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Slayer
World Painted Blood
November 2009
Released: 2009, Sony Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

The almighty Slayer have returned with their first studio album in three years with WORLD PAINTED BLOOD; an eleven song collection of no nonsense, neck-breaking thrash like only Huntington Park, California's favorite sons can deliver.



WORLD PAINTED BLOOD is the band's second disc with original drummer Dave Lombardo back in tow; and all of the thunderous, skin bashing drum fills that Dave is renowned for are featured here on this Greg Fidelman produced offering. It's also fair to say that WORLD PAINTED BLOOD is a little heavier, darker and meaner than its predecessor CHRIST ILLUSION.



The title track opens the disc with a haunting death march on Dave's snare drum amongst some apocalyptic sounding ambience. Things pick up with a nice contrast of thrashy riffs/mid tempo passages. The vocal phrasing on the title track is also pretty catchy and easy to get into. Tom's vocals are pretty consistently upper mid register for the duration of WORLD PAINTED BLOOD.



I imagine "Unit 731" will become an instant classic amongst Slayer's rabid and bloodthirsty fanbase; with its insanely fast tempo and dark lyrics. "Snuff" smokes right from the starting line with some frenetic fretboard spider-walking, totally recalling classic Slayer. Awesome track. "Hate Worldwide" is another fast song; lyrically condemns religion and luckily affords another trip to the chiropractor. "Public Display of Dismemberment" likely demonstrates the most melodic riffing you will ever hear from the King/Hanneman tandem. "Psycopathy Red" the first single released months ahead of the rest of the album is probably my favorite track on WORLD PAINTED BLOOD; an absolute ruthless ass kicker of a song with a real vintage Slayer feel to it. There are also some wicked disharmonic sounding arrangements in "Beauty Through Disorder" and "Human Strain"



By the time you reach "Americon" on WORLD PAINTED BLOOD it's already had much of its thunder stolen by the seven previous tracks. "Americon" kind of drags a bit, but is nonetheless a heavy track in and of itself. "Playing With Dolls" also feels a bit out of place on WORLD PAINTED BLOOD. If anything this is probably the most radio friendly or commercial sounding track on the album.



"Not of This God" closes the album and is another buzz-saw riffing classic that takes no prisoners. Overall WORLD PAINTED BLOOD is a really exciting album that recalls a lot of Slayer's heritage over their near thirty year career. Besides a few tracks that I think slow the overall momentum of the disc, I still think this is a must have for all Slayer fans.
Track Listing

1. World Painted Blood
2. Unit 731
3. Snuff
4. Beauty Through Disorder
5. Hate Worldwide
6. Public Display Of Dismemberment
7. Human Strain
8. Americon
9. Psycopathy Red
10. Playing With Dolls
11. Not Of This God

Lineup

Tom Araya - Bass, Vocals
Kerry King - Guitars
Jeff Hanneman - Guitars
Dave Lombardo - Drums


Next review: » Slayer - World Painted Blood
Slayer
World Painted Blood
January 2010
Released: 2009, Sony Music
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: Hanntu

So Slayer is back with a new one. Metallica with DEATH MAGNETIC last year, Megadeth with ENDGAME this year, the much-hyped Sonisphere festival 2010 bringing together Le Grande Quatre for the first time since whenever. Any of these bands new releases will be greeted with intense scrutiny, and, unless an album is universally agreed to be utter shite (see: ST ANGER), will be immensely divisive, with objective criticism by any fan virtually impossible.

With that in mind, I have to say WORLD PAINTED BLOOD was disappointing upon immediate and repeated listens. The first thing that strikes the listeners ear is the frankly terrible production. Both guitars sound flat and lifeless in the rhythm sections and are too far back in the mix dominated by the drums, probably thanks to Mr Greg Fidelman, the guy who screwed up the production job on Metallicas DEATH MAGNETIC by boosting and compressing everything to the point of audio clipping. Dynamics: zero. Atmosphere: zero. Presence: zero. This is one of the most sterile production jobs Ive ever heard, and the guitars are so weak that poor Araya is left yelping and screaming intonothingness: hes not getting any help in the upping-aggression department from the guitars, that's for sure.

Once you get past the guitar sound, you run smack into the cold hard fact that Slayer havent written a decent riff since the early 90s. The riffs on WORLD PAINTED BLOOD, at best sound derivative, at worst sound as if the band couldnt be arsed to write a proper skull-crushing riff. Of course, there are some great songs like Unit 731, Psychopathy Red and Public Display of Dismemberment, but you also have unimaginative clunkers like Americon, Human Strain, the putrid Playing With Dolls and the godawful title track, World Painted Blood. The leads are predictably awful with King especially indulging in his usual whammy bar rape, while the lyrics are also no better than previous efforts. However, I'm not going to sit here and bitch about Slayer leads and Slayer lyrics, because frankly, that's not where their strengths lie. They are no better and no worse than on previous outings.

The most disappointing thing about WORLD PAINTED BLOOD is that the much-maligned CHRIST ILLUSION had given Slayer fans something to hope for in terms of the direction of the band. And yet, they seem to have gone backward from 2006. I dont think a single sane Slayer fan is asking for a return to REIGN IN BLOOD or SEASONS IN THE ABYSS SOUTH OF HEAVEN showed that the band could write mid-paced longer songs and still be devastatingly heavy. We want the old atmosphere that Slayer used to have: the evil, the menace, and most of all, the balls. They could start by hiring a proper producer instead of one whose CV reads Metallica, Slayer and other pop/rock bands. On a promising note, the band seems to have a renewed commitment to speed, and Dave Lombardo is truly confirmed as one of the all-time gods of heavy metal drumming, with a flawless, imaginative and stellar performance on WORLD PAINTED BLOOD.
Track Listing

1. World Painted Blood
2. Unit 731
3. Snuff
4. Beauty Through Disorder
5. Hate Worldwide
6. Public Display Of Dismemberment
7. Human Strain
8. Americon
9. Psycopathy Red
10. Playing With Dolls
11. Not Of This God

Lineup

Tom Araya - Bass, Vocals
Kerry King - Guitars
Jeff Hanneman - Guitars
Dave Lombardo - Drums






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