Reign in Blood

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Reign in Blood
Reign in blood.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 7, 1986
RecordedJune–July 1986
StudioHit City West, Los Angeles, California
Genre Thrash metal
Slayer chronology
Hell Awaits
Reign in Blood
South of Heaven

Reign in Blood is the third studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on October 7, 1986 by Def Jam Recordings. [1] 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. [2] However, the band's members stated numerous times that they did not condone Nazism and were merely interested in the subject. [3]

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 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.

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and vocalist and bassist 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 current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.

Def Jam Recordings American record label

Def Jam Recordings is an American record label focused predominantly on hip hop and urban music, owned by Universal Music Group. In the UK, the label takes on the name Def Jam UK and is operated through Virgin EMI Records, while in Japan, it is known as Def Jam Japan, operating through Universal Music Japan. The label distributes releases of various record labels, including Kanye West's GOOD Music, and Listen Up Forever Records, headed by producer, Ronny J. Current artists include Justin Bieber, Logic, Big Sean, Kanye West, Nas, 2 Chainz, Teyana Taylor, YG, Dave East, Jeezy, Jeremih, Q-Tip, Valee, Pusha T, Vince Staples, Fabolous, Desiigner and Jhené Aiko.


Reign in Blood was well-received by both critics and fans, and was responsible for bringing Slayer to the attention of a mainstream metal audience. Alongside Anthrax's Among the Living , Megadeth's Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? , and Metallica's Master of Puppets , Reign in Blood helped define the sound of the emerging US thrash metal scene in the mid-1980s, and has remained influential since. The album was Slayer's first to enter the US Billboard 200, peaking at number 94, and was certified Gold on November 20, 1992.

Anthrax (American band) American thrash metal band

Anthrax is an American heavy metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker. The group is considered one of the leaders of the thrash metal scene from the 1980s and is one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands with Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer; Anthrax is the only one of the four from the East Coast, and often credited as one of the early thrash metal bands to emerge from there, along with Overkill and Nuclear Assault. The band has released 11 studio albums, several other albums, and 26 singles, including collaborating on a single with American hip hop group Public Enemy. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Anthrax sold 2.5 million records in the United States from 1991 to 2004, with worldwide sales of 10 million.

<i>Among the Living</i> 1987 studio album by Anthrax

Among the Living is the third studio album by American thrash metal band, Anthrax. It was released on March 22, 1987 by Megaforce Worldwide/Island, and was certified gold by the RIAA on July 31, 1990. The BBC has described the album as "arguably their big breakthrough", and "often cited by fans as their favorite Anthrax album". Drummer and principal songwriter Charlie Benante has referred to Among the Living as Anthrax's "signature album". The album was dedicated to the late Cliff Burton of Metallica who died in a bus accident six months before its release.

Megadeth American heavy metal band

Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson formed the band in 1983 shortly after Mustaine's dismissal from Metallica. Along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, Megadeth is one of the "big four" of American thrash metal, responsible for its development and popularization. Their music features complex arrangements and fast rhythm sections, and lyrical themes of death, war, politics, and religion.


Following the positive reception Slayer's previous release Hell Awaits had received, the band's producer and manager Brian Slagel realized the band were in a position to hit the "big time" with their next album. Slagel negotiated with several record labels, among them Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons's Def Jam Recordings. However, Slagel was reluctant to have the band signed to what was at the time primarily a hip hop label. Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo was made aware of Rubin's interest, and he initiated contact with the producer. However, Slayer's remaining members were apprehensive of leaving Metal Blade Records, with which they were already under contract. [4]

<i>Hell Awaits</i> 1985 studio album by Slayer

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 and recruited several experienced producers to help in the studio.

Brian Slagel is the founder and CEO of Metal Blade Records. Slagel is known for having initiated the Metal Massacre series of compilation albums in 1982, the first of which included the first commercial recording by Metallica. Metal Blade has since released seminal albums by Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Cannibal Corpse, Fates Warning, Amon Amarth and The Black Dahlia Murder, among others.

Rick Rubin American music producer

Frederick Jay Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and also established American Recordings. With the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Geto Boys, and Run-DMC, Rubin helped popularize hip hop music.

