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6 Reasons Why Slayer’s Reign In Blood Is Not The Greatest Thrash Album Of All Time

....as controversial as Angel Of Death's lyrics?!

5. Performance

Source // www.thydemonsbescribblin.com

Source // www.thydemonsbescribblin.com

Thrash Metal is all about speed, power and aggression. While Thrash fans like nothing more than to see our bands push themselves to the limit, sometimes it gets to the point where blinding speed becomes plain ridiculous and listening to Reign In Blood can leave you with the feeling that the whole thing is about to fall apart at any second; a plus point to some but also a bugbear to many.

A prime example of this is the guitar work of Kerry King and tbe sadly departed Jeff Hanneman, arguably author of Slayer’s greatest tracks. At times the duo play at frankly ridiculous speeds and their solos on tracks such as “Piece By Piece” and “Necrophobic” amount to a screaming blur of notes that at times sound less like solos and more like a whiny Jack Russell receiving a well aimed boot to the knackers.

That leads us on to Tom Araya. We can all agree there are few more thrilling sounds than his throat lacerating scream that opens “Angel Of Death”, however this album is hardly home to his finest vocal performance. His lines are delivered at such speed on the likes of “Postmortem” and “Reborn” that he had – and still has – issues with performing them live, fortunately his vocals were much improved on Seasons Of The Abyss when some much needed melody was added. Even Dave Lombardo – one of Thrash Metal’s finest sticks-men – at times sounds like he’s about to fall off his drum stool from the sheer exertion of it all, especially when his double bass really kicks in towards the end of “Angel Of Death”.

Given time the band would refine their sound and Slayer have put in far superior performances on albums that deserve to be held in as high esteem as Reign In Blood.

About Gavin O'Connor (161 Articles)
Lifelong Heavy Metal fan. First got into Quo and Leppard, when I was 9 or so I first heard Megadeth and that was me hooked

119 Comments on 6 Reasons Why Slayer’s Reign In Blood Is Not The Greatest Thrash Album Of All Time

  1. eric yantz // July 28, 2015 at 9:26 pm // Reply

    Opinions are like ass holes and this one stinks.

  2. I gotta post a comment…. You’re wrong, just unbelievably fuckin wrong haha, there isn’t an ablum in history or future that will kill Reign in Blood as the undisputed greatest Thrash album of all time! Not even Slayer themselves will out do Reign. I love Seasons in the Abyss, the title track was the reason I became a Slayer fan, but Seasons doesn’t hold a candle to Reign in Blood. I could go on and give you 666 reasons why Reign in Blood is the greatest Thrash album of all Thrash… but I’m sure I’ve made my point.

    • Chris Jennings // July 29, 2015 at 4:41 pm // Reply

      The same Chris from the Facebook comment? I’ll reply the same way….666 reasons? Go for it!!! 😉 Just jesting fella as you know. Thanks for reading and commenting \m/

      • Perry Joseph // May 25, 2018 at 6:46 pm // Reply

        Reign in Blood is pretty good, but I think Van Halen 1984 is the obvious choice for best thrash album. I think I’ve made my point.

    • How did you make your point if you didn’t state a single thing other than your opinion, with nothing to back it up, and then say, “I think I’m sure I’ve made my point?”

      • Gavin O'Connor // October 3, 2015 at 7:52 am // Reply


        Thanks for taking the time to comment. I mentioned the same thing in my reply to him though it ended up further down the thread. I pointed out that you can’t simply say you’re wrong and not say why

        Out of interest in your opinion is it the greatest thrash album of all time?

    • Shekel Master // April 23, 2024 at 5:26 pm // Reply

      Greatest thrash album? You gotta be a serious fanboy to make such claims. Let´s be real for a moment. Out of all the songs, only 2 are good and very overrated. There´s nothing unbeatable or something that makes this pile of crap Godlike. Kreator already destroyed them the same year and i don´t want to add actual classics like Beneath The Remains, Spectrum Of Death, Epidemic Of Violence and so much more.

  3. Trying way too hard there mate.

    You lost me when you cited Postmortem as a generic, filler song. Postmortem! DO YOU WANNA DIE? (see what I did there?)

    In any case, dissecting the album’s “flaws” like that would work on any album but it would have been better if you stuck to the “some songs are not as legendary as the rest” and go on and mention other albums that could claim the title by mentioning their merits, their influence and so on. Of course they would all fall short because Reign in Blood’s influence and impact cannot be overstated. You have set up strawmen (who cites its length as reason for its greatness? Honestly!) and relied heavily on your personal tastes, which, I’m sorry to say are not the measuring stick of what is GREAT or not. You even went as far as to say that Poison was the Cure is one of Rust in Peace’s weaker moments! For shame, sir! One of the best speed metal songs ever recorded! Trapped Under Ice too. You are shooting your own foot man.

    The production of Reign in Blood and the performances therin are part of its ultimate strengths, next to the songwriting. But above all, it’s the albums opener and closer that sealed its status. Those are the defacto thrash metal crowning moments, songs that changed the face of music, not just metal – just take a look at the entire contemporary music and you will find so many diverse artists who have been inspired by these two behemoths that you will see that Reign in Blood is by far the most influential extreme metal album ever recorded, its influence crossing the boundaries of thrash and the entire metal genre.

