Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Slayer - Repentless Singles (Album is Due Friday)

Like many Slayer fans, I'm looking forward to the release of Repentless on Friday, but I'm also a bit conflicted about this latest offering from heavy metal's biggest and baddest act.  While Dave Lombardo is probably my favorite drummer, it isn't really his absence that bothers me.  No, I'm still on board in light of that unfortunate development, largely due to the fact that Paul Bostaph is a monster on the skins in his own right.  It's the fact that Jeff Hanneman is no longer around to contribute that makes me wonder if the album will measure up to the band's considerable legacy.  Fortunately, Slayer has dropped four singles to give us some idea of what to expect.  None of them are bad, that's for sure.  Each new song has some value and there is surely no indication that Repentless won't be a solid release.  Having said that, none of the songs are great either, leaving one to wonder if we can hope for more than an average record from Tom Araya, Kerry King, Bostaph, and newcomer Gary Holt.  Slayer fans don't dig on mediocrity and the band has always rewarded their feverish base with blistering albums loaded with rich songs that most metal acts wish they could dream up.  It will be interesting to see if Repentless rises above the four decent singles that have hit the scene or simply offers up more of the same.  I guess it's possible that the rest of the songs could suck and Repentless could wind up being the trainwreck that some longtime fans are expecting, but I doubt it.  This is Slayer, after all.  Anyway, I'm going to provide track notes for the singles and you can drop by on Friday for a review of the album itself.

Tracks released thus far:

Track 2 - "Repentless" - Probably the strongest single we've gotten thus far, this is a fitting nod to Jeff Hanneman's love for speed and aggression.  It's a brief jaunt with a nifty chorus and it isn't overburdened with a lot of that Kerry King "Fuck the cohesion of the song and check out my solo!" bullshit.

Track 5 - "Cast the First Stone" - Brooding and brutal, it has some punch even though it doesn't really make any attempt to stray from the formula.

Track 6 - "When the Stillness Comes" - Bolstered by some deft vocals c/o Araya and a driving beat, this is a dark and demented song that doesn't disappoint.

Track 8 - "Implode" - This nearly rises above the pack and emerges as a stellar assault on the eardrums, but there is a bit too much of that Kerry King bullshit happening in the last third of the song. 

The new album hits Friday and I will be posting a review here at Land of Way.

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