Lombardo contacted Columbia Records, which was Def Jam's distributor, and managed to get in touch with Rubin, who along with photographer Glen E. Friedman agreed to attend one of the band's concerts. Friedman had produced Suicidal Tendencies's self-titled debut album, in which Slayer vocalist Tom Araya made a guest appearance in the music video for the album's single "Institutionalized", pushing Suicidal Tendencies's vocalist Mike Muir. Around this time, Rubin asked Friedman if he knew Slayer. [4]

Columbia Records American record label; currently owned by Sony Music Entertainment

Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. It was founded in 1887, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, and the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1990, Columbia recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records.

Glen E. Friedman American photographer

Glen E. Friedman is an American photographer and artist.

Suicidal Tendencies American crossover thrash band

Suicidal Tendencies are an American crossover thrash band formed in 1980 in Venice, California by vocalist Mike Muir, who is the only remaining original member of the band. Along with D.R.I., Corrosion of Conformity, and Stormtroopers of Death, they are often credited as one of "the fathers of crossover thrash". Their current lineup includes Muir, guitarists Dean Pleasants and Ben Weinman, bassist Ra Díaz and drummer Dave Lombardo. Notable musicians who have contributed to the band's studio or live activities include guitarists Rocky George and Mike Clark, bassists Louiche Mayorga, Robert Trujillo, Josh Paul and Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, and drummers Amery Smith, Jimmy DeGrasso, Brooks Wackerman, David Hidalgo Jr., Thomas Pridgen and session musician Josh Freese.

Guitarist Jeff Hanneman was surprised by Rubin's interest in the band, and was impressed by his work with the hip hop acts Run DMC and LL Cool J. During a visit by Slagel to a European music convention, Rubin spoke with the band directly, and persuaded them to sign with Def Jam. Slagel paid a personal tribute to Rubin, and said that Rubin was the most passionate of all the label representatives the band were in negotiations with. Following the agreement, Friedman brought the band members to Seattle for two days of publicity shots, possible record shots, and photos for a tour book; Rubin felt no good photos of the band had been taken before that point. One of the photos was used on the back cover of the band's 1988 release South of Heaven . [4]

Jeff Hanneman American guitarist

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.

LL Cool J American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor from New York

James Todd Smith, known professionally as LL Cool J, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, author and entrepreneur from Queens, New York. With the breakthrough success of his hit single "I Need a Beat" and the Radio LP, LL Cool J became one of the first hip-hop acts to achieve mainstream success along with Kurtis Blow and Run-D.M.C.

Convention (meeting) meeting of a (usually large) group of individuals and/or companies in a certain field

A convention, in the sense of a meeting, is a gathering of individuals who meet at an arranged place and time in order to discuss or engage in some common interest. The most common conventions are based upon industry, profession, and fandom. Trade conventions typically focus on a particular industry or industry segment, and feature keynote speakers, vendor displays, and other information and activities of interest to the event organizers and attendees. Professional conventions focus on issues of concern along with advancements related to the profession. Such conventions are generally organized by societies or communities dedicated to promotion of the topic of interest. Fan conventions usually feature displays, shows, and sales based on pop culture and guest celebrities. Science fiction conventions traditionally partake of the nature of both professional conventions and fan conventions, with the balance varying from one to another. Conventions also exist for various hobbies, such as gaming or model railroads.

The cover artwork was designed by Larry Carroll, who at the time was creating political illustrations for The Progressive , Village Voice , and The New York Times . The cover art was featured in Blender Magazine's 2006 "top ten heavy metal album covers of all time." [5]

Larry Carroll is a former television news reporter in Los Angeles, and an artist who has worked for The Progressive, The Village Voice, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The Nation, Reason, Spin, Ray Gun, and other periodicals drawing political illustrations. Carroll's most notable work is designing the artwork for the American thrash metal band Slayer's album covers.

<i>The Progressive</i> magazine

The Progressive is an American magazine and website of politics, culture and progressivism with a left-leaning perspective. Founded in 1909 by Senator Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette and co-edited with his wife Belle Case La Follette, it was originally called La Follette's Weekly and then simply La Follette's. In 1929, it was recapitalized and had its name changed to The Progressive.; For a period The Progressive was co-owned by the La Follette family and William Evjue's newspaper The Capital Times. Its headquarters is in Madison, Wisconsin.

