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Slayer - "World Painted Blood" (CD)

Slayer - "World Painted Blood" CD cover image

"World Painted Blood" track listing:

1. World Painted Blood
2. Unit 731
3. Snuff
4. Beauty Through Order
5. Hate Worldwide
6. Public Display Of Dismemberment
7. Human Strain
8. Americon
9. Psychopathy Red
10. Playing With Dolls
11. Not Of This God

Reviewed by on November 5, 2009

"...it offers everything Slayer fans have been wanting with several surprises thrown in."

One of the biggest events in the world of heavy metal is when Slayer release a new album, and with good reason. They may well be the most controversial metal band in history, and have written several classic songs along with what many people consider to be the best thrash metal album of all time, "Reign In Blood." But the real question is, now that the band has been going for almost thirty years and the band members are getting on in age, can they still write brutal music and continue to shock people? You better believe they can.

"World Painted Blood" is the band's tenth studio album and may well be their best for some time. It is also the most original album they've done in a long time. The band has once again used a wide array of lyrical themes which keeps each song interesting and they seem to have listened to fans who said that the "God is bad" lyrics have gotten very old. Lyrical themes on "World Painted Blood" range from World War 2 atrocities ("Unit 731"), serial killers ("Beauty Through Order" and "Psycopathy Red"), and snuff movies ("Snuff") amongst other topics.

Musically it offers everything Slayer fans have been wanting with several surprises thrown in. The whole album is a brutal offering of their trademark style of thrash metal, yet has a really creepy vibe throughout. There are a few instances where a song will break down and enter into an almost spoken word style with a simple musical back drop, which is reminiscent of their classic song "Dead Skin Mask," and it works perfectly. The band also seems to have really embraced their love of punk and hardcore on this record, which keeps the songs sounding frantic and fast-paced with some memorable riffs such as the opening to "Public Display Of Dismemberment."

When it comes to the songs themselves, it takes a few listens for a song to stand out more than the others. Every song is fantastic, but none are truly memorable or quite up there with the likes of "Mandatory Suicide" or "South Of Heaven." While that may sound like a negative thing, it actually benefits the album as a whole very well, as it flows brilliantly and when all the songs are put together it makes for a top quality album. All the songs are kept fairly short too which makes them nice and easy to listen to.

There's a lot of panic that this will be Slayer's final album, as there was when they released "Christ Illusion," but if the freshness and energy displayed on "World Painted Blood" is anything to go by, Slayer fans shouldn't worry about the band calling time soon. Tom Araya's voice may be slipping a bit, and it seems that he had to really work hard to achieve some of the vocals on this record, but he can still cut it, and the band as a whole are still showing the younger generation how it's done. If this is Slayer's last album however, it's an outstanding way to bow out and will cement their legacy as a band that impressed and shocked from the start of their career to the end.

Highs: The whole album is full of the classic Slayer sound with plenty of twists and turns to keep it fresh.

Lows: It does take some time for the songs to form an identity of their own.

Bottom line: A real contender for album of the year, and Slayer's best album in a long time.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)