    One thing that I feel is severely lacking in this article is perspective, like a total ignorance of what it meant for the world in 1986 for this album to be released. It made hardcore bands turn metal (ask DRI!), it made Slayer the essence of evil metal. This article reminds of opinions that claim that Black Sabbath really played rock music, “what’s so evil about Black Sabbath the song anyway?”

    As for Slayer themselves, I will not disagree about the greatness of Seasons in the Abyss, which is a fine choice for a favorite Slayer album, just like Peace Sells is a fine choice for a favorite Megadeth album and Ride the Lightning is a fine choice for a favorite Metallica album. But Reign in Blood is one of those rare moments when the whole musical universe is shaken to its foundations, Angel of Death just destroyed everything and still does. Raining Blood ended the speed metal macho contests of the underground, who cares how fast you play when THAT thing follows those haunting “ta-ta-ta” tomb hits by Lombardo? See what I am saying?

    I will not even dignify with a response the part where you criticize the lyrics. Not only you are doing it wrong – IT’S METAL dammit! Do you also shy away from Judas Priest because you think Painkiller is silly? – a comparison with some of the albums you propose deserve the title would be very embarassing.

    Darkness Descends, Bonded by Blood, Pleasure to Kill, Beneath the Remains, are all albums that people cite as their thrash favorites. All fine choices. None have the impact of Reign in Blood. And when you talk about the pinnacle of thrash you need that.

    This coming from a person whose favorite piece of music ever is Master of Puppets. But when it comes to THRASH METAL, it’s Slayer, end of story. And when you say Slayer, you start with Angel of Death and Raining Blood (and finish it off with South of Heaven, that’s the triad of evil right there).

    But, good on you. You really got me going here.

    • Amazing. Not only do I absolutely agree with you, you said that very well. Nicely done!

    • Chris Jennings // July 29, 2015 at 4:41 pm // Reply

      I love your comments Vic, always insightful, always well constructed. Cheers for reading and commenting as always fella 🙂 \m/

  4. Whilst I agree it is not the greatest thrash album of all time – that distinction belongs to Pleasure to Kill, I don’t agree with your reasons as to why it isn’t

  5. Vic, your comment is amazing. Have you ever considered writing about Metal as a profession?

    • Thanks mate, appreciate it!

      I used to write for a couple of years for Metal Hammer Greece but it was/is a hobby, not a profession. My profession offers little precious time so I had to give up the hobby.

      However, I do find release for my hobby when a controversial article shows up now and then! 😉

      • Chris Jennings // July 29, 2015 at 3:21 pm // Reply

        Same for us Vic, just a hobby 🙂 \m/

        • I am sure you wouldn’t mind turning your hobby into a profession Chris, haha! 🙂 (seriously, though, good on ya!)

          Hey, if anyone is willing to pay me to write, I am open to expand my professional life!

          • Chris Jennings // July 29, 2015 at 4:43 pm //

            Wouldn’t I just! haha If I ever get to the point where I can pay writers, you’re first in line my friend 🙂 \m/

  6. GoodMourning // July 29, 2015 at 1:28 am // Reply

    For me it’s a toss up between this and Rust In Piece. Reign was more aggressive and faster, but Rust was more precise with songs being more diverse (not to mention tons more bass).

  7. Reign in Blood us not my favorite Thrash album. If I had to choose, I would probably pick something from Coroner or Exodus. But I do believe that Reign in Blood is the greatest Thrash album of all time. It has all the elements, plus the splash it made just seals the deal. Kill ‘Em All was killer, and it changed Metal. But it was so underground at the time, only a handful of us even knew about it. But when Reign In Blood came out, Thrash Metal was already well established in tbe mainstream and it STILL had the kind of impact groundbreaking records have. I guess you had to be there. I’m of the assumption that the author was not.

  8. In my eyes “Reign In Blood”, “South Of Heaven” & “Seasons In The Abyss” are all my Favorite. Those 3 Albums Along W/ “Master Of Puppets” are The Best Thrash Albums Of All Time.

  9. Gavin O'Connor // July 29, 2015 at 1:53 am // Reply

    Poor Slayer fan boys getting all annoyed because someone wasn’t towing the party line about Reign In Blood.


    You kept bringing up Angel Of Death and Raining Blood, Two songs I nothing but praise, in fact I believe I went as far as to say that Angel Of Death was one of the greatest metal songs of all time, nevermind thrash. Part of my whole point was that the rest of the album does not live up to those two songs.

    In relation to the lyrics I mentioned the fact that people talk about RIB as the album where Slayer started to write about the real world. I’ve no issue with fantasy lyrics at all. In fact if you look at my bio you’ll see I quote the mighty Manowar, so i’m all about the daft lyrics.

    Most articles you read about the album bum and blow about the short running timem i need say no more.

    And as for poison Was The Cure, no harm to you but i’ve yet to be in a place where Rust In Peace was playing and hear anyone ask that Holy Wars, Hangar 18 etc are skipped so that it can be played instead but that’s your opinion.

    I fully appreciate what a ground breaking album it was at the time however I was looking at it from todays viewpoint.

    However the most important thing is that articles like this get us talking , the great thing about metal fans is how passionate we are about the music we love so all intelligent and not so intelligent comments are welcome.

    • “Part of my whole point was that the rest of the album does not live up to those two songs.”

      And I did say that you should have kept it at that and then show us which albums can measure up to Reign in Blood. But you did not just say that the rest of the songs do not live up to the album’s opener and closer, you went so far as to say that some pretty fucking great songs were filler and then you gave us a few pages of extremely weak arguments.