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.


Reign in Blood was recorded and produced at Hit City West in Los Angeles with Rubin producing and Andy Wallace engineering. [6] The album was the label boss' first professional experience with heavy metal, and his fresh perspective led to a drastic makeover of Slayer's sound. Steve Huey of AllMusic believed Rubin drew tighter and faster songs from the band, and delivered a cleanly produced sound that contrasted sharply with their previous recordings. [7] This resulted in drastic changes to Slayer's sound, and changed audiences' perception of the band. Araya has since stated their two previous releases were not up to par production-wise. [8] Guitarist Kerry King later remarked that "[i]t was like, 'Wow—you can hear everything, and those guys aren't just playing fast; those notes are on time.'" [4]

Hanneman later admitted that while the band was listening to Metallica and Megadeth at the time, they were finding the repetition of guitar riffs tiring. He said, "If we do a verse two or three times, we're already bored with it. So we weren't trying to make the songs shorter—that's just what we were into," which resulted in the album's short duration of 29 minutes. [4] King had stated that while hour-long records seem to be the trend, "[y]ou could lose this part; you could cut this song completely, and make a much more intense record, which is what we're all about." [4] When the record was completed, the band met with Rubin, who asked: "Do you realize how short this is?" Slayer members looked at each other, and replied: "So what?" [4] The entire album was on one side of a cassette; King stated it was "neat," as "You could listen to it, flip it over, and play it again." [4] The music is abrasive and faster than previous releases, helping to narrow the gap between thrash metal and its predecessor hardcore punk, [7] and is played at an average of 220 beats per minute. [9]

Lombardo's departure

Lombardo (pictured) on departing Slayer: "I wasn't making any money. I think I had just gotten married, and I figured if we were gonna be doing this professionally--on a major label--I wanted my rent and utilities paid." Slayer-22.jpg
Lombardo (pictured) on departing Slayer: "I wasn't making any money. I think I had just gotten married, and I figured if we were gonna be doing this professionally—on a major label—I wanted my rent and utilities paid."

Following the album's recording sessions, Slayer embarked on the Reign in Pain tour with the bands Overkill in the United States and Malice in Europe; they also served as the opening act for W.A.S.P.'s U.S. tour in 1987. In late 1986, drummer Lombardo quit the band. To continue the tour Slayer enlisted Whiplash drummer Tony Scaglione. [4]

Rubin called Lombardo daily to insist he return, telling him: "Dude, you gotta come back in the band." Rubin offered Lombardo a salary, but he was still hesitant about returning; at this point Lombardo had been out of the band for several months. Lombardo returned in 1987; Rubin came to his house and picked him up in his Porsche, taking him to a Slayer rehearsal. [4]

Critical response

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [10]
The Guardian Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [11]
Kerrang! Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [12]
Rock Hard 9.5/10 [13]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [14]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 10/10 [15]
Stylus Magazine A+ [16]
The Village Voice B+ [17]

Although the album received no radio airplay, it was the band's first release to enter the Billboard 200, where it debuted at #127, and attained its peak position of 94 in its sixth week. [18] [19] The album also reached #47 on the UK Album Chart, [20] and on November 20, 1992, it was certified gold in the US. [21]

Reign in Blood was critically acclaimed by the underground and mainstream music press. Reviewing for AllMusic, which was established in 1991, Steve Huey awarded the album five out of five, describing it a "stone-cold classic." [10] Stylus Magazine critic Clay Jarvis awarded the album an A+ grade, calling it a "genre-definer," as well as "the greatest metal album of all time." [16] Jarvis further remarked the song "Angel of Death" "smokes the asses of any band playing fast and/or heavy today. Lyrically outlining the horrors to come, while musically laying the groundwork for the rest of the record: fast, lean and filthy." [16] Kerrang! magazine described it as the "heaviest album of all time," [22] and listed the album at #27 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time". [23] Metal Hammer magazine named it "the best metal album of the last 20 years" in 2006. [24] Q Magazine ranked Reign in Blood among their list of the "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time", [25] and Spin Magazine ranked the album #67 on their list of the "100 Greatest Albums, 1985–2005". [26] Critic Chad Bowar stated: "1986's Reign in Blood is probably the best thrash album ever recorded." [27] In August 2014, Revolver placed the album on its "14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own" list. [28] In 2017, it was ranked 6th on Rolling Stone 's list of "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". [29]

