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Best Slayer Albums Ranked Best To Worst

Best Slayer Albums
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What’s the best Slayer album? Simple: Reign In Blood. Here’s how all the other albums fall in line…


Slayer are reuniting in 2024 for a series of shows in the USA. The band famously called it quits back in 2019. But the guys missed doing Slayer live, so Kerry and Tom decided to get the band back together, although there is no word about a new album – it might just be a few shows.

Given the band have been around for decades, starting life way back in the 1980s, there is a rather sizeable amount of records to consider when getting acquainted with Slayer for the first time.

Some of Slayer’s albums are truly iconic, others are great, a few are “just OK”, and some are probably worth avoiding until you’ve heard the band at their best. For anyone that is new to Slayer, we’ve put together a list of our favourite Slayer albums, ranked from best to worst.

Again, this is our SUBJECTIVE opinion. It ain’t gospel. If you have differing views on what the best and worst Slayer albums are, post them in the comments section below and, please, keep it civil – this is just an opinion piece.

Slayer Albums Ranked From Best To Worst

slayer reformed 2024

The Best – Reign in Blood (1986)

Reign in Blood (1986) stands as one of thrash metal’s quintessential albums, cementing Slayer’s position in the music world. Produced by Rick Rubin, his first collaboration with the band, the album is revered for its relentless pace, precision, and intensity.

Production and Sound

Rick Rubin’s production stripped away the reverb and excess to leave a raw, direct sound that perfectly complemented Slayer’s aggressive style. The album’s concise, under-30-minute runtime is packed with relentless energy, devoid of any filler.

Standout Tracks

  • “Angel of Death”: Opens the album with a ferocious pace, setting the tone for what’s to come. The song is notorious for its controversial lyrics but remains a staple in Slayer’s repertoire for its intricate solos and breakneck speed.
  • “Raining Blood”: The closing track, known for its iconic opening riff and thunderous, rain-like sound effects leading into one of metal’s most memorable outros. It encapsulates the album’s intensity and has become a definitive Slayer anthem.

Sales and Legacy

“Reign in Blood” initially faced commercial challenges due to its graphic content and themes, but it broke through to achieve critical and commercial success, eventually being certified Gold in the United States.

Its influence is vast, shaping not only thrash metal but also future extreme genres like death and black metal.

The album’s relentless speed, coupled with its concise aggression, set a new standard for metal, proving that extremity and artistry could coexist.

“Reign in Blood” remains a high watermark of the genre, making it a must-listen for metal enthusiasts and a crucial chapter in the history of heavy music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwDOUFeKE3M

Outstanding

  • Seasons in the Abyss (1990): Refines the aggressive style of “Reign in Blood” with added melody and dynamic compositions, featuring iconic tracks like “War Ensemble” and “South of Heaven.”
  • South of Heaven (1988): A departure towards slower tempos and more contemplative themes, maintaining a dark and brooding atmosphere that has captivated fans.

Decent

  • Hell Awaits (1985): Slayer’s raw debut, embodying the early thrash sound with influences from bands like Venom and Motorhead.
  • Show No Mercy (1983): A fierce, unrefined thrash metal record that, despite its brevity and rough edges, delivers a potent impact.

Good

  • World Painted Blood (2009): A nod to Slayer’s thrash roots after some experimental endeavors, offering solid tracks without breaking new ground.
  • Repentless (2015): The band’s final album, marking the end of an era. While respectable, it doesn’t reach the iconic status of their earlier works.

Average

  • God Hates Us All (2001): Controversial for its themes and not as universally acclaimed, yet contains notable songs.
  • Christ Illusion (2006): An experimental album that didn’t fully resonate with fans, though it had its moments.

Forgettable

  • Divine Intervention (1994): Seen as a commercial letdown and often regarded as one of Slayer’s lesser works, lacking the impact of their other albums.
  • Diabolus in Musica (1998): Shares a similar reception with “Divine Intervention,” with some highlights but considered non-essential in Slayer’s catalog.

Hate this list? Agree with everything we’ve said? Got your own opinions? Hit us up in the comments section below.

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