      Some were downright strawmen: the 29 minute mark was and is noteworthy, it’s barely longer than an EP and that was a big deal – but nobody (at least nobody I am aware of) ever claimed that RiB is the greatest thrash album BECAUSE it is so short.

      Other arguments are just plain false, like the album’s production or the performances (by Lombardo too! the album where he REALLY came to his own sound and half the thrash drummers followed his lead! – probably I’m underestimating the number!) and others are just WRONG: looking at an album from today’s perspective. An argument that will lead to the inevitable conclusion that Nickelback’s production (and hence music) is heavier than Sabbath or Show No Mercy. You were totally ignoring the fact that RiB is a gigantic milestone for thrash, for death, for metal and even outside metal.

      Even if I did accept your premise of other albums being worthy of the title. How is I Ain’t Superstitious not considered a problem with Peace Sells? (based on the same criteria you use in the article of course). How is Wake Up Dead and Peace Sells not the absolutely standout trackouts in Peace Sells and the two with the most impact? Why is Eternal Nightmare offered as a contender for GREATEST THRASH ALBUM EVER, an album that has notoriously love/hate vocals and therefore is not unanimously worshipped among the thrashers even, far from it (and I am ignoring the fact that it had an extremely lower impact than RiB or any of the Big 4 for that matter)?

      You are answering someone else that there were heavier and more intense albums released later. And you begin your alternative contenders with Rust in Peace, which happens to be in my top 5 ever, but nobody, including Mustaine, would ever claim it’s heavier or more intense than Reign in fucking Blood.

      “If Reign in Blood came out today” is a retarded argument and the fact that it is coming from Kerry King is all the more reason to take it as such. Without Hanneman’s signature evil riffage, which was fully developed on RiB, music would be different and there would never be a South of Heaven or Seasons in the Abyss either. It’s such a silly argument, like saying if Newton proposed his theory of gravity today, nobody would give a shit. And I would still urge you to show me the corresponding Einstein theory of gravity in extreme metal, show me the actual music that destroys the level of AWE-INSPIRING THRASH that is AoD and RB.

      I will return to these two songs for my final argument. I will ignore the fact that you are vastly underestimating FUCKING AWESOME songs like Criminally Insane, Altar of Sacrifice, Jesus Saves, Piece By Piece, or Postmortem (still can’t get over the fact that you called it filler!) and ask you if you consider Into Glory Ride less of a masterpiece because it begins with Warlord (imagine if it begun with Defender, yes?). If you consider Powerslave less of a masterpiece because it contains Back in the Village, The Duellists and Losfer Words (not exactly Aces High or Rime of the Ancient Mariner material, no?). What I’m trying to say is that we usually judge albums by their peaks and the number of those peaks. In my reckoning, Reign in Blood would have been a fucking great thrash album even without Angel of Death and Raining Blood. But it’s colossally great and so monumental because it contains those two songs.

      As for greatest thrash album ever, like I said, I would accept other choices, based on their merits, instead of trying too hard to find flaws in RiB that aren’t really there (and would be equal flaws for the other contenders as well – or do you find Bonded by Blood’s production – I worship it personally – to be contemporary? Sidenote, with a point: FUCK LET THERE BE BLOOD AND ITS PRODUCTION.

      So, which are the other choices? ONLY Master of Puppets has the level of impact and influence (perhaps more) than RiB, not Peace Sells, not Rust in Peace, not Beneath the Remains or Arise, not Darkness Descends or Bonded by Blood. So that is the ONLY legit choice to consider for GREATEST. But because the Greatest THRASH album should be a thrash defining album, it should be Reign in Blood. Because Master of Puppets goes beyond the boundaries of thrash, incorporates new stuff, mellow moments etc and I would contend is a candidate for the greatest METAL album ever but not the flagship of thrash. Thrash’s flagship should be one evil, violent motherfucker that shook and still shakes the planet, and that’s RiB. It could have been Darkness Descends or Hell Awaits for that matter but the impact is not there (nor for Bonded by Blood, Pleasure to Kill or any other album).

      Finally: I do not appreciate this: “Poor Slayer fan boys getting all annoyed because someone wasn’t towing the party line about Reign In Blood.” I am not towing any party line. Maybe, just maybe, there is a good reason Reign in Blood has its reputation. Don’t ask for arguments and then complain though, that’s just bad form.

      • Chris Jennings // July 29, 2015 at 3:23 pm // Reply

        Eternal Nightmare was my input Vic, I happen to love it 🙂 \m/

        • Sure, it’s a fucking great album. But it can never be the flagship of thrash! That’s my point.

          Don’t get me wrong, I have a VERY soft spot for many of the alternatives offered in the facebook thread or here or indeed in the article. Bonded by Blood, Beneath the Remains, Forbidden Evil, Pleasure to Kill and Alice in Hell (which I believe nobody mentioned) are life-changing albums for me. Flotsam and Jetsam or Holy Terror, I cannot even begin to describe how much I worship their first two albums. Or Sacred Reich. Or Nuclear Assault.

          But the topic here is not my favorite album from the thrash metal genre. And even if it was, I would have to do better than Mind Wars or Rigor Mortis to name a couple of fantastically beautiful thrash masterpieces, because influence, impact, shock and awe in thrash and beyond are all traits that the greatest thrash metal album should display.

