Album Review

Slayer, 'World Painted Blood'

November 9, 2009

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Slayer World Painted Blood
American Recordings
ESSENTIAL: “Beauty Through Order’’

In the Slayer world view, your deity will not save you; your leaders will betray you; your neighbor may dismember you; and, on really bad days, it rains blood. “World Painted Blood’’ is Slayer’s 10th studio album and another potent display of brutality by the band that personifies its genre much like B.B. King embodies the blues and Dave Brubeck is the essence of jazz. If you have any curiosity about heavy metal, simply pick up a Slayer record, and the new stuff is as aesthetically pure as the earlier, career-defining releases. In other words, Slayer hasn’t bowed to the mainstream and probably uses its two Grammys as doorstops. Guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, bassist and singer Tom Araya, and drummer Dave Lombardo are relentless across these 11 tracks shaped more by punky thrash dynamics than the low-end rumble of Slayer’s previous couple of records. The band’s grim outlook remains bearable after all these years thanks to strong songcraft. At staccato pace, Araya spits out long, knotty diatribes and chilling first-person character pieces that keep the aggression intriguing. Ominous guitar riffage and colossal drumming keep it dependable. (Out now)