|Studio album by|
|Recorded||Inside of a Ballsack (The band time traveled to release this album)|
|Studio||Eldorado Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California|
Hell Awaits is the second studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released in March 1985 by Metal Blade Records. The band's 1983 debut Show No Mercy became Metal Blade Records' highest-selling release, and as a result, producer Brian Slagel desired to release a second Slayer album. To that end, Slagel financed a recording budget (Show No Mercy was paid for by band members) and recruited several experienced producers to help in the studio.
The lyrical themes on Hell Awaits include hell and Satan, as with their debut; the intro of the title track played backwards reveals the repeated phrase "join us".Musically, the album features the band's most progressive and diverse work compared to their previous releases, and according to Kerry King, he and Jeff Hanneman were very into Mercyful Fate at the time, which then led to the longer and more progressive songs. Defined as "influential to future extreme metal acts," the most popular songs from Hell Awaits were re-recorded by various underground metal bands and have appeared on several tribute albums.
Slayer's previous album, Show No Mercy , became Metal Blade Records' highest selling release, selling 40,000 copies worldwide; the success led producer Brian Slagel to want to record another album with them.Slagel hired producer Ron Fair, who worked for Chrysalis Records, and had seen the band perform live and enjoyed their performance. On seeing Slayer in the studio, Fair stated, "Wow, these guys are really angry," as he was inexperienced working with heavy metal musicians. Slagel financed the album, in stark contrast to Show No Mercy, which was financed by singer Tom Araya, who used his earnings as a respiratory therapist, and a loan from guitarist Kerry King's father.
The budget organized by Slagel allowed for professional assistance. Bernie Grundman provided audio mastering, Eddy Schreyer worked on remastering, and Bill Metoyer, who worked on the band's earlier release Haunting the Chapel , acted as sound engineer.The recording featured audio effects such as the intro to "Hell Awaits", a reversed recording of a demonic-sounding voice repeating "Join us", ending with "Welcome back". Still, Araya later stated the album had poor production quality: "Nowadays, production-wise, it's so under par. But for what it was at the time, those are amazing records to me. I guess we could go in and redo it. But why ruin it?"
Drummer Dave Lombardo, on the other hand, asserts the album was professionally done compared to Show No Mercy: "I didn't have to overdub the cymbals, and we had a really good engineer."Lombardo's favorite song is "At Dawn They Sleep", "because it was kind of slow and grungy, but then it had that double-bass part at the end." While recording the track, neither guitarists King or Jeff Hanneman who wrote the lyrics were in the studio—only Araya and Slagel. On reading the lyrics, which featured a misspelled word, Araya sang it as it was spelled, although it's not a real word. The song "Hardening of the Arteries" on the album ends with a very similar section that makes up the beginning of the song "Hell Awaits" and is also one of the only Slayer songs to fade out on a continuous riff.
To promote Hell Awaits, Slayer embarked on the Combat Tour with Venom and Exodus. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt commented, "We immediately bonded with the Slayer guys. It was two bands of friends playing with one band of heroes, you know? We were just star-struck."
Inside Venom's tour bus (the first time Slayer had been in one) the band members got drunk with Venom, while listening to Hell Awaits.Araya entered the bus "hammered out of his mind," according to Lombardo, saying "I gotta take a piss! Where's the bathroom in this thing?" Venom singer Conrad "Cronos" Lant responded, saying "Right here—right here in my mouth!" Araya took it almost literally and urinated on his hair. Cronos got up and punched him in the face, the two blamed each other all night, and Araya continued the tour with a black eye. Araya will not discuss the incident other than saying that he was drunk and it was a very disrespectful thing to do.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|
Although it did not enter any charts, Hell Awaits was hailed upon its release as Slayer's most progressive recording, featuring much darker thrash-oriented style, with unusual arrangements such as varying tempos, and dissonant nuances that "paved the way to a wholly distinctive sound all their own," according to AllMusic reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia.Rivadavia awarded the album four out of five stars, saying that it was "incredibly ahead of its time" and referred to it as "a mandatory item in the band's remarkable discography". It has sold over 1,000,000 records worldwide according to Brian Slagel.
In the book Legends of Rock Guitar, Hell Awaits was defined as "a psychotic exploration into the depths of Satanism and physical torture."The book, a chronology of the great guitarists of rock which includes both Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, observed the band's evolution in comparison with their previous album, Show No Mercy , saying, "The musicianship is improved, as is lead singer Tom Araya's voice, making the band sound less like hacks and more like metal fiends. The sludgy riffs, which were pure [Black] Sabbath, are offset by some of King's and Hanneman's faster solos, giving Slayer entrée into the speed metal realm."