          • mind wars was godly. shame that Keith passed. I dont believe there was a better thrash singer out there. and Vio-lence was incredible was well.

          • Chris Jennings // July 29, 2015 at 4:46 pm //

            As far as flagships of Thrash go I’d have to settle on MoP, RIB and Bonded By Blood…they’re not my favourites incidentally. That honour would go to the likes of Darkness Descends, Eternal Nightmare, Horroscope & Alice In Hell (funny you mention that partiular diamond). Slightly off topic I know but it’s fun to shoot the shit \m/

      • Shekel Master // April 23, 2024 at 5:31 pm // Reply

        RIB was destroyed in terms of heaviness, speed even before it was released. The only reason why people praise it is because they were the most famous extreme thrash act and were marketed hard. RIB is poorly constructed and the songs are very repetitive. Unlike Pleasure To Kill which is far heavier ,faster, more intense and has way more riffs than Slayer´s entire catalog combined. Also Kreator really sounded like they wanted to kill everything while RIB sounds weak and doesn´t have any of that energy. Its a decent album, but its so overrated that its hard to put into words

  10. Gavin O'Connor // July 29, 2015 at 2:08 am // Reply


    You’ve got to back yourself up mate, you barely made one decent point never mind 666. Why is it the undisputed greatest thrash album?

    you just can’t say “your wrong” if it was that easy I could just have said “because its not” and not bothered putting time into the article

  11. Gavin O'Connor // July 29, 2015 at 2:11 am // Reply

    Eric Yantz

    Thanks for taking the time to type such a witty comment

  12. If you compare Reign in Blood and Seasons In The Abyss as soon as you put on Dead Skin Mask it loses a straight ‘thrash battle.’ It’s more a ballad than a thrash song.

    For pure thrash Reign In Blood has no soft spot. Just 30 minutes of fuck you, punch you in your face raw thrash. I prefer Seasons as an album but it’s not a ‘more thrash’ album than Reign In Blood.

    Are there better thrash albums, probably, but there are rare ones better than it.

    Using the Kerry King ‘If Reign was brought out today no one would give a shit, it was timing’ line is bullshit in an argument. You could say that about any classic band. Led Zeppelin starting today wouldn’t make it in this world either. How would a song like Immigrant Song or Black Dog make it in this MTV whore yourself for a dollar world ? Most of music is great timing. Most great rock or thrash music comes as a musical revolution against bullshit music. Reign in Blood, Master of Puppets and Rust In Peace were the cornerstones of it.

  13. Gavin O'Connor // July 29, 2015 at 7:13 am // Reply


    Thanks for taking the time to read the article. The point of it is to stimulate debate, which it seems to be doing

  14. Gavin O'Connor // July 29, 2015 at 7:21 am // Reply


    I arrived at the Slayer party around 89. I totally appreciate the impact Reign In Blood had upon its release.

    There is no doubt it is a classic album, however it is flawed and the point of it was to look at it in the here and now. To look at it honestly and not with rose tinted glasses

  15. Gavin O'Connor // July 29, 2015 at 7:28 am // Reply


    I would contend that the use of the Kerry King quote is not “bullshit” as you so eloquently put it. At the time of its release it was a frightening piece of work, however compared to some albums that came later it’s not so intense or heavy

  16. 1. There Are Better Thrash Albums Out There!
    Yes, there are. But “Reign in Blood” is the embodiment of thrash metal as it’s usually defined (“Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its fast tempo and overall aggression.” according to Wikipedia). When it goes down to “fast tempo” and “overall aggression”, you don’t get much better than “Reign in Blood”.

    2. It’s Not Even Slayer’s Best Album!
    See point 1.

    3. It’s Seriously Over Hyped!
    So are most classic albums. If you take them out of their original contexts, most classic albums have since been surpassed, but they are classics because back then it hadn’t been done before, which means lucky timing! Case in point: Napalm Death’s “Scum”, which is often referred to as the quintessential grindcore album, has since been surpassed by many (including by most of the rest of Napalm Death’s discography), but it doesn’t mean that “Scum” has lost its status of “greatest grindcore album of all time”. It’s certainly not the best, but it’s the greatest!

    4. Sound
    The sound isn’t perfect for sure, but sound doesn’t always need to be perfect, and I think that Rick Rubin managed to find the proper “in your face” sound that suits “Reign in Blood” so well.

    5. Performance
    The extreme speed is a big part of what makes this album so special in the first place. It plays on this tension that everything is about to fall apart while remaining super tight the whole time. That Araya has been having issues to cope with the speed of certain songs since only serves as underlining the quality of the original performance. Regarding melodic singing, it’s not like Mustaine has been known for his singing talents, and Metallica’s best albums have been made before Hetfield reached his melodic vocal peak (which is undoubtedly “The Black Album” and after).

    6. The Songs
    I don’t know one single band that doesn’t have at least one slightly weaker song even on its most “perfect” album (otherwise it’s called a greatest hits, and even then there could be some disappointment when comparing “timeless classics” with “just great songs”). Sure, next to the untouchable “Angel of Death” and “Raining Blood”, some songs do pale a little in comparison; but the same could be said about “Master of Puppets” (it might be a matter of personal taste, but after the fantastic “Battery” and “Master of Puppets”, the rest of the album feels a bit weaker to me… which doesn’t mean that those songs are not better than 95% of other thrash songs). No song on “Reign in Blood” can be considered as filler.
    Also, the sequence of “Reign in Blood” is perfect, with the first songs blasting like crazy, the clever break on “Criminally Insane” right in the middle (even if it’s my least favourite song off “Reign in Blood”, its presence is vital to the flow of the album), the frantic ending of “Postmortem” giving way to the falsely quiet intro of “Raining Blood”, which masterfully concludes the album. As good as slower Slayer songs like “Dead Skin Mask” are, they would just have felt out of place if put on “Reign in Blood”.