Adrien Begrand of PopMatters observed that "[t]here's no better song to kick things off than the masterful 'Angel of Death', one of the most monumental songs in metal history, where guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman deliver their intricate riffs, drummer Dave Lombardo performs some of the most powerful drumming ever recorded, and bassist/vocalist Tom Araya screams and snarls his tale of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele." [30] When asked why Reign in Blood has retained its popularity, King replied: "If you released Reign in Blood today, no one would give a shit. It was timing; it was a change in sound. In thrash metal at that time, no one had ever heard good production on a record like that. It was just a bunch of things that came together at once." [31] Decibel inducted Reign in Blood into the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame in November 2004, being the first album to earn such award. [32]


Reign in Blood is regarded by critics as one of the most influential and extreme thrash metal albums. [7] In its "Greatest Metal Bands Of All Time" poll, MTV praised Slayer's "downtuned rhythms, infectious guitar licks, graphically violent lyrics and grisly artwork," which they stated "set the standard for dozens of emerging thrash bands," while "Slayer's music was directly responsible for the rise of death metal." MTV described Reign in Blood as essential listening, [33] and the album was ranked number 7 on IGN's "Top 25 Most Influential Metal Albums". [34]

'Raining Blood' and 'Angel of Death' are played at almost every show. SlayerliveB&W.jpg
'Raining Blood' and 'Angel of Death' are played at almost every show.

Asked during a press tour for 1994's Divine Intervention about the pressure of living up to Reign in Blood, King replied that the band did not try to better it, but just wanted to make music. [4] In 2006, Blabbermouth's Don Kaye drew a comparison to the band's 2006 album Christ Illusion , and concluded, "Slayer may never make an album as incendiary as Reign in Blood again." [35]

Rapper Necro was heavily influenced by the album, and has remarked that it takes him back to the 1980s, "when shit was pure". [36] Ektomorf vocalist Zoltán Farkas describes the album as one of his primary influences. [37] Paul Mazurkiewicz of Cannibal Corpse stated Lombardo's performance on the album helped him play faster throughout his career. [38] Kelly Shaefer of Atheist said: "When Reign in Blood came out it changed everything! That is easily the best extreme metal record ever!" [39]

Hanneman said that the album was his personal favorite, reasoning it was "so short and quick and to the point". [40] Araya has remarked that Slayer's 2006 album Christ Illusion "comes close", but that "nothing can surpass Reign in Blood for intensity and impact. No one had heard anything like it before. In the twenty years since then, people have got more desensitized. What was over the top then might not be now." [41]

Paul Bostaph – Slayer's drummer from 1992 to 2001, and 2013–present – first heard the record while a member of Forbidden. At a party, he walked towards music he heard from another room, and approached Forbidden guitarist Craig Locicero. Asked what was playing, Locicero shouted, "The new Slayer record." After listening closely, Bostaph looked at Locicero, and concluded his band was "fucked". [4]

Oderus Urungus of Gwar cited 'Altar of Sacrifice' as his favourite Slayer song: "It's the one I would always play for my friends when I was getting into Slayer. They would get this glazed look in their eyes and worship the speakers while doing the devil-horn thing." [42]

In 2006, the album won a Metal Hammer award for Best Album of the Last 20 Years. [43]

In 2016, Loudwire ranked Reign in Blood #1 among Slayer's eleven studio albums. [44]

Live performances

The tracks "Raining Blood" and "Angel of Death" have become almost permanent additions to Slayer's live set, and were Hanneman's favorite tracks to play live. [45] The band played Reign in Blood in its entirety throughout the fall of 2004, under the tour banner "Still Reigning". In 2004, a live DVD of the same name was released, which included a finale with the band covered in fake blood during the performance of "Raining Blood". [46]

