Published on:June 11, 2021 at 11:09 am
There will never be a band like this againHunter. With their blazing thrash riffs, psychologically harrowing themes and unparalleled live show, the California thrash quartet paved the way for any band that wanted to make tight, technical music that would offend everyone who heard it. For nearly forty years, the band had metalheads smiling in devilish satisfaction with their frantic anthems of serial killings, battlefield atrocities and of course the devil.
Such a career means a huge back catalog littered with re-recordings, bonus tracks and unsung gems buried deep within classic albums. As Slayer superfans, we decided to tackle the unthinkable and have ranked every single track throughout the band's long career. Here's a final ranking of all 139 Slayer songs we've been able to discover, including bonus tracks, one-offs - all of them.
Raise a glass to Satan, you spirits in black, and take it all in...
141. "Desire"(The devil in music, 1998)
Look, there has to be a worst Slayer song, and it's "Desire." Not only is the track a tiresome attempt to conjure up the attitude of songs like "Dead Skin Mask" and "Divine Intervention," but Tom Araya's lyrics are just sloppy, more sexual than psychopathic. The listener just keeps waiting for that kick or twist that makes this song evil and interesting. Instead, they just keep getting that. Here you go. you wanted to know It is "desire".
140. “Born to be wild”
Who did that?! Who suggested Slayer cover Steppenwolf? Who saw a biker in a Slayer shirt and urged Slayer to do a cover of the opening theme ofSimple rider? We must find her. We have to find her andkick their fucking ass.
139. "I hate you"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
"You walk around like a damn dick / And every time you're around you know I'm getting really sick..."Poetry. There's no getting around it, "I Hate You" sucks. The original Verbal Abuse is decent at best, and Slayer covering it just sounds like going through the moves and trying to sound angry for the sake of anger. The song doesn't teach us anything about Slayer other than that the 90's were tough for them. Happen.
138. “American”(world painted blood, 2009)
How would it sound if Slayer wrote an AC/DC song? Unfortunately, it's "Americon" from 2009world painted blood. What the band were thinking when they wrote this punchy 4/4 track with its terrible pun for a title is beyond us. There's just nothing epic or dark or interesting about this song; At its core, the argument reads like an angry Facebook comment. A song that elicits no other reaction than "FuuuckThe.’
137. "Damm"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
"Drunk drivers against crazy mothers" - how edgy. This Pap Smear cover feels a little too much like Slayer doing their best to be offensive despite covering punk classics in the '90s, an era where punk has officially become heartfelt alternative music for most rock fans was. The end product is a mid-paced track that sounds more confused and uninteresting than confrontational. credit for trying? We believe?
136. "Human Burden"(world painted blood, 2009)
Anworld painted blood, Slayer tear through the brilliant "Public Display of Dismemberment" - and then go straight into that crap. Mid-paced but not delicious, topical but not vindictive, "Human Strain" is a huge nothing. Not even the lyrics save it - Tom says: "Drink the tainted blood of the only child' sounds downright cheesy. man what happened here
PFFFF,OKAY. For the soundtrack of the film by Bret Easton Ellis'less than zero,Slayer decided to cover Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" for some goddamn reason. While it's interesting to hear Tom sing these classic lyrics, it's also incredibly stupid and confusing and not a piece we'll ever need to hear again. Get out of here with that shit.
134. "Violent Pacification"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
Sorry for burdening the bottom end of this list with so muchUndisputed attitude, but maybe that says more about the album than about us. "Violent Pacification" is another song where Slayers go too fast to do anything interesting. The D.R.I. Cover has its moments and isn't as bad as some of the others on the album, but it's pretty much forgotten in the long run. Go on…
133. "Perversions of Pain"(The devil in music, 1998)
What's going on here? "Perversions of Pain" sounds like four different beginnings of Slayer songs, chopped up and Frankenstein stitched together. It never picks up speed, nor does its chorus allow its mid-paced momentum to propel forward. Instead, fans are left with a song that feels like someone who didn't know Slayer tried to write a song for them. It's worth listening, but only to understand what we're talking about.
132. "You vs. You"(wheezing,2015)
The Thrash section in the middle of “You Against You” is the only thing keeping it from ending up at the bottom of this list. The track's lyrics are painfully chilling, the opening tempo is tired and sluggish, and once again it feels like the track is angry at the wrong people. This song is salty and pissed when Slayers need this crimson searing songWut. Do you know that feeling when you bite into an apple and everything inside is mealy? That's what this song feels like.
131. "Catatonic"(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
Claiming that Slayers went "nu-metal" later in their careers is just a salty way of saying they've lost their fast, satanic power. And while that's not always true, it certainly is on “Catatonic”. The track, for lack of better words, feels lazy and never gives fansanythingthat they came to a Slayer album. Even Lombardo's enthusiastic fills in the middle can't save this song.
130. "Take Control"(wheezing,2015)
A song like "Take Control" officially proclaims that Slayers are for old people. The track is full of blunt power, without edges, and seems angry at societal issues... maybe? This is the sonic embodiment of a 40-year-old guy on social media who calls people with political leanings "sheep" and rails against "the media" without ever explaining what it's about. Then he asks your girlfriend for nude photos. Crazy.
129. "Abolish government/superficial love"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
Slayer, the T.S.O.L. is cool in theory, but in practice it feels like an exercise, not a tantrum. "Abolish Government/Superficial Love" is cool and all, but gives Slayer no room to be extraordinary and just seems to exist to prove that Slayer can punk. There's an obligatory vibe here, a distinct feeling that '90s Slayers said they had to be punk because metal wasn't cool. As such, this song is okay, but easy to forget.
„So is it just me, or can everyone see the world drown in their own blood?"Damnedyawning.wheezingis in many ways an attempt by Slayer to recapture the career-reviving power of Slayergod hates us all, but Implode is an example of where that fails. The track's lyrics aim to be colloquial and human, instead sounding just like a series of slogans you see on t-shirts at Hot Topic. If we could take this song off this list, we would.
127. “I will be your god”(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
This reinterpretation of The Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" isn't bad musically - Kerry and Jeff make a cool, slow chug that both references the original track and gives the song a bit of a Slayer vibe. But Tom's "blasphemous" lyrics are so damn crazy it's sad. "Now it's time to bury my face/between your legs with my tongue in that special place.”is the kind of line a high school freshman would write and considersubversive. Come on guys who needed this?
126. "Apparent Enemy"(The devil in music, 1998)
To his honor, 1998The devil in musicallowed Slayer to undertake many stylistic experiments that benefited their later material. The disadvantage? It gave us songs like "Overt Enemy" where experimentation feels unnecessary and boring. The opening leads are ok and the twitching riff in the middle isn't bad - but why does Tom sound like he's underwater? Why this floating melody? Did we need these weak societal judgments? What was the point of this song?
At the very least, “Vices” is kind of Brolic and heavy… but man, that's about all there is to it. Like many other tracks on 2015wheezing, “Vices” sounds old and crappy, the Slayer equivalent of a suburban dad angry at young people online for using drugs. Tom's scream: "Let's all get high!” is bloody flinching. Proof that the band was somehow lost in the mid-2010s.
124. "Crypts of Eternity"(hell is waiting, 1985)
There's a lot going on in Crypts of Eternity, but none of it ever really settles down. The riffs are either too wonky or too typical, and the lyrics (about an evil mummy? Maybe? Not sure, but there's definitely a crypt involved) feels like someone writing a Slayer parody song. Interesting on paper, but not a song fans ever lived or died for.
