Great Metal Albums of 1986: Slayer- Reign in Blood

Two major questions always arise whenever Slayer’s 1986 album, “Reign in Blood,” is mentioned. One, is it the best Slayer album of all time? Two, should it take its place along some of the other great albums which helped pioneer thrash metal in 1986 such as Metallica’s “Master of Puppets,” Anthrax’s “Spreading the Disease” and Megadeath’s “Peace Sells Buy Who’s Buying?” To me, the answer is an obvious and definite, “Yes!” While there is room for debate on question one, there shouldn’t be any on question two. “Reign in Blood” was one of the standard bearers for thrash, not only in 1986 but for all time.

What really amused me back then and further proves my insanity is the controversy some of the songs on the album caused. Take the opener and probably best known song on the album, “Angel of Death.” The song is about evil Nazi scientist Josef Mengele, who performed hideous experiments on inmates at Auschwitz during World War 2. A few idiots suggested that the song was pro-Nazi because the lyrics don’t say what an evil man Mengele was. However, I do like guitarist Jeff Hanneman’s response: “Well, wasn’t it obvious?” No matter though, because like all other songs on the album, it’s one massive thrash-a-thon. It gives you a great introduction to what the rest of the album is going to be like: fast, pounding guitar chords, manic vocals, thumping rhythm section and the classic guitar solo trade-off between virtuosos King and Hanneman.

Of course, if you want to get controversial, then look at “Necrophobic.” I remember religious fanatics spitting out their milk and cookies over this one. Then again, the lyrics are about having sex with a corpse but of all the times I’ve listened to the song, I have never had any inclination whatsoever to do such things. Proof that if the music is good and in this case, the music for the entire album is outstanding, then the lyrics won’t matter much. However, a friend and I were thinking of recording the anti-religious song, “Jesus Saves,” and sending it to Jimmy Swaggart. Actually, if I hadn’t already been in England at this time and got to see Slayer in America, I would have been tempted to record and play it to the Jesus freaks who would have undoubtedly come to the concert to save our souls. It’s the only reason why “Jesus Saves” is my choice for hidden gem because every song here is one.

Slayer, Cardiff 2018

Actually, there’s not much more I can say about “Reign in Blood” because the album speaks for itself. With this album, you have the mold which many thrash bands would try to imitate in the years after. It’s definitely one of the greatest thrash albums of all time and did I say, it’s my favourite Slayer album?

Track Listing:

  1. Angel of Death
  2. Piece by Piece
  3. Necrophobic
  4. Altar of Sacrifice
  5. Jesus Saves
  6. Criminally Insane
  7. Reborn
  8. Epidemic
  9. Postmortem
  10. Raining Blood
Slayer

Tom Araya- bass, vocals

Jeff Hanneman- guitar

Kerry King- guitar

Dave Lombardo- drums

Much to the annoyance of Duranies, Madonna Wannabees and glam rock poseurs, thrash metal had truly found its home in 1986. Fantastic albums such as Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” was the reason why.

Next post: Tobrik- Wild On the Run

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

18 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1986: Slayer- Reign in Blood”

  1. I was at that same Cardiff gig 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. \m/ SLAAAAYYYEEERRR! \m/

    Liked by 2 people

  3. One of the best things about this one, for me, is the length of it – I love short concise, precise albums like this one. It hits so much harder, like rapids in a river.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. An absolute classic standing shoulder to shoulder with the best. Still have my vinyl version of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. SLAYER!!! \m/ \m/ Man what an album. I remember on our way to see them on their farewell tour, the Uber driver cued up Angel Of Death on his Sirius trying to band-bond with us, this Pakistani dude who obviously knew nothing of metal. His face at that scream… he listened a bit then politely turned it off and asked “This… this is where you are going tonight?” We dutifully answered “HELL YEAH!” Haha poor guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Now that’s an album I remember…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Denholm Astbury Says:

    Never got to see them in the 80s or 90s (much to my annoyance), but learned to play guitar from listening to the epic riffs on this and South of Heaven, back when you had to sit in front of your record player and work it out by ear 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The album cover is awesome!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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