King later said that while the idea of playing Reign in Blood in its entirety was suggested before by their booking agency, it was met with little support. The band ultimately decided they needed to add more excitement to their live shows, and to avoid repetition incorporated the ideas of raining blood. [47] When asked about using fake blood in future performances, King remarked: "It's time to move on, but never say never. I know Japan never saw it, South America and Australia never saw it. So you never know." [48] In 2008 the band performed Reign in Blood in its entirety once again, this time in Paris, France, during the third European Unholy Alliance Tour. [49]

Although it was omitted from a number of concerts because of short time allotments, Slayer have often said that they enjoy playing the album in its entirety. According to Hanneman: "We still enjoy playing these songs live. We play these songs over and over and over, but they're good songs, intense songs! If it were melodic songs or some kind of boring 'clap your hands' song, you'd be going crazy playing those every night. But our songs are just bam-bam-bam-bam, they're intense." [50] The band was on stage for 70 minutes, which only allowed seven or eight additional songs to be played following the album's play. King stated this arrangement "alienates too many people". In the Unholy Alliance Tour of 2004, however, the album was played in its entirety during Slayer's set as the last ten songs to end the show. [51] The album was performed live at the I'll Be Your Mirror London festival in May 2012. [52] In May 2014, it was announced that Slayer would perform the album in its entirety at Riot Fest in Chicago and Denver. [53]


Lyrical themes

Def Jam's distributor, Columbia Records, refused to distribute the album due to the song "Angel of Death", because of its setting and description of the Holocaust. Reign in Blood was eventually distributed by Geffen Records; however, due to the controversy it did not appear on Geffen's release schedule. [4]

For the album, Slayer decided to abandon much of the earlier Satanic themes explored on their previous album Hell Awaits , and write about issues that were more on a street level. [54] Reign in Blood's lyrics include death, anti-religion, insanity, and murderering, while the lead track "Angel of Death" details human experiments conducted at the Auschwitz concentration camp by Josef Mengele, who was dubbed "the Angel of death" by inmates. [55] The song led to accusations of Nazi sympathizing and racism, which have followed the band throughout their career. [2]

Hanneman was inspired to write "Angel of Death" after he read a number of books on Mengele during a Slayer tour. Hanneman has complained people usually misinterpret the lyrics, and clarified: "Nothing I put in the lyrics that says necessarily he was a bad man, because to me — well, isn't that obvious? I shouldn't have to tell you that." [40] The band utilized the controversy to attract publicity, incorporating the Reichsadler into their logo (also the S in the band's name resembles the Sig runes used by the SS), and writing a song in Divine Intervention titled "SS-3", which mentions Reinhard Heydrich, the second in command in the Schutzstaffel. [56]

Song covers

"Raining Blood" was covered by Tori Amos on her 2001 album Strange Little Girls . King has admitted that he thought the cover was odd: "It took me a minute and a half to find a spot in the song where I knew where she was. It's so weird. If she had never told us, we would have never known. You could have played it for us and we'd have been like, 'What's that?' Like a minute and a half through I heard a line and was like, 'I know where she's at!'". The band, however, liked the cover enough to send Slayer T-shirts to her. [57] The song was also covered by Malevolent Creation, Chimaira, Vader, Dokaka, Reggie and the Full Effect and Killick Erik Hinds, who covered the entire album on a H'arpeggione. [58] "Raining Blood" was also covered by the New Zealand drum and bass band Concord Dawn on their 2003 album Uprising , and by Nashville, Tennessee band Asschapel on their 7" "Satanation". A medley of "Raining Blood" and "Postmortem" appears on Body Count's 2016 album Bloodlust , preceded by a short monologue by lead singer Ice-T where he names Slayer as both a major influence on Body Count and as one of his favorite bands of all time "and always will be"; a video for Body Count's version was released in August 2017.