123. "Richard Hung Himself"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
Once again it's D.I. this helpsUndisputed attituderise a little above his swamp of speed and confusion. "Richard Hung Himself" is at least slow and creepy, letting some of Kings and Hannemans chug on tiptoe. But man, the song feels like an odd choice for Slayer, a track that better suits D.I.'s more gritty, garish, Gothic-leaning approach. A questionable choice from Slayer's ultimate questionable choice record.
122. "Conspiracy"(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
On paper, “Consfearacy” has it all – really fast riffs, really pissed off lyrics, solid Lombardo drumming. But in practice it's all a bunch of Greek salad. The lyrics are aimless, the riffs aren't that catchy and Dave's percussion work just goes along with it to get along. This is less a Slayer song and more a bunch of Slayer parts put together and it shows.
121. "Cast the first stone"(wheezing,2015)
Once again, Slayer's later material is plagued by inertia. With something moreumphHis "Cast the First Stone" could have evoked some of the fury that comes with the mid-paced mid lanesgod hates us alldoes. Instead, it just plows along, ultimately making it unforgettable. Only this high on the list because it's not exactly terrible.
120. "Hunting for Death"(wheezing,2015)
"Chasing Death" is embedded alongside "Cast the First Stone", the track that came before it on the 2015 titleswheezing,on this list.Why? Because they're both the same mess. "Chasing Death" has the same problems as "Cast..." in being listless, uninteresting and angry at the wrong people. It's a waste of time, which is the biggest sin a band can commit in Metal.
119. "War Zone"(god hates us all, 2001)
In a word, War Zone feels mandatory. It's like Slayer writinggod hates us alland thought,We have a satanic song, a murder song... wait, we need a war song!As such the track comes out as standard but certainly not particularly and sounds heavily kinetic when it could have been something simpler and cooler. Sometimes you don't need to checkoneCrate.
118. "Guilt to be white"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
hey boy "Guilty of Being White" is an immediate decent song as it's a Minor Threat cover...but Slayer covering it feels questionable. Given their love of offbeat Nazi imagery and themes, who performed this song - and ended it with Tom yelling,"Guilt of beingTO THE RIGHT!' - feels like Slayer is either baiting the bear or making the implicit statement metalheads have always dreaded. You can imagine a lot of '90s Slayer fans hearing that, making faces and cutting Slayer's throat (or not - which is a problem of its own).
117. "Love to hate"(The devil in music, 1998)
To his credit, "Love to Hate" has great dynamics. But this track feels most like Slayer are doing their best to appeal to the Nu Metal crowd. The production behind Tom's steady verse singing is polished to an odd degree, and the backwards accent that opens the verse and is repeated throughout has a very Korn-like feel to it. Another moment when Slayer should just write something fast and mad about eviscerating someone.
116. "Not of this God"(world painted blood, 2009)
At least “Not of this God” contains a really driving momentum in places. But this is an example of Slayer's melodyless thrash riffs not always landing later in their career. This song needs moreRotthere's more of that pure, gory outrage that made Slayer's earlier stuff so powerful. Instead it's all camo and as such it just never gives the fans what they really want.
115. "Point"(The devil in music, 1998)
"Point" feels like an obvious culmination ofThe devil in music, by having a smack or two of the classic Slayer amongst much of the mid-range stuff. The song could really be a good thing with a dash of Satan up its sleeve, but instead, Slayers are just angry for doing it. Fans who are far enough on the album to hear this track might find something they like, but if you don't, that's okay too.
114. "When the Silence Comes"(wheezing,2015)
The first single from 2015wheezingsaw Slayer do her best to recapture the creepy crawlysouth of heavenand Dead Skin Mask. Did they succeed? Incomplete. While it's by no means a terrible track, “When The Stillness Comes” definitely feels like Slayerattempt, and that automatically puts it below some of its mid-speed brethren. At this point in their career, however, Slayer didn't need to make hits anymore, so who can blame them?
113. "Read Between the Lies"(south of heaven, 1988)
The problem with "Read Between The Lies" lies in Slayer's approachsouth of heaven– slow down and make more sense. The lyrics are extremely verbose and attempt to offer a carefully constructed description of Slayer's very real anti-religious feelings without too much satanic fantasy. Listening to Tom say t-shirt slogans like, "There is no heaven... without a hell!' may have felt thoughtful in 1988, but today it's kind of corny.
112. "piano wire"(wheezing,2015)
Midwaywheezing, "Piano Wire" feels refreshing with its vicious opening riff and killer lyrics. But maybe it's because of how bad the songs are next to it. The track is still an example of Slayer trying hard and failing to reconnect with the mid-paced power ofgod hates us all. If this is your favorite Slayer song, it's not the end of the world, but we still don't have anything for you.
While definitely forgettable in many ways, "Addict" also shows how Slayer can pursue a lyrical theme to the fullest. The "addict" in the track's title is addicted to "get this," "fear and murder," and the lyrics do a good job of conveying that. However, the track is mainly a medium-speed Chugalong and has nothing that really sets it apart. It's good of Tom to stand up for himself in this case.
110. "Abomination Sellers"(wheezing,2015)
When “Atrocity Vendor” starts you hear the first riff and you think:Finally a THRASH SONG on this album!Then it rolls on and Tom says, "In this chapel, I'm your pastor / a damn guarantee of your impending disaster.” And you thinkGod damn Slayer, why do you have to suck so much in 2015? This is boring. And that's all you need to know!
109. "hardening of the arteries"(hell is waiting, 1985)
To his credit, "Hardening of the Arteries" moves fast and easy, and its sonic callback to "Hell Awaits" at the end is quite radical. But otherwise it is like thisOnlya Slayer song, fast and furious and obsessed with death, but with little other substance. As with many of its neighbors on the B side ofhell is waiting, the track has potential and shows a band bursting but never goes the full distance.
108. „Supremist“(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
While "Supremist" is at the bottom of this list, it certainly isn'tbadSlayer song. The band shows up with guns cocked, a really burly guitar tone and an epic final breakdown. But it would be nice for these elementsgosomewhere andAgainsomething; as it is, they kind of fizzle out. Definitely worth checking out in relation to its neighborsChristus-Illusion, but not one you'll blast at the metal party.
107. "Beauty Through Order"(world painted blood, 2009)
Oh man, Slayer finally wrote a song about Elizabeth Bathory, and this is itThe? Back in 1989, the band would have used that moment to write a vicious track about the vampiric legend of this alleged serial killer. Instead, we get this meandering, grunge-infused mid-pacer that's more about their obsession with order and vanity than anything else. A massive missed opportunity for Metal's meanest band.
106. "Savior Mania"(wheezing,2015)
The intro track to 2015wheezingisn't a great Slayer, but it's not that bad. The song hints at the looming gym rat vibe that the whole album tries to curb. And while many of the tracks don't pull through, this snippet definitely hints at what those are landing (or thelike, honestly) pretty good. Not bad but only a minute plus intro so whatever.
105. "Gender. Murder. Art"(divine intervention,1994)
It's unclear if Tom Araya bought the shirt with that title or if the shirt was made for him, but either way "Sex. Murder. Art." feels somehow defined by the fact that Tom has been rocking the title on his outfit for much of the timeDivine Interventiontour cycle. With lyrics about fisting orifices and "rape again and again' the track seems intent on replacing Slayer's satanic themes with perverse ones in order to achieve... questionable goals. While the song is refreshingly fast, it just doesn't have the heart that a Slayer classic needs.
104. "Cry from Heaven"(The devil in music, 1998)
Perhaps if "Screaming From The Sky" had been written in the 80's, its murderous lyrics and tortured Warzone vibe could have been paired with a few bitchy thrash licks. Instead, it was written in 1997, so it's dragged down by those labored hardcore riffs and vocal effects. The end result is a track that's equal parts interesting and about as boring as Slayer songs get. what can we say They tried their best.
