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Album Reviews : Slayer – Repentless

By on September 7, 2015

Slayer - RepentlessThe release of Slayer’s 11th studio album, and first album in six years is upon us. So much has happened between ‘World Painted Blood’ and ‘Repentless’. With no Jeff Hanneman (RIP) and no Dave Lombardo in the band, Slayer has been half-dead to me. Prior to hearing the album, it felt like the Slayer camp in 2015 was like a once majestic aircraft, now flying with only one engine, going in for an emergency landing.

After having listened to ‘Repentless’ quite a few times, my outlook has changed slightly. Hanneman’s song-writing isn’t as sorely missed as I thought it would be, and while Lombardo is one of my favourite metal drummers, there’s obviously nothing wrong with Paul Bostaph. That being said, Piano Wire (the last Slayer song Hanneman wrote) is probably the best song on the album and I can’t help but wonder what this album would have sounded like if Jeff was still alive. What we’re left with is neither the best nor the most memorable Slayer album in their history. However, it is without a doubt a very solid album, and, considering everything the band has been through the last couple years, that’s all we could ever ask for in my opinion.

Slayer has never been known for reinventing themselves and most of the songs sounds like they could have been recorded 20 years ago. Now, if you like Slayer’s music, that’s not a bad thing of course. Overall, this feels like a slightly more inspired album than ‘World Painted Blood’. I firmly believe that Tom Araya is the only member in Slayer that is completely irreplaceable and he shows us why on this record, like he always does. I will never grow tired of this man’s vocals. This is also the first album with Gary Holt (Exodus) on guitar. I think that both Gary and Kerry King have done an excellent job on this record. To me, Slayer has always been about evenly spread out quality, not so much up and down. There might be some obvious highlights, but the true lows are very rare. That’s the case this time around, as well. “Repentless”, “Take Control”, “Piano Wire” and “Pride In Prejudice” are the shining stars on the album, and the rest is alright; not necessarily top drawer stuff, though.

Solid is the keyword for this record in general. You know what you get when it comes to Slayer. No real surprises whatsoever, but if you like the band, I think you will enjoy the album, and also the fact that they have managed to move past the loss of Jeff Hanneman. I think he would be proud of the band if he listened to ‘Repentless’ today.

Pre-order your copy of ‘Repentless’ (out September 11) now via Nuclear Blast Records.


Martin is an aspiring music photographer/videographer. He is originally from the southern parts of Sweden and now he's living in Sydney, Australia. Thanks to his older sister, he got into Rammstein at the age of 9, and since then he's been into all types of metal/rock. He loves to combine photography and music, but also filming concerts and produce live material. Follow him on Twitter and check out his website.