Slayer – Repentless
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 to feature guitarist Gary Holt, who replaced founding member Jeff Hanneman (who died in 2013), and the first album to feature drummer Paul Bostaph since God Hates Us All (2001). The album is also Slayer’s first album to be released on Nuclear Blast. With the band unsure about whether it will record another album before the end of its farewell tour, Repentless is expected to be Slayer’s final studio album.
Repentless is no doubt another very worthy addition to Slayer’s already praised discography, even with half of a lineup change. The overall sound and feel of the album is in line with later Slayer works, nothing really new on that but, like other classic bands, this is not a bad thing. You know from the very second it starts that this is definitely a Slayer album, and that’s damn good. The late Jeff Hanneman’s replacement, Gary Holt fits right in with this album, having toured with Slayer prior to the recording of this album. For the most part, I feel that most shredder guitarists sound alike, so my opinion should be taken lightly. But I have no trouble when it comes to the drummer, and I have nothing but absolute praise for Paul Bostoph’s fantastic work on this album. On past albums, I’ve always preferred Dave Lombardo’s sound to Bostoph’s mechanical sound, but on this Bostoph has never sounded better. He sounds nearly laid-back and even relaxed, and that has added a fine detail of style that really works well with the band. Although it might sound like a letdown to say after such praise, Kerry King is just as solid and dark as ever, while Tom Araya still lays down the deep basslines and bellows his vocals with the same enthusiasm as always.
Three singles were released from the album: “Repentless,” “You Against You” and “Pride In Prejudice”. The album debuted at no. 4 on the Billboard 200, the highest-charting debut from the band in its native country. It also topped the chart in Germany and featured in the top ten of almost twenty charts around the world. It received generally positive reviews from critics.
When asked in May 2011 if Slayer was going to make a follow-up to World Painted Blood, then-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo replied that, although nothing had been written yet, there were “definitely plans.” In early 2011, guitarist Jeff Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis. Reports linked this illness with a spider bite he claimed to have received while in a friend’s hot tub. When asked about a new record, bassist Tom Araya stated that any work would have to wait until Hanneman had recovered.
The album’s writing process started in November 2011, announced by Lombardo through Twitter. King later said that he and Lombardo had been working on music prior to the holidays and that they had completed three songs, in addition to three outtakes from the previous record. It was initially hoped that the album would be ready for release by the summer of 2012, but this did not come to fruition. Frontman Tom Araya later said that the album would be pushed back to a 2013 release, but this idea fell through.
In addition, King had noted that two of the new songs had been fully recorded and that there was a possibility that they might be released as an EP, but the idea was later dismissed. King announced the songs’ titles as “Chasing Death” and “Implode.” Araya announced that the band would start writing the new album upon completion of the 2012 Mayhem Festival tour, which ended in August of that year. Since their recorded songs still needed to be mixed, King announced in a late August 2012 interview that there had been a twelve-day window where the band had been able to “hijack Greg Fidelman from Metallica” for further production on the album. By then, the band had two songs that were missing lead guitar parts and vocals and had recorded six demos. In addition, King said that the band had yet to record three more demos.
According to Holt, recording for the album was expected to commence at the end of 2013. King later stated that there were plans to begin recording in January 2014. King further revealed that he and drummer Paul Bostaph have recorded 11 songs on a demo, while also working on some additional tracks, seven of which had complete lyrics. On April 24, 2014, Slayer offered a free download of “Implode,” their first song in five years as well as their first recording to feature Holt on guitar. Additionally, it is the first recording to feature Bostaph on drums since 2001’s God Hates Us All. On the same day, it was announced that Slayer had signed to Nuclear Blast.
Released: September 11, 2015
Label: Nuclear Blast
Producer: Terry Date
Genre: Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal
Website: Official Website
Discs: 1 disc
Reviewed by: Guest Reviewer
Our Rating: 4.0 /5
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