It’s that time again, folks: another Slayer album is coming out soon. These once-kings of thrash metal, pioneers and gods of the genre, have decided it is time to let loose upon the masses another album in a modern attempt to recapture the ferocity and ire that made their early works such powerful pieces of music.
They’ve released the title track from their new album, Repentless, and, well, it definitely sounds like Slayer. That’s about all I need to say, because really, just about everyone knows what this band sounds like: fast, aggressive, and politically-minded lyrics with a grim undertone. Like it or not, they’ve definitely stuck very close to the sound they established way back in the 80s. Check it out after the jump.
Okay, here’s the thing about me and modern Slayer: I have so much trouble getting over the fact that this is one of the biggest acts in modern metal. These guys have been playing the same genre and writing the same album since the mid 1980s, 30 years ago. These guys are in their 50s now and they haven’t evolved a single iota since then. “Repentless” sounds like a track that could have been cut from Reign In Blood. There’s nothing new about this, nothing fresh. Bands that have been around for half this band’s time have to remain relevant by severely altering their sound by exploring new dimensions for it, and it’s almost maddening to see how little a band that started off with such good songwriting chops has just flattened out their sound over time.
Variety is the spice of life, and honestly, I don’t think Slayer necessarily realize that. They’ve been stuck in a loop of trying to recapture the glory of their earliest work, and frankly, it’s probably not possible: the youthful energy that made them so compelling is long gone. It’s clear that their heart isn’t in their anti-establishment manifesto anymore, and their music suffers from it.
The livelihood that defined their earlier work is gone. It’s been replaced by samey vocal delivery, repetitive and unoriginal instrumental work, and a work ethic that seems to be more oriented towards just pumping out albums than it does to creating any sort of emotionally-charged music. It’s saddening and it’s physically painful to see how machinated the whole process is at this point.
Repentless comes out via Nuclear Blast Records on September 11. Pardon me for a moment, I just need to grab a band-aid because I think I’ve cut myself on all this edge.