Slayer Repentless

Slayer Repentless
7
"Delusions of Saviour" opens up this important album for Slayer and does so in grand Slayer fashion: the moody instrumental sounds like something off of South of Heaven, the band seemingly very aware that they are on thin ice here. After all, this is the first album without long-time guitarist Jeff Hanneman (in his place is Gary Holt of Exodus, who fills in capably), first album for a new label and the first album with Paul Bostaph returning on drums.
 
The title track kicks things into high gear, and it has the punked-up side of Slayer covered, Tom Araya's vocals frantic, the production frayed and ragged, the solos outrageous; follow-up tune "Take Control" shreds hard and fast. From here, the album takes a turn that takes a bit of getting used to, as the band goes to their slow midtempo place for a good chunk of the middle of the album, with mixed results. "Implode" picks up the pace well, and "Piano Wire" slows it down again but in a very effective, Seasons in the Abyss sort of fashion. "You Against You" adds in some fun groove (in a good way, don't worry) and picks things up, although I'm still not entirely sold on closer "Pride in Prejudice" — some of the lyrical content is downright teenage, but the raw production and energetic playing are great.
 
This isn't going to be one of the classic Slayer albums, but there's still plenty of good thrash to be found on Repentless. (Nuclear Blast)