103. „Skelett-Christus“(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
Once again, Dave Lombardo's drumming rescues a track from 2006Chris-Illusionfrom being typical. “Skeleton Christ” may have repetitive vocals and wordy lyrics, but it also has that double bass roll that accompanies the churning central riff. It's telling that Dave's drums are at the top of the mix here - we might not have been the only ones who heard this track and thought Lombardo was his salvation. Good thing Kerry got Tom to yell "Hail Satan!"
102. "Pride in Prejudice"(wheezing,2015)
When Slayers want to lumber, the least they can do is lumber HARD. Pride of Prejudice Showswheezing' tragic mid-tempo that actually works for the band in a fist-wielding way. What's more, it finally seems to appeal to Slayer's Nazi fanbase with lines like:"Don't give me that power bullshit' - but in the end it takes a painful two-way-wrong attitude. Too bad too - this could have been a big turning point for the band's image.
101. "Playing with Dolls"(world painted blood, 2009)
Despised by the band's fanbase, "Playing With Dolls" really isn't a bad song - it just sounds like it was written for Slipknot. With nine guys and a bunch of weird drums and samples filling it out, the song would be a Metal classic. Instead it is performed by the strongest band in Metal history and therefore sounds more like a poorly done single than anything else. Hopefully we'll hear the band from Iowan as a cover at some point.
100. "Threshold"(god hates us all, 2001)
When old school fans complain about Slayer making nu-metalgod hates us all, they really talk about "threshold". The track is a straight hardcore bruiser with a super simple riff that would obviously leave thrash diehards feeling betrayed. The song's lyrics and vibe are definitely more hatebreed than Korn, but there's still nothing edgy or dangerous about them. Not a terrible track but it is what it is.
99. "Eyes of the Mad"(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
Let's face it, Slayer winning a Grammy for Eyes of the Insane in 2007 was a lifetime achievement award. The attempted threat and topical theme of the song are hampered by its odd rhythm changes and sluggish tempo. Nothing about the track has the crimson flame that the band will always be known for. At least the academy caught up with them, but man, for this song?TheLied?
98. "Here Comes the Pain"(god hates us all, 2001)
As a wrestling anthem - as it was written - "Here Comes The Pain" isn't all that bad. As a Slayer song, it's... not terrible either, but certainly not excellent. Like several other tracks ongod hates us all, the song feels like it could have been better performed by a band like Slipknot. However, for a specific type of weightlifting session, this track offers excellent background music.
"Wicked" ended up being a bonus trackThe devil in music, so that's one of the reasons you've probably never heard of it. The other is that it's just not very extraordinary. It's not even amazingly bad or downright awful - it has some Slayeriffic bits, but none of them are terribly interesting. An example of how the band's experiments in the late '90s often only led to boring moments.
96. "Prostrate"(god hates us all, 2001)
Of the many big pounding hardcore tracksgod hates us all, “Cast Down” is one of the weaker ones. The jumbled rhythms and cracked lyrics just don't do justice to the band's fury on this record. It's a song that would be really powerful if performed by another, more dysfunctional sounding band, but it just doesn't cut it for Slayer. Not the worst, but far from the best.
95. „Metal Storm/Face The Slayer“(show no mercy1983)
It speaks toshow no mercy's credit that the worst song on it is still pretty badass. "Metal Storm/Face The Slayer" sounds like its title suggests - a bit long, a bit overly complicated, with nothing to scream in unison. Sure, there are lyrics like: "I will imprison you in the pentagram and seal your shattered tomb', but there just aren't enough timeless riffs to push the track higher on this list. Anyway, if this is the worst song on the record, let's take it.
94. "Serenity in Murder"(divine intervention,1994)
Divine InterventionHis big single was "Serenity In Murder," which even came with a confusing Slayer tamed video that was shown on MTV. Tom's new vocal technique keeps things spooky, but the way she counters by doing a pretty standard Slayer scream isn't entirely great. That, plus the track's lack of complete darkness – there's no face-peeling carnage here, let alone one done in Satan's name – make this a mid-level track in Slayer's catalogue. Eh
93. "Filler / I Don't Want To Hear It"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
When you cover a solid track, it's hard to screw it up completely, so "Filler/I Don't Want To Hear It" stays higher than some Slayer songs just because it's a minor threat song. The track also has enough space for King and Hanneman to show off their talents. That said, it's another sound blur fromUndisputed attitude, a track that never really gives fans enough time to remember. Good, but only good.
92. "Unguarded Instinct"
What's interesting about “Unguarded Instinct”, a bonus track byThe devil in music, is that you can hear the beginnings of Slayer as it would soundgod hates us all. The song still has a lot of issues, but it has a really muscular power that was later refined and reworked to great effect in 2001. Perhaps it's proof that Slayer didn't yet have enough confidence in the material that would later revitalize their careers. Definitely a solid, if not stellar cut.
91. "Purify the Soul"(south of heaven, 1988)
In many ways, "Cleanse the Soul" is Slayer's great Death Metal song - no big chorus, no topical comments, just a scene of pure horror. There is something about Tom's angry but steady screams that gives him a truly regal feel and lets the listener see the unholy church where these atrocities are taking place. That is, next to the other songs onsouth of heaven, it just sort of pales in comparison. A weird and somewhat cool one, but not the most memorable.
90. "Killing Fields"(divine intervention,1994)
The opening of "Killing Fields" is a pretty perfect encapsulation ofDivine Interventions whole approach. The steady double bass is in the foreground, the guitars are chuggier and the steamroller tempo dominates everything. When it kicks off the track is pretty rad, but getting through this opening takes a lot of Slayers to find themselves and it's understandable that some fans just weren't interested. Evil never dies, but sometimes it needs to stop and catch its breath.
89. "Black Serenade"(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
In a word, "Black Serenade" is confusing. It's certainly not a thrash song, but it's also not one of the thugs that Slayer devotees have been searching for the past few days. However, the track contains a tremendous rescue: Dave Lombardo. While the song is questionable overall, those fills and cymbal things that smack of Dave's Latin roots make it a Slayer track to know. Bless and protect you genius Skinsman.
88. "Verbal Abuse/Leech"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
This verbal abuse cover is in many ways an explanation of whyUndisputed attitudedoesn't quite work. Sure, hearing Slayer cover a breakneck punk track sucks, but there just isn't room for the band to show off their looming Metal aspects. The result is a fine punk track, but not a great Slayer song, and neither is itimpressivelypunk song anyway. Not bad, but just kind of blurry.
87. "SS-3"(divine intervention,1994)
How many ofDivine Intervention, “SS-3” feels constrained by what Slayers told themselves they could and couldn't do. The track is a fine WWII themed mid-pacer, but it begs for more - a cooler, more melodic chorus or maybe some sort of excellent solo somewhere in there. Instead, Tom yells lyrics like, "Wade through blood and bleed some more' to castrate the bizarre horror that made Slayer great. A missed opportunity.
86. "Decay/Free Money"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
The track "Verbal Abuse" which opens Slayer's ill-fated punk cover albumUndisputed attitudeactually suggests that the record could be a smash. Fast paced and pissed off, yet clearly sounding like a Slayer track, the song lives up to the premise of the record. That said, it definitely feels like Slayer covering a punk song, and as such tinges slightly with insincerity. An interesting re-listen, but nothing you'd tell your friends.