In 2005, the Slayer tribute band Dead Skin Mask released an album with eight Slayer tracks, including "Angel of Death". [59] The death metal band Monstrosity covered the song in 1999, [60] while the track was featured on the classical band Apocalyptica's 2006 album Amplified / A Decade of Reinventing the Cello . [61] A Slayer tribute album titled Al Sur del Abismo (Tributo Argentino a Slayer), compiled by Hurling Metal Records, featured sixteen tracks covered by Argentina metal bands, including Asinesia's version of "Angel of Death". [62]

"Raining Blood" was featured in the 127th South Park episode, "Die Hippie, Die", aired on 16 March 2005. [63] The plot centers on the town of South Park, which has been overrun by hippies. Eric Cartman states "Hippies can't stand death metal" and proceeds to drill through a hippie concert onto the main stage to change the audio to "Raining Blood", making the hippies run away. King found the episode humorous and expressed his interest in the show, ending the interview with "It was good to see the song being put to good use, if we can horrify some hippies we've done our job." [48] "Angel of Death" also appears in several movies, including Gremlins 2 , at the point when the character Mohawk turns into a spider, [64] Jackass: The Movie , where it is played during a car stunt scene, and in the 2005 Iraq War documentary Soundtrack to War . [65] [66]

"Angel of Death" was featured in the multi–platform video game Tony Hawk's Project 8 . Nolan Nelson, who selected the soundtrack for the game, asserts: "one of the greatest heavy metal songs ever recorded. Don't know who Slayer is? I feel sorry for you." [67] "Raining Blood" was included in the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in–game radio station V-Rock. [68] "Raining Blood" is also one of the songs featured in Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock , and is considered one of the most difficult songs in the game, if not the hardest of the career song list. [69] "Angel of Death" and "Raining Blood" are both available as DLC for Rocksmith 2014 .

Track listing

Side one
1."Angel of Death" Jeff Hanneman Hanneman4:51
2."Piece by Piece" Kerry King King2:02
  • Hanneman
  • King
  • Hanneman
  • King
4."Altar of Sacrifice"KingHanneman2:50
5."Jesus Saves"King
  • Hanneman
  • King
Side two
6."Criminally Insane"
  • Hanneman
  • King
  • Hanneman
  • King
  • Hanneman
  • King
10."Raining Blood"
  • Hanneman
  • King
1998 re-issue bonus tracks
11."Aggressive Perfector"
  • Hanneman
  • King
  • Hanneman
  • King
12."Criminally Insane" (remix)
  • Hanneman
  • King
  • Hanneman
  • King



Charts and certifications

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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 the 1986 album Reign in Blood and the 2006 album Christ Illusion, for which he received critical praise. 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, and the Misfits.

<i>Haunting the Chapel</i> 1984 EP by Slayer

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.

<i>Diabolus in Musica</i> 1998 studio album by Slayer

Diabolus in Musica is the eighth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. The album was released on June 9, 1998. Although receiving mixed critical reviews, the album sold 46,000 copies in its first week to peak at number 31 on the Billboard 200. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman wrote most of the album's content which has been described as Slayer's most experimental album. It is the band's first studio album to be played mostly in C tuning. The album's title is a Latin term for "The Devil in Music", a musical interval known for its dissonance. Lyrical themes explored on the album include religion, sex, cultural deviance, death, insanity, war, and homicide.

<i>War at the Warfield</i> 2003 video by Slayer

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.

<i>Still Reigning</i> 2004 live album by the band Slayer

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.

"Raining Blood" is a song by the American thrash metal band Slayer. Written by Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King for the 1986 studio album Reign in Blood, the song's religious concept is about overthrowing Heaven.

<i>Christ Illusion</i> 2006 studio album by Slayer

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 album to feature original 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.

<i>World Painted Blood</i> 2009 studio album by Slayer

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.

<i>Repentless</i> 2015 studio album by Slayer

Repentless is the twelfth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. It was released on September 11, 2015, and is the band's first album since the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 2013. Gary Holt plays the guitar in his place while drummer Paul Bostaph makes his first appearance on a Slayer album since 2001's God Hates Us All. The album is also Slayer's first one to be 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 is the longest between two Slayer albums to date.

<i>Seasons in the Abyss</i> 1990 studio album by Slayer

Seasons in the Abyss is the fifth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on October 9, 1990 by Def American Records. Recording sessions began in March 1990 at Hit City West and Hollywood Sound, and ended in June 1990 at The Record Plant in Los Angeles, California. It was the band's last album to feature original drummer Dave Lombardo until 2006's Christ Illusion. Seasons in the Abyss' musical style has been compared by critics to the band's previous two albums South of Heaven (1988) and Reign in Blood (1986).


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