Still Reigning

Last updated
Still Reigning
Video by Slayer
Released October 26, 2004
Recorded July 11, 2004
Genre Thrash metal
Label American
Director Dean Karr
Producer Arthur Gorson
Slayer chronology
War at the Warfield
(2003) War at the Warfield2003
Still Reigning
The Big 4 Live From Sofia, Bulgaria
(2010) The Big 4 Live From Sofia, Bulgaria2010

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.

DVD Optical disc

DVD is a digital optical disc storage format invented and developed in 1995. The medium can store any kind of digital data and is widely used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions.

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 work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and criticism of The Establishment, using direct and denunciatory language, 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 vocalist and bassist Tom Araya and guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. 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.


The DVD is notable for the finale, which features Slayer covered in stage blood while performing the song "Raining Blood", leading to a demanding mixing process plagued by production and technical difficulties. The DVD's producer Kevin Shirley spent hours replacing cymbal and drum hits one-by-one. He publicly aired financial disagreements he had with the band and criticized the quality of the recording, and as a result was allegedly subjected to threats and insults from people associated with the band.

"Raining Blood" is a song by the American thrash metal band Slayer. It is the tenth song in the band's 1986 album Reign in Blood. Written by Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, the concept deals with religion, specifically said to be about overthrowing Heaven.

Kevin Shirley, also known as The Caveman, is a music producer and mixer for many artists, such as the bands Journey, Iron Maiden, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Marya Roxx, Dream Theater, The Springbok Nude Girls, HIM, Tyler Bryant, Mr. Big, and Europe.

Cymbal common percussion instrument

A cymbal is a common percussion instrument. Often used in pairs, cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys. The majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a definite note. Cymbals are used in many ensembles ranging from the orchestra, percussion ensembles, jazz bands, heavy metal bands, and marching groups. Drum kits usually incorporate at least a crash, ride, or crash/ride, and a pair of hi-hat cymbals. A player of cymbals is known as a cymbalist.


Reign in Blood was released in 1986 and was Slayer's first album to enter the Billboard 200 at 94 [1] and their first to be awarded gold certification. [2] Music critics praised the album; Kerrang! described it as the "heaviest album of all time", [3] while Steve Huey of Allmusic wrote that the album was a "stone-cold classic". [4] The positive reception led to the band's European agent John Jackson, to suggest that the band play Reign in Blood in its entirety on the Jägermeister tour of 2003 and 2004, under the tour banner "Still Reigning". [5] Original drummer Dave Lombardo, who recorded drums on the album, re-joined the band in 2001, after departing in 1991. This influenced the band's decision to play the album in its entirety, as they had the original members and all members regard the album as a high-point in their career. [6] The band was going to enter the recording studio to record their next album ( Christ Illusion ). However, the band's producer Rick Rubin insisted the band not enter the recording studio due to problems between himself and the band's record label, American Recordings. The band's manager suggested they record a performance of one of the Jägermeister shows and release it on a DVD — the band agreed. [7]

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

<i>Kerrang!</i> British magazine about rock and metal music

Kerrang! is a British weekly magazine devoted to hard rock and heavy metal music, currently published by Wasted Talent. It was first published on 6 June 1981 as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper. Named after the onomatopoeic word that derives from the sound made when playing a power chord on a distorted electric guitar, Kerrang! was initially devoted to the new wave of British heavy metal and the rise of hard rock acts. In the early 2000s it became the best-selling British music weekly.

Dave Lombardo Cuban drummer

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 Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Cross and the Misfits.

The final track of the DVD, "Raining Blood", culminates with the band drenched by stage blood. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman came up with the idea of the blood two years after Reign in Blood's release, but the band lacked the funding to do so. [7] The beginning of the film Blade (released in 1998) features a "bloodbath" with vampires dancing in a club with blood coming from the roof via a sprinkler system. The scene revived Jeff Hanneman and guitarist Kerry King's interest, and since the band released a DVD the previous year War at the Warfield they decided to add something different for the new DVD raining blood. [7] King asserted that since Lombardo was not on the previous DVD, this one was going to be important. Due to the short length of the DVD, director Dean Karr chose an additional bonus six songs from the same show as he thought certain members excelled in the performances. [8]

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.

<i>Blade</i> (film) 1998 film by Stephen Norrington

Blade is a 1998 American supernatural superhero film directed by Stephen Norrington and written by David S. Goyer based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The film stars Wesley Snipes in the title role with Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson and N'Bushe Wright in supporting roles. In the film, Blade is a Dhampir, a human with vampire strengths but not their weaknesses, who protects humans from vampires.