    So my conclusion would be that when we talk about the “greatest thrash album of all time”, we’re not talking as much about the quality of the album (which is there nevertheless in the case of “Reign in Blood”) as we are talking about the impact it had (and still has) on the metal scene and how it came to define and be a definitive reference of what thrash metal is about.

  17. Gavin O'Connor // July 29, 2015 at 3:42 pm // Reply

    I’m not complaining mate, just reiterating my points. I don’t agree its the greatest thrash album of all time and you obviously do, nothing either of us say is going to change the others mind. The abomination that is I Ain’t Superstitious is the exact reason I wouldn’t name Peace Sells the greatest of all time.

    I would say it’s because Puppets blurred the boundaries of thrash that it is so great, it showed it wasn’t all about one dimensional speed and incorporated melody etc.

    I on the other hand would argue that without the likes of Angel Of Death, Altar Of Sacrifice and Raining Blood you would have an extremely aggressive but average and repetitive thrash album. They are the very reason its a classic. Can you honestly look yourself in the mirror and say without those tracks it would still be a classic? I would say you’re kidding yourself

    The other albums mentioned were as contenders and had their faults hence why they weren’t named the greatest.

    Ultimately, as I said earlier the point of articles like this is to generate discussion. You and I can argue until the cows come home and neither of us our going to change our opinion.

  18. this article is wrong on so many levels. at no point does lombardo sound like “he’s about to fall off his stool” and the leads are NEVER just a jumble/blur of sound. If you find that neurosis song to be more intense and heavy than ANYTHING on reign in blood, that immediately calls into question what you think intense and heavy are. I listen to the song out of curiosity, and it just plods along for 2 minutes before the song even gets started, and by get started, I mean continues plodding along with the exact same riff, but now there are boring vocals over the borin riff. Picking the greatest thrash metal album of all time is nearly impossible. There are way too many styles of thrash. you can’t really compare slayer with a band like coroner or toxik. sure, they are all thrash metal, but they are so vastly different, lumping them into some small category would be an injustice to both bands. I mean, what criteria do you use for “best album”? There are way too many absolutely amazing thrash metal albums out there to just narrow it down to one is the best, plain and simple. this article kind of reads, to me like “reign in blood is NOT the greatest thrash album of all time because metallica didnt write it”. your critique of their performance makes me wonder if you even play an instrument. I suspect not.

    • Gavin O'Connor // July 29, 2015 at 5:07 pm // Reply


      If you look at my bio you’ll see where my allegiances lie and they aren’t with Metallica

      Actually give the songs a chance mate and you might surprise yourself, funnily enough Slayer aren’t the be all and end all of heavy music but thanks for the comment

  19. Well, I am sorry to hear that. When someone has a good point, I honestly consider it. I doubt that in this case someone could make a case against Reign in Blood but I would have welcomed a good argument in any case. Like I said, the argument about the difference in song quality is one I can accept, even if I don’t agree with (vehemently disagree is the more precise way of putting it).

    I am not just saying that. I used to think The System has Failed an extremely disappointing album for years until I was convinced to revisit (and now consider it Megadeth’s best since Youthanasia), point is if you start with the premise that “our opinions are unchangeable, end of story”, then there’s no real reason to have a dialogue in the first place – which is fine, but you called for one in the article and apparently welcomed the discussion.

    I don’t think Master of Puppets was the first album to blur the boundaries of thrash. Ride the Lightning is arguably the most power metal album of Metallica, I still consider it a classic thrash metal album really, I was never of the opinion that only violence defines thrash – but when someone asks me about a classic thrash song I will tell him Creeping Death or Fight Fire with Fire, not Fade to Black or For Whom the Bell Tolls if you know what I mean (similarly, Battery, Damage Inc and Disposable Heroes, not Orion or Welcome Home). And there is not one second in Reign in Blood that isn’t pure, violent thrash metal of the highest (HIGHEST I TELL YOU) calibre.

    When you say unexciting, average and repetitive thrash and Slayer in the same sentence, I think of Divine Intervention. THAT’s the overrated Slayer album. Extremely overrated if you consider that it became their best selling album when it came out and their first gold record. You even have people in the facebook thread saying “it depends which Slayer you prefer, 80s or 90s”, which to me is the equivalent of asking “it depends if you are normal or deaf”. I digress.

    An album with Criminally Insane, Altar of Sacrifice (why is that excluded all of the sudden? huh?), Postmortem, Jesus Saves, Piece By Piece, Epidemic Necrophobic and Reborn? AWESOMENESS mate! I’d start it with Criminally Insane though and finish it with Postomortem. Done. Classic. I shit you not.

    • Gavin O'Connor // July 29, 2015 at 4:21 pm // Reply


      I believe I mentioned Altar Of Sacrifice as a classic song, if not oops! I meant to. It’s an album believe it or that I love and would listen to quite a bit.

      Of course opinions can change and I take your arguments on board. I agree with you 100% about The System Has Failed and in fact Thirteen is another i’m quite partial to.