85. "Exile"(god hates us all, 2001)
Like "Cast Down" and "Threshold", "Exile" is part of the aimless middlegod hates us all. The difference, however, is the speed - unlike those tracks, this song has an exciting punk gallop. That allows Tom's texts like:"You self righteous asshole/Give me a reason not to rip off your fucking face"to feel a little more believable and awesome than they otherwise would. From the heart of this album it's “Exile” that feels the closest to a good old fashioned Slayer song.
84. "Jihad"(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
While the track's thematic focus feels a bit forced in the post-911 worldChris-Illusion, “Jihad” has a lot to offer. The rhythm is just crass and adds a borderline panic excitement. Meanwhile, Tom's sharp, high-pitched vocals, which are overdone at times in other parts of the album, really elevate this track. While the record sucks across the board, this is an example of Slayer doing something really right.
83. "Haunted Chapel"(Haunted in the chapelEP, 1984)
The steady, hard-hitting malevolence of "Haunting The Chapel" was a solid portent of what was to come for Slayer. Its production value and vocal patterns definitely sound like a bridge between the raging blast ofshow no mercyand the blatant howling ofhell is waiting. But while it's an interesting moment in the band's career, it's not the best drinking song and is so often overlooked. And given how great the other two songs on their EP are, you can imagine why.
82. "Temptation"(seasons in the abyss,1990)
Aside from its odd, double-layered verse vocals, “Temptation” just doesn't have much to offer. Sure, his gallops fit in with the other songsSeasons in the Abyss, and it definitely adds a nuance between "Skeletons of Society" and "Born of Fire". But none of the lyrics seem as interesting as Slayer's best, and the riffs just aren't there. A track that we will always leave but may never highlight.
81. "Mr. Freeze"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
Undisputed attitudeis a rare album where speed is more Slayer's enemy than friend. "Mr. Freeze" gives the band a moment to slow things down a bit and features a horse-whining solo from Kerry King that puts it above many of its neighbors. Not only that, the lyrics by Dr. Know make this track a bit more appropriate for the band than some of the other songs Even mixed bags have good stuff in them.
80. "Memories of Tomorrow"
Although only 55 seconds long, this covers the 1996 Suicidal Tendencies albumUndisputed attitudeis damn awesome. It shows how Slayer goes all-in on the punk side of thrash by honoring arguably the greatest punk side of thrash bands out there. That said, there was only one bonus track on the record in the end, perhaps because the band was wary of the "thrash" tag so close to the '80s. Definitely one of the better tracks on the album.
Oh man, why was "Scarstruck" only a bonus track ongod hates us allThe song has a lot more energy and attack than some of the other tracks on the record and Tom's vocal patterns are both unusual for the band and super well done. This is the kind of song that shows how Slayer had hit a new plateau with their 2001 release, but that maybe they didn't know it yet. We do this every day via War Zone!
78. "Snuff"(world painted blood, 2009)
You know, "Snuff" isn't so bad once you get over the hilarity of a song about snuff movies where the chorus begins with someone yelling "ACTION!" That said, at times this track feels like Slayer is looking for what else is left in the subject matter.What haven't we done yet... snuff movies!Not a bad track, but one of those songs that just feels like Latter Day Slayer and nothing more.
77. "Can't stand you"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
"Can't Stand You" is an example of Slayer fully realizing the premise ofUndisputed attitude. While other tracks on the record attempt to honor key punk legends, this Pap Smear cover is just a quick, misanthropic blast of hate. Hearing Slayer slicing every inch of fat from their music is fascinating, and delivers some pretty solid results. If you want to be fast and loud, go the fastest and the loudest.
76. "In the Name of God"(The devil in music, 1998)
"In The Name Of God" might not be the most nuanced or technically brilliant Slayer song out there, but it has a churn riff most bands only dream of. What's more, the song's vocal patterns and layering work really well for late 90's Slayers. There's a strong vibe here, a sense that even if they try a little more than Thrash, Slayer are still very much Slayer. Hey, we all need workout music.
75. "Dissident Aggressor"(south of heaven, 1988)
To some, Slayer's armored belligerence must have seemed like the next step in the evolution of a band like Judas Priest. "Dissident Aggressor" wasn't a Priest song that every average headbanger knew well, but it obviously had an influence on young Kerry King. The cover art definitely brings a new level of menace to the original, and the replacement of Halford's high-pitched backing vocals with squeaky guitars saves it from betraying the thrash titans' MO at a pivotal point in their careers. Was standing! Dispute!
74. "Spiritual Law"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
"Spiritual Law" is one of the few moments whereUndisputed attitudeshines. The song's tempo changes and themes give Slayer room to be Slayer while still trying out some interesting things. While it's still not Slayer's brightest moment - by far - this D.I. Cover at least opens up the possibilities of what this sometimes ill-conceived sounding record can be. An interesting moment on an otherwise questionable record.
73. "Crush"(The devil in music, 1998)
Nobody asked for a Slayer song about rugby, but guess what, they wrote one. That said, if you can get over the subject, “Scrum” is actually a pretty badass track, full of both the crunching hardcore riffs of the last few days and the fast metallic licks that made 90's Slayer cool. That they buried the songThe devil in musicperhaps speaks to the band's focus on more listenable melodies. Or maybe they were a little red-faced when they had to admit they'd written a song about fucking rugby.
72. "Darkness of Christ"(god hates us all, 2001)
It may only be an intro track, but "Darkness of Christ" still marks the moment when Slayers reverted to old form. The frantic, fuzzy noise on it, along with the intense screed of Tom Araya and an unnamed narrator, show how ready Slayer were to once again face both darkness and sonic vengeance. The song will forever be legendary among fans of all ages as it has been used to introduce the band's live show since it was first recorded. Only Slayer could write a minute and a half intro track that puts most other metal songs to shame.
71. "Expendable Youth"(seasons in the abyss,1990)
On the one hand, "Expendable Youth" adds a much-needed dose of humanity to Slayer's battlefield stories and confronts how many young men are senseless victims of war. On the other hand, the track feels a little listless, with a pace that could best be described as a 'galumphing' rage – even if those are the only things it does.
70. "Reborn"(blood reign,1986)
It's fast, it's ruthless, it hits hard - "Reborn" couldn't be off any other album thanblood reign. But unlike the other tracks on the record, the song just doesn't have the nuance to elevate him beyond his wrath. Sure, the track is rad, but it never opens up into an ultra-satanic meltdown or gives the listener any of Dave Lombardo's echo drum breaks. As such, it is the lowest ranked title on this listGovern– which says something about this album more than anything else.
69. „213“(divine intervention,1994)
With Ed Gein covered over Dead Skin Mask, it was inevitable that Slayer would soon turn to Milwaukee cannibal Jeffery Dahmer. In this way, "213" has a leisurely pace and a melancholic psychological slant that suits Dahmer's poor, broken mind well (Tom's resonant freak out at the end is particularly compelling). At the same time, the song definitely drags along at times and as such never became the creepy anthem that "Dead Skin Mask" did. Probably most Slayers say "love" in every song.
68. "Meat Storm"(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
Dave Lombardo's 2006 reunion albumChristus-Illusionis a mixed bag overall, but you have to give it to Slayer because he came out of the gate with all his weapons. Opener "Flesh Storm" is undeniably evil and powerful, assuring fans that the album will be Thrash chops. Lombardo, meanwhile, is used well, if a bit too straightforward. However, given some of the other material on this record, this track is a certified banger.
67. "Public Exposure of the Dismemberment"(world painted blood, 2009)
Smack-dab in the mid-2009sworld painted blood,Public Display of Dismemberment shows how much fun Slayers have when they don't care. The track is a beautiful double of rabid speed and badass swing that does the boys legacy proud. Kerry's solo sounds completely off the rails, leading to a blastbeat-infused thrust that modern metal fans crave. Absolutely damn awesome.