Kerry King American musician

Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known as a guitarist and songwriter for the American thrash metal band Slayer. He co-founded the band with Jeff Hanneman in 1981 and has been a member ever since.

Recording and production

Still Reigning was recorded at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, Maine on July 11, 2004, prior to the 2004 Ozzfest. A ten-man camera crew under the direction of Dean Karr was on hand to document the show, backstage action, and exclusive interviews inside the band's tour bus. [9] The interview, "Slayer: In their own words", is a seventeen-minute piece which features the band talking about their early years, influences, writing lyrics, Lombardo's return, and the band's eventual retirement. At one point Lombardo rejected the possibility of a future "good-bye tour" for Slayer, and states if the band realize they have "lost a step" they will "call it a day". [10]

Augusta, Maine capital of Maine

Augusta is the state capital of the U.S. state of Maine and the county seat of Kennebec County.

Ozzfest is an annual festival tour of the United States and sometimes Europe featuring performances by many heavy metal and hard rock musical groups. It was founded by Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon Osbourne, both of whom also organise each yearly tour with their son Jack Osbourne. The Ozzfest tour has featured bands of a variety of genres within heavy metal and hard rock, including alternative metal, thrash metal, industrial metal, metalcore, hardcore punk, deathcore, nu metal, death metal, post-hardcore, gothic metal and black metal. Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath have played the tour several times over the years.

The stage was converted to resemble the band's 1986 "Reign in Pain" tour, which featured the Slayer eagle and inverted crosses as part of the lighting rig. [11] The stage was modified to absorb the "blood" and have it recirculate back down upon the band, which allowed for easier clean-up and lowered the chance of injury by slipping. [12] The DVD was recorded in 1.85:1 video, which caused macro blocking errors such as aliasing and a murky stage when fully lit, and the audio featured English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo, with no subtitles. [10]


In signal processing and related disciplines, aliasing is an effect that causes different signals to become indistinguishable when sampled. It also refers to the distortion or artifact that results when the signal reconstructed from samples is different from the original continuous signal.

Dolby Digital is the name for audio compression technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories. Originally named Dolby Stereo Digital until 1994, except for Dolby TrueHD, the audio compression is lossy. The first use of Dolby Digital was to provide digital sound in cinemas from 35mm film prints; today, it is now also used for other applications such as TV broadcast, radio broadcast via satellite, digital video streaming, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and game consoles.

Kevin Shirley, who has worked with the bands Iron Maiden and Dream Theater, produced the DVD. He issued a statement describing the demanding mixing process which took place at his New York Studio: "It's OK — some places it rocks hard, and others are a bit sloppy, but I'm sure they won't use the whole concert. It was tough to mix." [9] The following day Shirley apologized for his "unprofessional comment" towards the band, and altered his post on his personal website to read: "The rest of the week I finished mixing a live Slayer set for a DVD, in stereo and surround, and it's great — it rocks hard, but it was tough to mix." [13]

The stage blood used covered Lombardo's drum kit, which resulted in a demanding mixing process as producer Shirley asserted the cymbals sounded like "a coffee mug being tapped with a spoon." LombardoStillReigning.jpg
The stage blood used covered Lombardo's drum kit, which resulted in a demanding mixing process as producer Shirley asserted the cymbals sounded like "a coffee mug being tapped with a spoon."

On September 30, 2006, Shirley issued a further statement claiming he had not been paid for his work, and had received threats and insults from people associated with the band: "I've just mixed a really wonderful band with one of the worst sounding recordings ever. It's kinda disgraceful that they won't spend anything on a decent recording! I won't say who, because last time I commented on a sloppy recording (on this page), they refused to pay me and I got all manner of threats and insults from people associated with the band, so I'd best be quiet!" [14]

The stage blood caused technical difficulties as it soaked the microphone, guitars, and cymbals, which according to Shirley sounded like "coffee mugs being tapped with a spoon". [14] A review of the DVD observed that "If it wasn't for guitarist Jeff Hanneman being out of position and missing all of the blood, the guitar might have sounded pretty bad." [10] Hanneman missed the initial downpour due to a technical problem with his guitar, and was deluged by a light shower when coming back on-stage. [15] Shirley replaced thousands of cymbal and drum hits with those used on previous recordings; the process took several days to complete. [14] After recording the DVD, the band used a sprinkler system with diluted water rather than a bucket with blood that was like tar when recording the DVD. King later remarked, "My guitar didn’t like it, that was the last time I played it," [16] and he donated it to the Hard Rock Cafe after the show. [16] Vocalist Tom Araya felt the same and admitted; "It was messy. I couldn't play because the initial dump at the beginning of the song got all over me. I couldn't hold my pick. I was slapping my bass trying to get sound out of it." [17]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [18]
IGN (6.0/10) [19]
Classic Rock Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [20]

