The path I chose has led me to my grave…
When I first heard Slayer I hated it. It was probably Show No Mercy and I think we were all over at Shelton’s house. He was all about some Slayer which was probably the main reason i didn’t like them. Any time you saw Shelton you heard, “Slayuh rules.” You never really wanted to disagree with him because he was an ox and would wrestle you into submission or body slam you or something. He was a bit of a nutcase and I always felt sorry for his mom. She was so nice.
Metal Blade Records put out 3 compilations called The Best of Metal Blade (vols 1, 2 and 3…duh). Each of them had Slayer and I liked the songs that were compiled…Chemical Warfare, Evil has No Boundaries, Black Magic and Die By the Sword. But I still didn’t consider myself a fan. Then one day in 1986 I was at either at Kelz’ or Danile’s house (sure, his name is Daniel but spelling it Danile is much more fun) and someone had Reign In Blood (on cassette of course!). I was so not into listening to it when they were talking about it. I’m stubborn. Some things never change as I am still stubborn, but I digress. I sat defiantly and quietly in my listening as Angel of Death started.
Then the drums kicked in. WTH? Are those his feet doing that? Really? Someone says dude, check this part out. Yes, you know which part. Right at the end of the solo when everything stops and it’s nothing but Lombardo’s feet pounding the shit out of the kick drums. “Play that again.” “OK, one more time.” “Can we check that part out again?”
On that day I became a Slayer fan. Soon after I went back to the older stuff and really gave it a chance. Raw. Vicious. Vile. Crude. Badass. The whole album plays like a concept album even though it’s not. The cool thing was that the whole album fit on one side of the tape so you never had to turn the tape over when it was in your car stereo. It’s the best and fastest 29:03 of your life.
I went to a Catholic high school and got kicked out of religion class every few weeks for arguing theology or from some other class for just for being a pain in the ass. Instead of going to the office I’d usually just go to the library and listen to Reign In Blood. It was more productive. When classmates would hear it they’d just shake their heads.
I liked South of heaven when it first came out but it was no Reign In Blood. I was pretty much done with Slayer after Seasons In the Abyss. They got a little too…polished.
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