      As I said you’re obviously extremely passionate about the music you love so if my article annoyed you enough to get you writing then there’s no need to thank me

  20. I personally think Master Of Puppets outdoes it ….but for some reason…I don’t consider Puppets to be a 100% thrash album. I don’t know why. But I really love Slayer and Reign In Blood. And I REALLY don’t see how some of you guys can write the speeches above that seem to go on FOR DAYS!!! Good for you!!

    • Gavin O'Connor // August 12, 2015 at 7:44 pm // Reply

      Thanks for taking the time to read the article and comment Pat. I get that elements of MOP sort of transcends Thrash

  21. I totally agree with this. Seasons is miles better. But also MOP isn’t without it’s dullness. The Thing that should not be is a borefest, as is Leper Messiah. Bonded by Blood is terrible. None are perfect, i’d say Rust in Peace is as close as it gets.

    • Mike jonstone // April 22, 2020 at 2:52 pm // Reply

      Yes…thrash is not just relegated to speed/coarseness but also to how well you perfect each aspect of it. Megadeth have all the elements blended to the point that rip is fast, tech, aggressive, lyrically intelligent, melodic, memorable and a perfect balance of raw sound polished, crisp and punctual.

  22. Although I might not rate “Reign In Blood” as THE greatest Thrash album of all time, it’s certainly an indisputable classic. Having said that, the article was well written and the author’s rationale clearly articulated….even though ultimately I disagree on most points.

  23. Hi, Gavin O ‘Conor.
    You are completely wrong.
    REIGN IN BLOOD is the best THRASH Metal album.
    And maybe never will better one.

    Maybe you should listen to Justin Bibber instead.
    I give you Only one reason – Metal is not your thing.

    • Chris Jennings // January 10, 2016 at 10:54 am // Reply

      Justin Bibber? Is this some Justin Bieber tribute act we know nothing about?

      Of course, Gavin could respond with….Hi, Tony. You are completely wrong.

      But that would just be childish.

    • Gavin O'Connor // January 10, 2016 at 11:13 am // Reply

      Hi Tony

      Thanks for your well balanced and thought out response to the article

  24. This review is just some vague attempt at being edgy and different. Taking a look at the last page this turd wrote and the bands cited it’s pretty clear he doesn’t have a clue. Metallica? While Metallica was heavy back in the day and Ride the Lightning was easily their best thrash offering, they were nowhere near the level of thrash and heaviness presented on Reign in Blood. The slow crap on Ride the Lightning was a portent of things to come from Metallica and while Master of Puppets is a great offering, it’s not a thrash album at all. There are a few heavier tracks, but overall it’s more straight-forward metal with some progressive elements. Peace Sells? Again, like Metallica at the time (not a coincidence either) it’s heavy and thrashy but it’s a complete mess. Dave was seriously strung out on heroin at the time and it shows in the music big time. I saw the Peace Sells tour in 1986 and it sounded absolutely horrid and Dave could barely stand up. Heavy? Sure. Messy? Extremely. Where Megadeth was a drugged out mess, Slayer was tighter, heavier and faster, and produced what is arguably (obviously or we wouldn’t be discussing it here) one of the heaviest thrash metal albums of all time. Exodus’ Bonded by Blood is heavy, but it’s not nearly as serious as Reign in Blood and nowhere near the level of punishing thrash Slayer was cranking out at the time. You quote Among the Living from Anthrax as their thrash peak? Are you deaf? The thrashiest thing they ever did was Spreading the Disease. Among the Living is more pure metal mixed with thrash than anything and nowhere near as serious as Reign in Blood. Amusing and fast? Sure. Heavy and pure thrash? Not even remotely close. The same goes for Dark Angel’s Darkness Descends. Heavy and thrashy, but again not on the level of Reign in Blood. You are literally the only person on the planet who would put those albums in front of Reign in Blood and it’s clearly an attempt, as I mentioned earlier, to be edgy and angsty and different. You’ve missed the boat on Reign in Blood completely and your Megadeth bias has clouded any judgement you may have once had about music in general. The fact that you put Megadeth in such high regard says everything about your lack of understanding Reign in Blood, the musicians and the time period.

    • Gavin O'Connor // February 16, 2016 at 8:26 am // Reply


      Very mature. The article is my honestly held view and has nothing to do with being edgy or angsty as you put it


    • Gavin O'Connor // February 16, 2016 at 8:56 am // Reply


      If you took the time to properly read the article instead of getting yourself wound up because someone dared to question the validity of RIB you would see that i have issues with the Megadeth albums so i don’t really see where you are getting this so called bias from.

      As for calling RIB a serious album, really? Apart from Angel of Death the lyrics are puerile and cod satanic nonsense.

      Again thanks for your comments

  25. I agree that it’s a pretty overrated album. I consider it nothing more than average. The first two albums were way better.

    Here’s my review:

  26. I didnt read everything but most. And i certainly didnt read every comment.

    In any event, i completely agree. Nothing wrong with Slayer, but i can think of a handful of albums from that era that deserve the title better.

    I always thought Slayer is overrated. Good, but overrAted.

    • Gavin O'Connor // April 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm // Reply


      Thanks for the comment. I’m a big Slayer fan but it isn’t the be all end all of thrash that some make it out to be

  27. No thrash metal album past present or future will ever touch RIB. The only one at a close second is Pleasure to Kill.

    Your reasons for dismissing this are all opinions..