66. Krionik(show no mercy1983)
Whileshow no mercyadding a layer of spiked leather to the heavy metal as a whole, “Crionics” is definitely the track where the band pays homage to their ancestors. The chorus's rising melody is reminiscent of Judas Priest and Dio, even as it sings about being frozen alive by scientists (or whatever). While this may be why he's not often remembered among the album's tracks, it's also what makes the song unique. Cool with old school style.
65. "Praise of Death"(hell is waiting, 1985)
What “Praise of Death” has to offer is its speed and central riff - both pointing towards somethinghell is waitingdid for the band's career, sonic development and legacy. What it lacks is a big hook, making the song's catchier moments feel a little too stretched out; If the listener wants to shout along to this, he has to memorize a sip of the text. A moment of growing pains for Slayer, but a quick and morbid one at least.
64. "Twins"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
If 1996 is bad adviceUndisputed attitudehas a really outstanding moment, it's the original track "Gemini". The track is definitely not a "true" Slayer - you can hear attempts to connect with the grunge crowd in the vocal layering - but the lyrics and vibe are spot on. It also heralds Slayer's impending future with mid-paced, atmospheric tracks that would be so much a part of itThe devil in musicAndgod hates us all. At least there is one track on this album that reigns supreme. Somehow.
63. "Jesus Corrected"(blood reign,1986)
Without a doubt, “Jesus Saves” is as fast and kinetic a Slayer song as you can get. The problem is that it doesn't have any solid hooks, either lyrically or musically. Even more, its antichristianity is a bit more open and less nuanced than can be found in some of their other tracks. Ribs, yes, but Slayers did a lot better.
62. "Fictional Reality"(divine intervention,1994)
In many ways, Fictional Reality is an embodiment of what Slayer did right - and wrongDivine Intervention.The track has an undeniable dynamic and Tom's vocal rhythms are more interesting than a typical Thrash anthem. But the song is always a bit slow, a bit wordy, and never gives fans the delicious riff they crave. As such, it falls squarely in the middle of this list, a blatant song that doesn't quite get our fires raging.
61. "Cool"(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
On one hand, when "Cult" came out, it was refreshing to hear Slayer fully embrace their heretical side again. Then again, it's a bit on the nose to have Tom yell, "religion is hate Religion is Fear!New-school fans rejoiced, but classic fans probably felt Slayer wince and say, "Look how fucking Slaaaayers we are!" All of which said, goddamn, what a radical opening. There's no denying that.
60. "Catalyst"(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
2006Chris-Illusionwas a mixed bag for Slayer, but "Catalyst" felt like Kerry King expressing his true self in fine form. opening line"Attitude is my addiction / I live life with no regrets' is a blunt statement of what Slayer was about in the mid-2000s. The song also has a patented tiptoe riff in the middle.”I live it every day” sections, making it a mean thrash number overall despite its camo bandana vibe. Not a bad song for a pissed off playlist.
59. „Ditohead“(divine intervention,1994)
On the plus side, "Dittohead" proved that Slayers could still be damn fastDivine Intervention. The song is a whirlwind that chews on top and served as an entry point into the love of hardcore that Slayer championed along the wayUndisputed attitudecover album. That is, well, it led toUndisputed attitude— not Slayer's best-received album — and fights so hard to move away from blood and satan that it feels forced. A nice, quick, rabid comment.
58. "Deviation"(god hates us all, 2001)
Among the many killer tracks ongod hates us all, “deviation” is often wrongly overlooked. Sure, the song isn't a throwback banger or groundbreaking; It could plausibly have been written by Slipknot, who many of the tracks on this record suggest Kerry had King in mind. That said, as creepy Slayer songs about the mind of a sex killer go, this one is pretty powerful and shows just how slowly Slayer can still win the arms race. Get on.
57. "Sick Boy"(Undisputed attitude, 1996)
So why the hell wasn't every single track onUndisputed attitudeso good? Why did Slayer do all those other aimless punk covers when this blazing G.B.H. Cover is so damn great? Why didn't the band just stuff this album with old-school speed metal bang-along hits like this one? Why did this album have to be such a test for the fans when it could have beenThe? And why thehellWas that just a bonus track?
Arguably the last great Slayer song to be recorded on tape, "Repentless" is the stripped down reduction of the band's second act. The satanic themes are steeped in real-world anger, and the main line of the chorus has a Motörhead-esque gambling reference. These things point to the unexpected phenomenon that was Accessible Slayer as metal's baddest band became a household name. Let it go.
55. "Living Undead"(south of heaven, 1988)
"Live Undead" is a mixed track where Slayer does very interesting things that don't always go down well. The song embodies the let's-try-slow-this-time ethos behind itsouth of heaven, moves in a swaying tempo until the thrash part at the end. It also tells a story from the point of view of someone becoming a zombie, which is cool and unusual. That said, there's no section of the track memorable enough to sing along to, making it a radical experiment, but only that.
54. "Bloodline"(god hates us all, 2001)
You wouldn't believe Slayer had a great song about Dracula in it, but "Bloodline" - originally premiered on theDracula 2000Soundtrack - delivers like hell. Rather than get too caught up in the Victorian frills that Ghost, for example, do, the band focuses on the menacing presence and diabolical heritage of the Vampire Kings. The result is an emerging, riffy track that pays due tribute to the oldest of evils. Blood is life, motherfucker.
53. "Final Six"(Christus-Illusion, 2006)
Well, that's more like it, Recording Academy! "Final Six" is an example of the strange rhythms and song structures ofChristus-Illusionwork for the benefit of the band. With powerful lyrics, incredibly unorthodox Lombardo drumming and perfect kicks after every chorus, this track is where modern Slayers put many of their peers to shame. Definitely worthy of the Grammy, even if the Academy showed up two decades late.
52. "The Last Order"(show no mercy1983)
Given the venomous catchiness of its neighbors, "The Final Command" might just be the most rousing Thrash track out thereshow no mercy. The song shoots forward with really sharp momentum and has a cool, cunning riff in the middle. That said, compared to the other songs on the album, it's just fast and easy and never quite gets that catchy tune that's on, say, “The Antichrist”. Still good for kicking down a door and throwing the horns.
51. "Divine Intervention"(divine intervention,1994)
The title track of the 95'sDivine InterventionFeatures Slayer will be doomier than ever. In the vein of "Spill the Blood," the song is lengthy and torturous, focusing on spiritual destruction rather than hellish damnation. While it's certainly a bit darker than the band's old-school fans like, the believable agony in the track's bridge is definitely still the stuff of Slayer legends. No mercy, no reason, just pain.
50. "Seven Faces"(god hates us all, 2001)
It's widely accepted that "Seven Faces" is the game changergod hates us all, moving the album from fast, punchy tracks to slow, malicious tracks. The song's focus on the seven sins might feel a little goofy to some, but it shows Slayer's shift towards satanic reality rather than satanic fantasy, and the track's crunching pendulum riffs definitely show the album's dynamics. A great song that shows that slow Slayer has always been just as good as fast.
49. "Skull"(The devil in music, 1998)
A timeless jewel from the 1998sThe devil in music, "Death's Head" is both unexpectedly catchy and on-brand with metal's most hostile crew. The track doesn't really have a chorus, instead being carried by the bouncy dynamics of its verse and central riff. As such, it's a perfect song between singles, memorable if not a hit (Slayer have a talent for it - their track 2's are consistently weird and cool). Do yourself a favor and get back on board.