Still Reigning debuted on the Billboard DVD chart at number seven — selling 9,813 copies. [21] It became the band's second DVD to receive gold certification on July 20, 2005, after War at the Warfield, which received gold certification a year earlier for sales in excess of 50,000. [22] The readers of Revolver magazine voted it "best live DVD" in 2005, making it the second consecutive year the band topped the category. [23]

Slayer received a positive reception when performing at the Augusta Civic Center. On finishing half the set list, the band briefly left the stage and returned to play the 28-minute album, Reign in Blood as an encore. On the final song, "Raining Blood" the lights were turned off and Slayer members were deluged by two buckets of stage blood. According to King, the crowd went quiet for a few seconds until they realized the blood was part of the show. King thought Araya looked like a psychotic mass murderer, which contributed to the crowd's reaction. Following the two large drops, stage blood mixed with water was used so it looked like it was "raining blood". [8]

Andy Patrizio of IGN awarded the DVD six out of ten commenting, "Tom Araya lost his piercing shriek that opens 'Angel of Death' and the end of 'Necrophobic'", [10] praising Lombardo's return by saying the drummer "...hasn't lost a step at all. With barely any breathing time between songs, the underground drum legend shows that an impending 40th birthday (next month) isn't going to slow him down." [10] Patrizio stated the production was not of the highest caliber, as the rapid "MTV-style" cuts were distracting, as was the switch from black and white to color shots. [10] Patrizio ended the review with the comment, "This is what you get for letting Uwe Boll direct your music video", Boll being a heavily criticized film director. [10]

Track listing


Related Research Articles

<i>Reign in Blood</i> album by Slayer

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.

<i>South of Heaven</i> album

South of Heaven is the fourth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. Released on July 5, 1988, the album was the band's second collaboration with record producer Rick Rubin, whose production skills on Slayer's previous album Reign in Blood had helped the band's sound evolve.

<i>Show No Mercy</i> album

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.

<i>Hell Awaits</i> album

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.

<i>God Hates Us All</i> album

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.

<i>Undisputed Attitude</i> Slayer album

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.

<i>Live Intrusion</i> 1995 live album

Live Intrusion is a home video by Slayer which was released in 1995 through American Recordings and filmed at the Mesa Amphitheater in Mesa, Arizona on March 12, 1995. The video features a cover of the Venom song "Witching Hour" performed by Slayer with assistance from Chris Kontos and Robb Flynn of Machine Head. It was reissued on DVD on August 17, 2010. Live Intrusion received positive reception from the few critics that reviewed the video.

<i>War at the Warfield</i> live album

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.

Slayer discography discography

Slayer is an American thrash metal band formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, who recruited vocalist and bassist Tom Araya, and drummer Dave Lombardo. Slayer's first two albums, Show No Mercy (1983) and Hell Awaits (1985), which were released on Metal Blade Records, did not chart in the United States. The band was then signed to Def Jam Recordings by Rick Rubin, who produced Reign in Blood (1986). The album helped Slayer break into the Billboard 200 for the first time, peaking at number 94. After South of Heaven (1988), Slayer signed to Rubin's new label, Def American, and released Seasons in the Abyss (1990). After the album was released, Lombardo departed Slayer and was replaced by Paul Bostaph.

<i>Christ Illusion</i> album

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.

Eyes of the Insane 2006 single by Slayer

"Eyes of the Insane" is a 2006 song by the American thrash metal band Slayer, taken from their 2006 album Christ Illusion. The lyrics explore an American soldier's mental anguish following his return home from the second Gulf War, and are based on an article entitled "Casualty of War" in Texas Monthly magazine. "Eyes of the Insane" was written by vocalist Tom Araya during pre-production for the album. The song was generally well received by critics, and also peaked #15 on the Danish singles charts.

<i>World Painted Blood</i> album

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> album by Slayer

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 first album since the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 2013. Gary Holt plays the guitar in his place and drummer Paul Bostaph makes his first appearance on a Slayer album since 2001's God Hates Us All. The album is also Slayer's only one to be released on Nuclear Blast.


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