I bought Reign in Blood on tape when it first came out in 1986, when I was 17, and while I tried to enjoy it, was definitely disappointed in it. I’d really hoped it would be more like Show No Mercy which was and remains my favorite Slayer album. I’ve bought a few of their albums in the intervening years, but not many of them, and none of them have excited me the way Show No Mercy does and I rarely listened to any of them.
But for some reason a couple of weeks ago I felt like listening to some Slayer again and just reading some of the song titles somewhere I heard the songs running through my head. I don’t think i’d listened to Reign in Blood in 20-25 years so I ordered the CD.
Well, while it’s no Show No Mercy it’s not as bad as I remembered. In fact, now I quite like it.
This album marks their departure from swords & sorcery, Satanic inspired lyrics into more of the morbid and evil stuff from the real world and history, serial killers, Nazis, war and so forth.
It’s fast. The original ten songs (minus the two extras on this CD edition) clock in at slightly under half an hour, without feeling like it’s a short album.
Some of the songs feel like a bit of random playing, not like written songs, but most of it manages to work pretty well, and Tom Arraya’s singing is very much singing for most of it instead of screaming.
The mix could have used a bit more bass in it, though… It sounds a bit tinny to my ears.