48. "Blood Red"(seasons in the abyss,1990)
Though "Blood Red" is just one of many Slayer songs about warfare and human horror, it has a dark, mysterious vibe that elevates it. Lyrics about "Stain[ing] the primitive sickle" make it seem like Slayers are the gods on their thrones, watching the folly of mankind. Though a little sluggish at times, the track still dutifully chugs along and includes some odd jazzy fills courtesy of Dave Lombardo. An odd classic that either hit you hard or didn't hit you at all.
47. "Bit by Bit"(blood reign,1986)
"Bone and blood lie on the floor / Rotten limbs lie dead / Decapitated bodies found / On my wall, your head!"Ah, the gospel of Araya. Piece by Piece has done some hard work following Angel of Deathblood reign, but the sheer speed and grudge of the track make up for it. This is a Slayer death metal song, a madness of rage and mutilation that doesn't even end but wakes up covered in blood. There's only one way out of here...
46. “God sends death”(god hates us all, 2001)
„God Send Death“ istgod hates us allin short - catchy, darkly vicious, full of classic Slayer riffs that are oddly placed and oddly rhythmized. For fans of the band's more sinister tunes, it was a full-on single, heralding that the album would enjoy Slayer's crawling evil rather than its high-octane sprint. It's also a song that would perform surprisingly well in a strip club, signaling Slayer's eventual transformation from underground phenomenon to every tattooed guy's favorite band. Perverse!
45. "Mind Control"(divine intervention,1994)
“Mind Control” is often forgotten because it's the last trackDivine Intervention, an album that many Slayer fans don't love. But damn this song claps - the momentum is furious from the get go, and the structure ensures that even the slower, more muscular riffs don't break the Thrash fury. The lyrical themes also stay within the realm of the twisted psychology that makes Slayer so special. If you don't remember this one, listen to it now - you'll be glad you did.
44. "Fight to the Death"(show no mercy1983)
Whatever you think of Slayer, you can't hate that opening riff. "Fight Til Death" is how trad metal dudes like to remember Slayer, its charge, catchiness and simple themes keeping them firmly rooted in the nighttime soil Venom once laid. At the same time, the sheer thrashiness of the track definitely makes it the kind of track that sinks its hooks into new listeners right from the start. When they brought it back for themshow no mercyshows, this track brought down the house.
43. "Circle of Beliefs"(divine intervention,1994)
From all tracks onDivine Intervention"Circle of Beliefs," showcasing Slayer's new 1995 blend of thrash speed and muscular grind, is perhaps the most effective. The song starts off like a steamroller but quickly spirals into one of the band's most bizarre and satisfying thrash metal numbers. The return to the opening vocal part on the bridge is brilliant and gives the fans a moment to headbang a little slower, a little harder. Sounds especially good in a skate park.
42. "New Faith"(god hates us all, 2001)
Right from the start, "New Faith" is a bit more hamburger than Slayer's traditional bloody steak, which has to do with its catchy, biker-style Motörhead chugs (rumor has it Jeff Hanneman initially hated the song). However, the track definitely heralds the band's new era, which began in 2001god hates us all, and it still includes Tom yelling, "I keep the Bible in a pool of blood so none of its lies can affect me!"While it's a bit more typical than other Slayer material, there's no denying that this album kicks ass.
41. "World Painted Blood"(world painted blood, 2009)
In many ways, “World Painted Blood” is Slayer's last great song about himself. The track's broad themes of carnage, corruption and the end of the world feel like a grand declaration of what satanic thrashers have always been. Tom's spoken-word bridge before the final verse seems to shape line by line the core themes of the band: Satan, the ongoing apocalypse, the abyss within, and human cruelty. A huge opener to an album that has helped Slayer remain legends in the scene.
40. "tormentor"(show no mercy1983)
"Tormentor" is a tongue-out track. It's the kind of song that instantly transports you to a backyard party in 1983 with a bottle of whiskey around a burning trash can. On an album of cornball thrash, it somehow manages to be the cornballest, making it the beauty of the brightly colored, leather-shinguard-clad ball. Any song that has the lyrics "Are you afraid ofthe night?” is a gift from Satan himself. Get drunk, cut off your fingers, die.
39. "Bitter Peace"(The devil in music, 1998)
Many old-school fans continue to hateThe devil in music, and that's not without merit, but it's hard to argue with "Bitter Peace". Yes, the track starts with some kind of toned down hardcore riff, but it quickly launches into a really rabid Thrash song with some classic King/Hanneman riffs behind it. Tom also sounds particularly vicious, with a little bit of that confident punk rock thing creeping into his vocals. Hate the album all you want, this one fucking reigns.
38. "Show No Mercy"(show no mercy1983)
Man, 80's heads must have heard the opening drums of "Show No Mercy" and lost their shit. Though the tracks on Slayer's debut are usually memorable for their wailing riffs and cheesy satisfying lyrics, this is all Dave. The song's fills and accents are all colored by Lombardo's unpredictability infused with Latin music that made even the most straight-forward black thrash songs of the early '80s sound like an absolute fucking monster. What a drummer, what a song.
37. "Born of Fire"(seasons in the abyss,1990)
WhileSeasons in the Abyssseeing Slayer move away from simple satanism, it was as if the band thought the album's only song about the devil was going to be thisultimateone. "Born of Fire" is as direct in its dedication to Lucifer as the songs come, with the narrator screaming that he's Satan's son directly. The track could easily be about how Slayer fans are feeling inside, but it could also be about a reptilian demon with a spiked tail and a septum ring. And therefore it rules.
36. "Kill Again"(hell is waiting, 1985)
The beauty of “Kill Again” is its rush. The track really feels out of joint, racing forward and never stopping. That it lasts over four minutes might surprise some fans given how fast it isfeels.Additionally, the song includes Tom repeatedly yelling, "Homicidal MANI-Alternating current!' which feels like a gift from the universe. Fast, crazy and to the point –hell is waitingin a nutshell, basically.
35. "Hate Worldwide"(world painted blood, 2009)
Out on this riffy neo-classicworld painted blood, Slayer celebrate the most satanic of all - themselves. While you could argue that every Slayer song is about Slayer, this one gets the point across, harking back to the band's long, checkered career and the joy that she brings to them and their fans. That and the song's epic core riff automatically made it a song for the ages. Unforgettable, even as one of the band's lesser-known classics.
34. "Sacred Point"(seasons in the abyss,1990)
The mixture of ultra-fast and atmospherically slow tracksSeasons in the AbyssThat's what makes it great, and Hallowed Point is an example of thatHowfast and furious becomes the record. Unlike the other speedsters onseasons, this one doesn't feel tied to any narrative or theme - it's just a barrage of battlefield imagery that actually sounds like the panic one must feel on the front lines. Landing it squarely in the middle of this nuanced album - right after "Dead Skin Mask," no less - only enhances its raw, timeless power.
33. "Operaltar"(blood reign,1986)
It's hard to sound brutal surrounded by some of the most brutal thrash songs of all time, but “Altar of Sacrifice” stands outblood reignfor its sheer ferocity. Between the harsh opening accents and the blistering central riff, the track is like a whirlwind of razor blades and glass. Of course, there's also the bridge, complete with the "Enter to the realm of SA-TAAAAN..." line, making this a stygian banger of epic proportions. A track without which maybe we wouldn't have Death or Black Metal as we know it.
32. "Mind Stain"(The devil in music, 1998)
Hate the 1998sThe devil in musicanything you want - every reviewer did when it was released - but don't pretend the opening riff of "Stain of Mind" doesn't reign supreme. The track has a glorious box start showing how Slayer began to understand why fans came to their shows in the first place. Sure, you could say it heralds the band's shift from thrash to brolic occult hardcore, but that doesn't make this chorus kick any less powerful. No guilty pleasures.
