Editorial: Listen To Slayer
Craft beer is delicious when you want to challenge your taste buds, and cheap yellow beer is great when it’s hot as fuck and there’s Mexican food involved. But sometimes, you want that Good Yellow Beer, that beer that’s crisp and drinkable without being flavorless and pedestrian, like Becks. Slayer is that beer. Listen to fucking Slayer.
Listen to Slayer. Don’t question why, just do it. Put on “The Antichrist”, or “Epidemic”, or “War Ensemble.” You like “War Ensemble”, right? Remember, where it’s all loud and fast as Hell, and Tom Araya screams, “WAAAAAAAAAR?” Isn’t that fucking amazing? Because Slayer are amazing. Slayer’s best material is about as metal as metal can be. It’s fast and mean and memorable, and while tons of Slayer songs are about the Devil, not every Slayer song is about the Devil. They are both spiked shinguards and camo shorts incarnate. They are a band tattoo as a band. Put on some Slayer.
Aw, are Slayer old and rich now? Is Jeff Hanneman dead, and is the band somewhat out of touch with the true underground? Do they make bikes and hold puppies? Did Repentless suck? All of those things are very true facts and very stupid excuses. Who cares? If you’re going to overlook shitty output by other bands — you do, admit you do — then you don’t have to focus on the things about Slayer that are not always cool at all times. If there is any genre of metal you enjoy, there is at least one Slayer album that you must think is fucking rad as Hell. Put that one on. Slayer have been Slayer for forever now. Of course they have a wide and varied catalog. Of course there’s something for you. You don’t have to listen to Repentless. I don’t listen to Repentless.
Let us analyze the winning attributes of Slayer’s most famous track, “Angel of Death.” The song begins all BUNH! DUH NUH! before switching over to a diabolical BUNUH BA-DUUUH NUH! and then the band introduces the “AAAAAAAAAAAOOOOH!” If you find both of your hands making the horns at this point, don’t worry, that’s perfectly natural, as it’s now time to dance as though you’re trying to break every lamp in the house. Later, as that chugging Satan part happens, the listener lowers his or her head and bobs it tightly, preparing for the “FLYING FREEEEEE” that introduces the sound of two live horses being electrocuted. Then Dave Lombardo does the bumpablididididididididiDUMDUMDUMDUMDUMDUM. A final chorus, and you’ve successful become the human equivalent of a working dryer full of hammers.
One often finds that Slayer’s music appeals to them due to all the killer fucking metal and shit. I especially enjoy when Slayer have awesome riffs and creepy lyrics and incredible energy. Why, it’s almost as if these are attributes that are entirely vital to making good metal, and every band should include them! Wouldn’t that be crazy, if metal songwriting, though widely varied and incredibly complicated, also included certain formulas that were naturally pleasing to the ear, and that Slayer tap into regularly? One might even say that Slayer know how to write good metal songs! You can quote me on that.
And hey, look, Slayer will never be Motörhead or ZZ Top, and that’s okay, because those bands appeal to the easy-going rocker in all of us who can roll with the punches and lend sage blue-collar bar wisdom to wayward young ‘uns. Slayer, meanwhile, are all about getting a sigil from The Grand Grimoire tattooed on your neck, drinking hard liquor with a snake floating in the bottle, and waking up next to a BC Rich Warlock and a contract you don’t remember signing in blood. It’s only fitting you honor that part of yourself, don’t you think? Listening to Slayer pays homage to the part of you that’s a lunatic supervillain.
My point is, there’s a lot of great metal out there, and some of it will make you feel like a spike-covered footsoldier of the apocalypse using a bowie knife to carve a pentagram into the stomach of an archangel, but it’s doubtful that they do so as reliably as any song on Show No Mercy. Sure, you crank some tunes that make you feel like some sort of gore oaf or mountain wraith or woodland sprite, but I’m not sure that’s as satisfying as the sensation that the cast of Mad Max: Fury Road will at any given moment come launching out of your urethra. When I put on metal, that’s what I’m looking for nine times out of ten. That’s Slayer. I may not know art, but fuck you, play “Mandatory Suicide.”
Sorry, look, forget everything I’ve said. Just listen to Slayer. Well, you don’t have to do that, exactly, but what I mean is, listen to Slayer right goddamn now. At the end of the day, what we know is, fucking Slayer, right? Put that shit on. Put on some Slayer. Listen to Slayer. Slayer rules. Metal rules. Hail Satan. Listen to Slayer.