March 07, 2022

Slayer - World Painted Blood (2009)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label Number: 88697614912

© 2009 American Recordings
There will no doubt be a lot of hoopla concerning the name Slayer have chosen for World Painted Blood. In many ways, it could have been called Reign in Blood Revisited. But the word "revisited " is the key. Some compositions on this new recording have more of the band's early-style melody in them, with lightning flare-up riffs between verses; quick, unexpected guitar pyrotechnics; and blastbeat power drumming from Dave Lombardo (the band's original drummer who returned to the lineup for 2006's Christ Illusion) pushing it all into the red. But there are mannerisms and strategies from the band's later albums at work as well -- even if they are unconsciously employed. Christ Illusion reached deep into Slayer's old bag of tricks to reorient themselves to more speed-based playing after the midtempo records of the late '90s, and there was a fantastic concentration on riffs and call and response between the guitars and rhythm section. On World Painted Blood the focus is more on songs, and therefore the return of the "melodic" aspect of the band's past -- and let's face it, during the classic years Slayer were peerless in that department. The riffs make sense in the context of Tom Araya's sung verses, and so do the considerable beats. Check the opener with its intricate instrumental intro bracing the listener for the eruption of power that follows -- Araya's spoken word interludes notwithstanding. "Americon" combines wah-wah riff heaviness with thundercrack drumming and Araya's downtuned bassline. Check the speed and intense guitar exchanges in "Public Display of Dismemberment" and "Psychopathy Red" for the best evidence of Slayer at their most powerful on this set. Despite great songs and great playing, there are more midtempo tracks here than on Christ Illusion, and Greg Fidelman's production style takes a different tack altogether for this guitar-manic crew. Lombardo's drums are WAAAAAAAY up in the mix, as are Araya's vocals -- you can understand every word, even on the thrashers; the guitars are simply further down in the mix and sometimes it becomes difficult to discern Araya's bass. Therefore, the first listen or two to World Painted Blood might be a bit confusing for the seasoned Slayer fan, but that changes quickly, and the sound of those drums blasting in one's head will become a more than welcome presence in the mix. [There are two other editions of World Painted Blood: the Deluxe Edition comes with a bonus DVD containing a thematic narrative (and disturbing) animated video, and the other one is on vinyl with a copy of the CD enclosed in the sleeve.]

tags: slayer, world painted blood, 2009, flac,


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