31. "Aggressive Perfector"(Haunted in the chapelEP, 1984)
The obvious strength of "Aggressive Perfector" is its speed - the song is about as fast and pissed off a Slayer track as it gets. But the real power of this track is in its accents. The guitar/drums combo that comes at the end of each “fatal game” in the chorus is great, while the isolated riffing in the bridge part gives this Angry Lombard jazz. For the die-hard fan, this song has all sorts of gems to explore; For the complete and total thrasher, it's still as fast as you can go.
30. "Behind the Crooked Cross"(south of heaven, 1988)
Sure, Slayer toyed with a lot of Edgelords' Nazi themes and imagery, but Behind The Crooked Cross proves they actually thought of them, too. The stomping track's lyrics come from the point of view of a German grunt during the Third Reich who is "trapped by a thing [he] once understood" (FYI, the "crooked cross" is a swastika). That human element - the dawning terror of a soldier realizing he is one of the monsters and not one of the victims - is what always separates Slayer's malice from that of their peers. Definitely worth listening to again.
29. "Conqueror of Sin"(Haunted in the chapelEP, 1984)
When most bands write a sex song, they go slow, heavy, muggy...but not Slayer! No, for their sex track, Slayer perform a rousing thrash number that calls on the "whores of hell" to take on the narrator's "demon seed". The track could be a heavily groomed homage to Slayer's groupies of yesteryear (man, imagine you were an '83 Slayer groupie!), or it could just be aheavy metalMagazine-style homage to naked women with bat wings. We're down anyway!
28. "Ghost in Black"(seasons in the abyss,1990)
"Spirit In Black" is a lot of things - a track with an insane main riff, an Easter egg hunt for diehard Slayer lovers - but most of all it's a great tribute to the Slayer fan base. The song seems to encapsulate how someone who just listens to Slayer feels whole, deep down in their soul, feels. As such, it's both one of the band's more gory tracks and a funky nod to all those who live and die by the sword.
27. "At dawn they sleep"(hell is waiting, 1985)
When Slayer write a track about vampires, there will be no frilly ties. No, At Dawn They Sleep really goes with the 80's comic booknosfer, terrifying undead parasites that blacken the skies on black, leathery wings. That the track includes a vocal of "KILL!" speaks to the band's strong and unholy perception of the creatures of the night. I'm sorry, Cradle of Filth, but we're here for blood, not absinthe.
26. "Silent Scream"(south of heaven, 1988)
The hectic pace of “Silent Scream” immediately sets it apart from the other trackssouth of heaven. While not your typical punk-leaning thrash track, the opening riff and double bass drums bring a sense of panic and Death Metal intensity to the song. That, coupled with its lyrics about infanticide (and maybe a twisted fantasy of abortion?), makes it one of the harder hitting tracks on the album. Panic, pain and horror - nobody does it better.
25. "Necrophobe"(blood reign,1986)
Without a track like "Necrophobic" there might not be Napalm Death. The song only lasts a minute and forty seconds, but it feels even shorter as it only slacks off from its completely off-kilter tempo during a brief bridging moment midway through. Tom's lyrics are a barrage of bizarre syllables - sitting on the chair? What? — and amplifying the song's panic and confusion, so all the listener knows is that whatever happens happens very quickly, whether you like it or not. This one will make you gasp.
24. „Psychopathy burping“(world painted blood, 2009)
When "Psychopathy Red" was dropped as the first single from 2009world painted bloodHer fans knew Slayer was up to something special with this one. Wiry, gruff and focused on the elusive crimes of Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, the song was a massive return to form after Slayer's explorations of the world of muscular groove metal. To date, "Psychopathy Red" remains among Slayer's finest post-'90s material, a furious homage to the psychology of murder. You might throw a beer at this one.
23. "The Epidemic"(blood reign,1986)
You gotta love that snazzy central riff on “Epidemic”. While still a damn fast Thrash song, the track takes more time than mostblood reign, trotted along on even, vicious tiptoes. There's also a certain power to the swells and crashes surrounding its chorus, making things a little more epic than its gritty neighbors. Not a track every Slayer fan will always remember, but when those Lombardo fills kick in, it's about damn time.
22. "Society Skeletons"(seasons in the abyss,1990)
Slayers are often hailed for their ultra-fast or slow and murderous music, but "Skeletons of Society" proves they can still smash heads at a perfect mid-tempo. The track is a painting of the post-apocalyptic landscape most metalheads feel they live in, with Tom's vocal echoes in the chorus sounding like old-world ghosts moaning together. The song works perfectlySeasons in the Abyss, the album that saw Slayer transition from crimson satanism to camo modernism. Harmful to neck muscles around the world.
21. "student"(god hates us all, 2001)
After the overwhelming response toThe devil in music, Slayer had to start in 2001god hates us allwith something great, and Disciple was just what they needed. Though there's a fast-paced section in the middle, the song's opening riff is a muscular slosh that instantly hooked fans of up-and-coming acts like Hatebreed and Slipknot to Slayer's cause. The move to relatable lyrics also made this a song that newfound fans could sing along to without feeling like spandex-wearing throwbacks. The band's biggest new classic.
20. "Necrophile"(hell is waiting, 1985)
Sure, Slayer weren't the first band to write about how to tear up a cold record — Alice Cooper has at least two tracks about it — but they were the first to approach the subject with unabashed creepiness. "Necrophiliac" is a convulsive madness of demonic lust that emulates the frantic horror of someone deciding to finally pull off the most unthinkable act of all time. Of course it also ends with a devil baby growing inside the fucked corpse because it's an early Slayer song and why not? Make sure the DJ at your child's bar mitzvah announced this one.
19. "Seasons in the Abyss"(seasons in the abyss,1990)
Not only was Seasons In The Abyss a perfect approximation of the album of the same name, it was an excellent tombstone at the end of Slayer's famous three-album cycle. The track is about looking inward and examining the terrors of one's self, and after the decade the band had just come through, they needed it. It's what gave the song so much staying power - it's a dark, thoughtful track that's nonetheless a hard-hitting Slayer classic. It turns out you have a soul even if it's doomed.
18. "Evil knows no bounds" (show no mercy1983)
There shouldn't be a metal song anymoreMetalas "Evil has no borders". It's got everything you've ever dreamed of - a bitchy central riff, an opening scream, lyrics about axes and the leather being strapped at midnight, and a chorus with a gang vocal of the word "EVIL!" with that opening track offshow no mercy, Slayer let the world know they weren't here for the nuance - it was pure Metal to them the whole time. The perfect soundtrack to make your way through the confines of hell.
17. "Unit 731"(world painted blood, 2009)
The sleeper jewel of the 2009sworld painted blood, “Unit 731” is a brilliant piece of furious speed metal. This track is Hanneman through and through - a hardcore punk riff in the gut, lyrics about the atrocities committed by the Japanese torture divisions in WWII and a bridge with the line "I WANT BLOOD!" The more you listen to this track, the more it gets one realizes that it is easily one of Slayer's best moments, even after more than twenty years of their career. An underestimated moment of genius.
16. "Black Magic"(show no mercy1983)
“Black Magic” is a perfect example of what sets Slayer apart from other bands from the start of their career. The song's slow build, its arch riffs, and its refrainless charge are all masterful, even as they make for an utterly roaring, blackened Thrash track. That the song was from the band's 1983 debutshow no mercyis kind of amazing given the talent that went into it. One hears so many seeds of Slayer's later reign in Black Magic; All they needed was Hellfire and a little Blood to blossom into poisonous, predatory tendrils.
