One cannot discuss the roots of metal without Slayer entering the conversation. Formed in 1981 by Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King and Dave Lombardo, they were looking to give the finger to the Glam/Hair Metal music and scene that was taking over. This is an understatement of what was to come. While Slayer may have started out as a cover band, a far more bold future awaited them.
Slayers first full album, Show No Mercy
(1983), was and still is a masterpiece. Songs such as 'The Antichrist', 'Die By The Sword' and 'Black Magic' broke new ground and are still just as powerful and influential 20+ years later. The band immediately proved they had what it takes to define a genre.
1985 saw the release of Hell Awaits.
The album was short but sweet. The title track Hell Awaits and At Dawn They Sleep are musically the richest songs on the record. It is during this time Slayer appeared on a classic video entitled "The Ultimate Revenge for disco, Studio 54" also featuring Exodus and Venom. This would be Slayers last recording for Combat Records before moving to Def Jam.
One year later Slayer would cement their legacy among the godfathers of metal with their release of the epic Reign in Blood.
This album would up the bar for the entire metal scene and every band in it. The production value of Reign in Blood was significantly higher than that of previous recordings and almost every song on the album is a masterpiece. Angel of Death, Criminally Insane and Raining Blood are among Slayers finest works to this day however it was not all smooth sailing on the business side. Columbia Records opted out of distributing the album due to the controversial lyrics and cover art. Geffen Records stepped up to the plate though they did not list the album on their official release list for the same reasons.
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Slayer videos at youtube.com
Seasons in the Abyss
The Antichrist (Classic live video)
Hell Awaits (Classic live video)
Raining Blood/Black Magic - Live