Slayer – ‘Repentless’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

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It’s been six years since Slayer have released any recorded material. In that time we’ve seen the passing of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the departure of founding drummer Dave Lombardo. The newest incarnation of the band is no less pummeling but it seems to be universally agreed upon that this is a watered down version of Slayer. While Repentless is, as a whole, unsurprising and underwhelming, it still has classic elements of the Slayer sound. Tom Araya’s voice is hair raising, solos riffle through every song, and the production value is through the roof. All very Slayerish marks of quality. But when the pendulum falls, the Repentless lacks a lot of the fresh punk sensibility of the Jeff Hanneman-Dave Lombardo duo.

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I know the last handful of records weren’t great, but at this point Slayer seems like Kerry King’s vanity project. With this new cast, including Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph, Slayer is trying to sound like itself and it features no other style than that of Kerry King’s. It’s complete with an obvious intro, a handful of classic unmemorable rippers, even a mid album spoken word nu-metal ballad (“When The Stillness Comes”). Who would’ve thought. It’s not hard to gauge whether or not actual Slayer fans will covet this gem, although some may be appeased by having a record that plainly sounds like Slayer. Their only hope of enjoying the mark of quality once synonymous with the Slayer name is to go see the band and ignore the right side of the stage.

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