    I can also assure that you weren’t even born when this album was released.

    Cheap attempt from a soft ass millennial to rewrite metal history. What a trash article..

    • Gavin O'Connor // December 16, 2016 at 10:16 pm // Reply


      You are wrong on so many accounts. I can assure you that i was born quite some time before the album came out.

      Yes the article is my opinion, it is by no means an attempt to rewrite metal history. I don’t see you actually trying to explain why i’m wrong like some of the others did.

      Your attempts at insults are as orignal as the name you’ve picked for yourself.

      Thanks for taking the time for reading the article, now you can go back to hiding behind your keyboard with your silly wee pseudonym

  28. Seasons of the Abyss and South of Heaven are better albums to me. If you want pure thrash this may be the definition of Thrash. Anvil said with too much speed you can’t really differentiate the nuances of the music. Metallica and Megadeth vary their speeds and even throw in some acoustic guitar which probably violates the term Thrash. Also, you can understand most of the lyrics which is often anti Thrash. Some Thrash bands sound like they are playing the same song again and again.

  29. it’s the best metal album as a thrash metal album though. even if MoP is objectively the better album (and I wouldn’t argue), MoP is more than a thrash metal album, RiB isn’t. Seasons in the Abyss is also more than just a thrash metal album. they might both be better from a hard rock or even “music in general” perspective. not as thrash metal though. RiB is the definition of thrash metal, and if you were to explain exactly what the genre was to someone, they’d get a much better idea if you handed them RiB than MoP, even if MoP is better.

    I can listen to death/black metal all day, but RiB remains the only extreme metal album I’ve ever heard that’s actually hard to sit through until the end, even though it’s one of the shortest. it’s the only one that can make my head hurt. it’s nonstop thrashing at inhuman speeds, I don’t even know how they did this. it sounds painful to play. I have it on vinyl, and will listen to side A but not the second side until a few hours have passed at least. I don’t have to do this with satyricon, entombed, morbid angel, death, or atheist, let alone METALLICA, lol.

    albums are collections of songs and songs are collections of bridges/solos/riffs/beats/intros/outros/etc, and the albums that you contend are better than RiB are better for those intros/etc that aren’t “thrash” in the slightest, even if the overall album can be labeled as “thrash” justifiably b/c of the riffs/solos. you might as well say that Dark Side of the Moon is a better thrash album for all the reasons you believe MoP to be. RiB isn’t my favorite either, but I’d never deny Slayer their truly rightful title.

    RiB is the best, hands down, and belongs on the thrones and pedestals it rests at. the “if it were released today” argument holds no water. why? every subsequent thrash metal album was inspired by it, they don’t even exist w/o it. it would therefore become the benchmark today and 30 years from now ppl would use that nonsense as an argument again.

    • Gavin O'Connor // January 22, 2017 at 9:15 pm // Reply


      Thanks for taking the time to read the article and comment. You lost me with the Darkside of the Moon nonsense,there is absolutely nothing that says a thrash album cannot have melody.

      While it is a highly influential album to come out with the comment that every subsequent thrash album would not exist without it is just completely laughable. Thrash existed before it and would continue without it.

      Again thanks for reading and giving me a chuckle

  30. the intro to MoP is excellent, but you can’t call that thrash metal, I’m sorry. it’s not thrash. that intro is the best part of battery, and parts like it are reasons why MoP has broader appeal and IS a better album than RiB. but MoP’s not the better thrash album for the same reason. hence my comment that you might as well say that Dark Side of the Moon is a better thrash album for all the reasons (none of them thrash related) that MoP is a better all around album. I’m just trying to make the distinction between the best album and the best thrash album. RiB is thrash through and through, whereas MoP is a thrash/rock/heavy metal/punk hybrid. fortunately for us too, b/c if it was straight thrash it’d be a much worse album.

    it’s the same exact thing as ppl claiming that London Calling is the best punk rock album of all time. it’s not straight punk. actually, this isn’t as bad as that, b/c if you took all non-punk elements away from LC, it actually might be the best punk album of all time, whereas taking all non-thrash elements away from MoP removes the album from this conversation. MoP can be played on classic rock stations, RiB will never be.

    Revolver is a psychedelic rock album, so is The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Revolver is unquestionably the better album, but it’s not the better psychedelic rock album b/c it’s much less of a psychedelic rock album. it’s not pure psychedelic rock.

    if you simply said that MoP was a better album, I wouldn’t have argued with you. by consensus, it is the better album. ask only those who primarily listen to thrash metal though, and the consensus will not only be much different, but almost unanimous. RiB wins this contest, easily, hands down. it had an even greater effect on death and black metal actually, look at death/black b4 and after october 1986.

    hell, you could divide extreme metal as a whole between pre- and post-RiB and you’ll probably have 2 more well-defined groups of albums than if you were to divide all of extreme metal into any other 2 groups defined by a single, similar law. it’s not a perfect division and there will be outliers (mostly b/c it can’t reasonably be divided into only 2 groups), but the fact that it’s difficult to come up with a single law that better differentiates 2 groups and encompasses all of extreme metal just shows the significance of RiB.

  31. Gavin O'Connor // January 23, 2017 at 6:29 pm // Reply

    Your parameters around what constitutes thrash are extremely slim. If we’re going on your guidelines for it then the likes of fight fire with fire, bad omen, my last words, a condiderable chunk of testament would be discounted as thrash. Hell, while we’re at it then we may as well discount south of heaven, hells awaits and at a push raining blood itself due to their intros.