15. „Post mortem“(blood reign,1986)
The power of Postmortem is threefold. First there is the royal opening, the sonic equivalent of a demonic church rising from the ground. Then there's the insane ultra-fast bridge, complete with the age-old question, "DO YOU WANT TO DIE?!" And finally, there's the outro that seamlessly flows into the plasma storm that opens "Raining Blood." All of this makes this sometimes forgotten track an important part of Slayer's Sterling catalogue. We are only after death.
14. "Shed the Blood"(south of heaven, 1988)
"Come, walk with me through endless times…” You don't normally think of Slayers as cosmic, but Spill The Blood sees them pierce the veil to great effect. The song is the ultimate thrash doom epic, a jagged journey through darkness and madness. For his menacing riffs to close out an album where the band made a conscious decision to slow down only shows how committed they are to the cause. No speed, but plenty of demons.
13. "The Antichrist"(show no mercy1983)
Well, damn yes! There simply isn't anything not to like about “The Antichrist” – the central riff is smashing, the solos are all smashing and the lyrics about being the damn Antichrist are smashing. While the song is the heavy metal puke party of Slayer's entire discography, it's just definitive proof that even metal's most stone-headed deathmongers knew that this music was all about having a killer time. Kick over a table, knock out a beer, and tell your social studies teacher to hell eat ass.
12. "criminal insane"(blood reign,1986)
Something about "Criminally Insane" sounds like the theme of the title. The track's mid-paced intro, with its isolated drum part, is menacing in a very real way that doesn't go home alone. Meanwhile, the opening line of "Night will come and I will follow" might sound slightly mundane in a song about vampires, but in a track about a serial killer it smacks of soulful malevolence. On the other hand, Tom also yells the phrase, "TAKE YOUR FUCKIN' LIFE!" So don't worry, Slayer brings Slayer here.
11. "Refund"(god hates us all, 2001)
During 2001god hates us allpacked with songs that would become live staples for Slayer, it was more closely "Payback" that embodied why the album was so important to them. Still fast and punky, but with the band's trademark satanism traded for an obscene innuendo, this track made even Slayer's thrash stuff easy for modern fans to understand. This one takes all the window dressing away from the band and gives listeners something to blow up after their crappiest day at work with the windows down. A rabid, nasty, immature nugget of pure gold.
10. „Tote Hautmaske“(seasons in the abyss,1990)
There will never be another song that captures the story of Ed Gein quite like "Dead Skin Mask". While it may just be spooky fantasy on the surface, the track actually does a solid job of mapping out Gein's journey, with the first verse's 'dead cold meat' becoming 'dead warm meat' by the end. Meanwhile, King and Hanneman's increasingly powerful and punchy guitar accents illustrate Eddie's evolution from isolated necrophile to full-blown killer. A terrifying song that somehow made one of America's greatest terrors even more terrifying.
9. "Hell Awaits"(hell is waiting, 1985)
"Hell Awaits" is in many ways the ultimate Grassroots Slayer track. The song is truly the first time the band has shown their two sides in balance - the fast, gory aspects and the grandiose demonic aspects. Together they form the ultimate metallic death march, a song whose unparalleled speed is superbly tempered by its stone malice. This is the route the armies of Hell will play when they march upon the earth at the end of days.
8. "Chemical Warfare"(Haunted in the chapelEP, 1984)
With Chemical Warfare, Slayer have defined their ethos and aesthetic pretty solidly. ‘Demons watch with delight as humanity kills itself with modern warfare technology' is a perfect distillation of at least 90% of Slayer's art and imagery. Meanwhile, the song itself feels like an apt description of their sound: strong and fast, but with a looming Catholic understanding of evil that takes things to new heights. All that is to say if you want to listen to a Slayer song to really know what Slayers areone, that's the one.
7. "South of Heaven"(south of heaven, 1988)
Bis 1988south of heaven, Slayer had proved they were fast, mean, and incredibly evil. But on the first title track of this record, they proved they weregigantic. "South of Heaven" feels gigantic in its reach, the opening tune suggesting a darkness beyond the gory anthems ofblood reign. It unlocks the deepest damnation behind Slayer's satanic veneer; The track's lyrics could describe a post-apocalyptic wasteland, or they could be about the world, right here, in front of you. A turning point that redefined metal.
6. "Dying by the Sword"(show no mercy1983)
While so many of Slayer's biggest tracks are known for their outrageous lyrics or ambitious themes, “Die By The Sword” is only in here for the damn riff. That central guitar lickkills, with both a banging party metal vibe and a distinctly sharpened edge that makes this track deadly and fun as hell in equal measure. Althoughshow no mercywill always remain a beer drinking album at heart, tracks like this hint at the pointed, sneering attitude that would go on to define Slayer. Sometimes you just have to be the guy who leaves the venue with a bloody nose and a big grin.
5. "Angel of Death"(blood reign,1986)
Slayer will never write a more iconic song than "Angel of Death," and with good reason. The track's riffs and momentum are an instant introduction to extreme metal, pulling fans out of the rock-derived thrash skip and shoving them into a meat grinder like no other. The lyrics, which focus on the war crimes of Nazi scientist Josef Mengele, exemplify the band's willingness to address any subject. All of this comes together in a searing assault on the sensitive senses, a chilling portrayal of a reality everyone needs to hear.
4. "Ghosts of War"(south of heaven, 1988)
south of heavenmay have been Slayer's attempt at writing a slow album, but “Ghosts of War” shows they couldn't help but throw in a thrash rager. With its muted intro flowing into its Blitzkrieg riffing, the song creates an unstoppable momentum right from the start. Even more impressive is the building sense of urgency that precedes each chorus and the epic Death Metal breakdown at the very end. Everyone loves this record, but the people who really know them recognize this as one of their brightest moments.
3. "War Ensemble"(seasons in the abyss,1990)
The sheer speed and power of "War Ensemble" will forever set it as an unbeatable metal classic. Slayer really trimmed every ounce of fat from this one, leaving behind a sleek, explosive anthem of destruction. More than that, the song was a philosophical statement for Slayer as they exploded out of the '80s and entered the strange new reality of the '90s, announcing that they had moved beyond Miltonian diabolicalism and embarked on a struggle for survival. This is the anthem for those who feel like fighting the world every morning, who know deep down that victory is survival and death is defeat.
2. "Mandatory Suicide"(south of heaven, 1988)
Scythe blade riffs, war machine drums and an eerie monologue about the bloody demise despite all the odds – on “Mandatory Suicide” Slayer didn't just get heavy, they became poetically real. The track proves itsouth of heavenSlayer's intentional change in tempo in no way hampered Slayer's unholy sonic power, while the unforgiving portrayal of war through the eyes of a soldier anchors the song squarely in reality. The result is a track that not only has stood the test of time in the halls of metal, but also remains a fascinating look into the heart of a late 80's young soldier. Blood is cheap, it's everywhere.
1. "Raining Blood"(blood reign,1986)
With rumbles of thunder and kinetic riffs, Slayer cemented themselves forever in the annals of extreme music. The guitar part that opens "Raining Blood" is unforgettable and etches itself into the listener's brain, so that every knock on the door makes them sing along. On top of that, the track's abstract psychological horror has a power that some of their straight-forward devil worshipers never quite reach. The speed, catchiness and total darkness of this track elevates it slightly to the top of the heap, making it the Slayer song to which all others will forever be compared and arguably the greatest Metal song of all time. Nothing even comes close.
words fromChris Krovatin