Despite the creative inconsistencies and revolving door drummer syndrome which has plagued them in recent years, thrash veterans Slayer have remained reliable upholders of blood soaked heavy metal violence, even well into a 21st century which has seen many of their peers jump ship towards more radio friendly territory. Now, two years on from the untimely passing of six string mastermind and songwriting marvel Jeff Hanneman, question marks abound as to whether Slayer are still capable of producing those hellish anthems and signature extremity.
It is with a hefty sigh of relief therefore that ‘Repentless’ proves to bat away any cynicism with a scintillating example of the band at their contemporary prime. Although just shy of rivaling anything from their immortal early output, the likes of the spine-snapping title track, ‘Take Control’‘s renegade tempo shifts and the juggernaut stomp of ‘Vices’ are replete with all the bug eyed vitriol and destructive instrumental power to delight any fearing Slayer devotees.
If the band do indeed decide to bow out with ‘Repentless’ as their swansong, the quality of the record would make for more than a fitting end, yet between ‘Atrocity Vendor’‘s devilish riff blizzard and the deliberate clout of ‘Piano Wire’, this is a set of tracks which far from spell the end of Slayer as a creative force, and manages to effortlessly sustain their uncompromising musical ethos.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)