuck yeah, Slayer are the kings of metal while everyone else sold out etc (at least for the big 4).

 

4th tier in no particular order- this is the bottom rang but everything here is still really good just not as good as the other tiers

Diabolous in Musica, Christ Illusion, World Painted Blood, Repentless

DIM is the furthest experiment with modern sounds Slayer ever did. It's still good but it's the outlier of their catalogue and this experiment didn't end up as good as their other material. This album also gets pegged Nu by people who hate it but this doesn't sound like any Nu band I can think of.

CI, WPB, Repentless are all good albums just not of the greatness of their classics. I don't know if it is down to age or being burned out of years of relentless touring. They weren't as experimental on these albums which I think Slayer were at their best when they were pushing it experimenting with how fast, heavy, creepy etc they could possibly be. All good albums here, Slayer doesn't put out bad albums it just doesn't have the magic of the classics.

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