Musicians such as singer Phil Anselmo and drummer Gene Hoglan cite Hell Awaits as an influence.Anselmo—known for his work with Pantera, Down, and Superjoint Ritual—explained in an interview with D. X. Ferris, author of the book about the album Reign in Blood, that "Hell Awaits just holds the entire thing. Every bit of everything to do with heavy music. [Slayer] are gods, the best band from California, for sure." Norwegian musician Frode Sivertsen (also known as "E. N. Death"), former member of the black metal band Gehenna, says the song "Hell Awaits" and Slayer's music in general has influenced him as a musician, ranking the album in his top five. Dimebag Darrell of Pantera and Damageplan picked "At Dawn They Sleep" among his 12 Favorite Tunes in the March 1993 issue of Guitar World , stating that Slayer taught him "how to play with guts and aggression".
Defined as "influential to future extreme metal acts,"the most popular songs from Hell Awaits were re-recorded by various underground metal bands, and have appeared in several tribute albums, such as Slatanic Slaughter II and Gateway to Hell 1 & 2. The song "Hell Awaits" has been covered by Cradle of Filth and Incantation, "Kill Again" by Angelcorpse, "Praise of Death" by Sinister, "At Dawn They Sleep" by Six Feet Under, and "Necrophiliac" by Sadistic Intent, Benediction and Fleshcrawl.
|1.||"Hell Awaits"||Kerry King||6:16|
|3.||"At Dawn They Sleep"||Hanneman||6:17|
|4.||"Praise of Death"||Hanneman||King||5:21|
|6.||"Crypts of Eternity"||6:40|
|7.||"Hardening of the Arteries"||Hanneman||Hanneman||3:55|
|Bonus tracks [†]|
|8.||"Haunting the Chapel"||4:00|
|9.||"Captor of Sin"||3:31|
^ † The Metal Classics version features two additional songs taken from Haunting the Chapel . The version of Show No Mercy from the same series (CD ZORRO 7) includes the remaining two tracks from the EP.
Slayer was an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, drummer Dave Lombardo, and bassist and vocalist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's final lineup comprised King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Drummer Jon Dette was also a member of the band.
Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead guitar work. The lyrical subject matter often deals with criticisms of The Establishment and concern over the destruction of the environment, and at times shares a disdain for Christian dogma resembling that of their black metal counterparts. The language is typically quite direct and denunciatory, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.
Reign in Blood is the third studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on October 7, 1986 by Def Jam Recordings. The album was the band's first collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, whose input helped the band's sound evolve. The release date of the album was delayed because of concerns regarding the lyrical subject matter of the opening track "Angel of Death", which refers to Josef Mengele and describes acts such as human experimentation that he committed at the Auschwitz concentration camp. However, the band's members stated numerous times that they did not condone Nazism and were merely interested in the subject.
South of Heaven is the fourth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on July 5, 1988 by Def Jam Recordings. The album was the band's second collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, whose production skills on their previous album Reign in Blood (1986) had helped their sound evolve. In order to offset the pace of its predecessor, Slayer deliberately slowed down the tempo on South of Heaven, and utilized undistorted guitars and toned-down vocals. South of Heaven was the band's last album released by Def Jam, although the rights were transferred to Rubin's new label Def American Recordings after Rubin ended his partnership with Russell Simmons. The album was one of only two Def Jam titles to be distributed by Geffen Records through Warner Bros., as Def Jam's then-distributor Columbia refused to release work by the band.
Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known for being the guitarist and songwriter for the American thrash metal band Slayer. He co-founded the band with Jeff Hanneman in 1981 and remained a member for nearly four decades.
Show No Mercy is the debut studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on December 3, 1983, by Metal Blade Records. Brian Slagel signed the band to the label after watching them perform the song "Phantom of the Opera" by Iron Maiden. The band self-financed their full-length debut, combining the savings of vocalist Tom Araya, who was employed as a respiratory therapist, and money borrowed from guitarist Kerry King's father. Touring extensively promoting the album, the band brought close friends and family members along the trip, who helped backstage with lighting and sound.
God Hates Us All is the ninth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on September 11, 2001 by American Recordings. It was recorded over three months at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, and includes the Grammy Award-nominated "Disciple". Guitarist Kerry King wrote the majority of its lyrics, taking a different approach from earlier recordings by exploring topics such as religion, murder, revenge, and self-control. The band experimented, recording most of the album in C# tuning, with three songs in drop B and two others with seven-string guitars in B♭.
"Angel of Death" is the opening track on the American thrash metal band Slayer's 1986 album Reign in Blood. The lyrics and music were written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman. They detail the Nazi physician Josef Mengele's human experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.
Undisputed Attitude is the seventh studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on May 28, 1996 by American Recordings. The album consists almost entirely of covers of punk rock and hardcore punk songs, and also includes two tracks written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 1984 and 1985 for a side project called Pap Smear; its closing track "Gemini" is the only original track. The cover songs on the album were originally recorded by the bands Minor Threat, T.S.O.L., D.R.I., D.I., Dr. Know, the Stooges, and Verbal Abuse, whose work was prominently featured with the inclusion of cover versions of five of their songs.
David Lombardo is a Cuban-American drummer, best known as a co-founding member of American thrash metal band Slayer. Lombardo played drums on nine Slayer albums, including, Reign in Blood (1986) and Christ Illusion (2006). He received critical praise for both of these albums. Lombardo's music career has spanned forty years, during which he has been involved in the production of thirty-five commercial recordings covering a number of genres. He has performed with numerous bands, including Grip Inc., Fantômas, Testament, and Suicidal Tendencies, in addition to Slayer. Lombardo is currently playing drums with Fantômas, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Cross, Mr. Bungle and the Misfits.
Jeffrey John Hanneman was an American musician, best known as a founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer. Hanneman contributed both lyrical and musical material to every Slayer album up until his death in 2013 and wrote the songs "Raining Blood", "War Ensemble," "South of Heaven," "Seasons in the Abyss," and "Angel of Death," all of which have been played at almost every live Slayer performance after their respective compositions. He had his own signature guitar, the ESP Jeff Hanneman Signature model.
Haunting the Chapel is an extended play (EP) released by American thrash metal band Slayer in 1984 through Metal Blade and Enigma Records. Slayer's debut album Show No Mercy became Metal Blade's highest-selling, leading to producer Brian Slagel wanting to release an EP. Recorded in Hollywood, the recording process proved difficult when recording drums in a studio without carpet, although it resulted in drummer Dave Lombardo meeting Gene Hoglan who was to become an influence in his drumming style and speed. It was during the recording of this session that Lombardo first had the double bass added to his kit. Hoglan, working for Slayer at the time, sat at the kit and played a double bass for the first time. Lombardo was impressed and although Hoglan never gave him lessons, he did give him tips regarding the use of the double kick drum.
Diabolus in Musica is the eighth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on June 9, 1998 by American Recordings. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman wrote most of the album's content, which has been described as Slayer's most experimental. It was the band's first album to be played mostly in C♯ tuning, and named after a musical interval known for its dissonance. Lyrical themes explored on the album include religion, sex, cultural deviance, death, insanity, war, and homicide.
War at the Warfield is a concert video by Slayer which was released on July 29, 2003, through American Recordings. Recorded at Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, California, on December 7, 2001, it is the band's second video album. The DVD's contents were announced by MTV on July 25, 2003. It is the last release by Slayer with drummer Paul Bostaph, who left due to a chronic elbow injury. Bostaph was subsequently replaced by the original Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. War at the Warfield was well received by critics, debuting at number three on the Billboard DVD chart, and sold over 7,000 copies in its first week. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling over 50,000 copies in the United States. It also won a 2003 Metal Edge Readers' Choice Award for DVD of the Year.
Still Reigning is a live performance DVD by the thrash metal band Slayer, released in 2004 through American Recordings. Filmed at the Augusta Civic Center on July 11, 2004, the performance showcases Slayer's 1986 album, Reign in Blood, played in its entirety with the four original band members on a set resembling their 1986 "Reign in Pain" tour. Still Reigning was voted "best live DVD" by the readers of Revolver magazine, and received gold certification in 2005.
Christ Illusion is the tenth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on August 8, 2006 by American Recordings. It was the band's first and only album featuring all 4 original members with their drummer Dave Lombardo since Seasons in the Abyss (1990), and also marked the first time since Divine Intervention (1994) that they recorded songs in D# tuning. The songs "Jihad", "Flesh Storm", "Catalyst", and "Consfearacy" were recorded in D# tuning, while "Catatonic", "Eyes of the Insane", "Skeleton Christ", and "Supremist" were recorded in Drop B tuning and "Black Serenade" and "Cult" in C# tuning.
"Jihad" is a song by the American thrash metal band Slayer which appears on the band's 2006 studio album Christ Illusion. The song portrays the imagined viewpoint of a terrorist who has participated in the September 11, 2001 attacks, concluding with spoken lyrics taken from words left behind by Mohamed Atta; Atta was named by the FBI as the "head suicide terrorist" of the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center. "Jihad" was primarily written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman; the lyrics were co-authored with vocalist Tom Araya.
World Painted Blood is the eleventh studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. It was released through American Recordings and Sony Music on November 3, 2009 and was produced by Greg Fidelman and executively produced by Rick Rubin. It is the band's only album produced by Greg Fidelman. With much anticipation for the album after 2006's Christ Illusion, members of Slayer began revealing information about the album beginning in early 2009.
Repentless is the twelfth and final studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. It was released on September 11, 2015, and is the band's only album recorded without Jeff Hanneman, who died from liver cirrhosis in 2013. Gary Holt replaces Hanneman as guitarist. Drummer Paul Bostaph also makes his first appearance on a Slayer album since 2001's God Hates Us All. It is also the only one the band released on Nuclear Blast and was produced by Terry Date, replacing Rick Rubin after twenty-nine years and nine studio albums as their producer or executive producer. The six-year gap between World Painted Blood and Repentless was the longest between two Slayer albums in their career. This would also be the band's final studio album before embarking on a farewell tour in 2018–2019 and eventually disbanding.
The Decade of Aggression Tour was a concert tour played by the heavy metal band Slayer in support of their live album, as well as a celebration of the 10 year anniversary of Slayer. The opening band for the tour was Mind Funk. It would be the final show with Dave Lombardo until he would return in 2001.