    I would also contend that you do not hear the likes of angel of death on the radio is due to the still contentious nature of the lyrics. Plenty of radio stations play slayer but of course metallica are going to be played more, they are one of the biggest bands in the world so have more mass appeal and lets face it, radio is all about money.

    Of course RIB has been more influential to the more extreme genres but lets go back to your original comment and i quote “every subsequent thrash metal album was inspired by it, they don’t even exist w/o it”. While it is an extremely influential album and i never claimed it wasn’t, to claim that the whole genre post 86 existed because of one album is just an absolutely nonsensical comment.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to read and comment

  32. the reason why “no one would give a shit if RiB was released today”: presumably b/c there are a million albums that sound like it by now. but how many of those albums are by bands that heard RiB and said, “damn, I want to do that”? every last one. well, it’s either that or they heard someone who was influenced by it and said the same thing. Morbid Angel’s Altars of Madness exists as it does b/c the band had heard RiB. Altars then influenced countless others, but that too is thanks to RiB.

    you underestimate the power of influence, as well as that of invention. you take everything post-RiB for granted but let me explain why you shouldn’t: try to picture imagine the color green. easy, right? only b/c you’ve seen it. if you’ve never seen it you wouldn’t be able to do such a thing. inventing a musical style is sort of like that. Slayer had a great vision and executed it perfectly, and to just assume that if they hadn’t done it then someone else would have is baseless. 30 years really isn’t that long a time, it’s entirely feasible that no one would have made a proper substitute for RiB’s influence and w/o that influence bands like Morbid Angel’s masterpieces wouldn’t sound the way they do if they’d be relevant at all. not only that, but in order of Altars (3 years after RiB) would have needed a substitute soon. those guys wouldn’t have been capable of that if the RiB substitute came just 10 years ago. they’d simply be too old. the genre would practically be in the dark ages compared to where it is now.

    listen to black/death metal b4 RiB: Bathory. Death. Possessed. listen to it after. RiB drastically changed the entirety of extreme metal all by itself, almost overnight. actually, it’s more broad than that, it changed metal in general. I believe it made the difference between Judas Priest’s irrelevant pre-RiB release Turbo and the post-RiB Painkiller, whether or not JP actually ever even heard RiB b/c by Painkiller’s release, they had at least heard someone who was influenced by it.

    next time you’re inspired to do something, try to imagine having done it w/o that inspiration. you’ll hopefully realize that w/o the inspiration you’d have never even considered it.

    thrash w/o RiB would be more different than jazz w/o Kind of Blue. with hardly a doubt in my mind.

  33. Master of Puppets was the greatest metal album ever……for 7 months and then Reign in Blood was released.

  34. Gavin O'Connor // March 17, 2017 at 8:07 am // Reply


    Thanks for that

  35. Claudio Esteban Rojas Adaro // March 31, 2017 at 9:34 pm // Reply

    I think it’s excellent that there are critical opinions about Metal. It is not the common thing. I am sure that only the absence of conformism on the part of musicians, producers, fans and journalists, can lead this genre to consolidate as a true art and not only as attitude or inconsistent entertainment.
    For me: Rust in Peace. And Time Does Not Heal? Why not.
    Congratulations on the page.

    • Gavin O'Connor // April 2, 2017 at 8:29 am // Reply


      Thank you for taking the time to read the article and comment. You make a very valid point

  36. Joseph Pajerek // April 1, 2017 at 5:56 pm // Reply

    Reign In Blood is not Slayer’s best album, but then again Seasons In The Abyss isn’t either. Slayer’s best album is HELL AWAITS! And yes, Darkness Descends is better than Reign In Blood

  37. Reign in blood – the fastest album ever, the heaviest album ever, it can never be toped, it’s only 29 minutes long, nothing comes even close etc etc…

    These are some of the things you often see or hear when this album is mentioned. Some one earlier even made a statement like black metal/death metal pre and post reign in blood. I personally don’t get that. I don’t get most of the praise at all to be honest. Here’s my take on reign in blood.

    Slayer were one of the very first bands to play thrash metal and naturally they are one of the most well known. When it comes to impact exposure is key so of course when you have 3 albums like for example reign in blood, darkness descends and pleasure to kill which all are in the same territory musicwise and released around the same time it’s not strange at all that the band that has a major label, alot more time in the studio and is more well known releases the album that is better produced and sounds more proffessional and gets more exposure in magazines and si on. So of course the impact of reign in blood is there no doubt but musically I don’t get the great influence it’s had on everything. I think Slayer made their mark with Hell awaits. The speed and heaviness are just about the same as on reign in blood, reign in blood just sounds better.

    Speed and heaviness as I said. The fastest album ever, the heaviest album ever. Heaviness is a matter of taste in my opinion and is not something you can state as a fact. To my ears reign in blood is no where near as heavy as master of puppets but it’s a fact that it is faster. But is it the fastest ever? Even when it was released?

    No. Even if it was released later, darkness descends by dark angel was recorded before reign in blood and is played at a higher tempo overall. Same with pleasure to kill by kreator. Repulsion’s Horrified even though not released until 89 it was recorded before reign in blood. Chromatic death and milk for example by S.O.D. Swedish bands like Asocial where grinding as early as 1981. Red tape by the circle jerks is played at reign in blood tempos back in 79. D.R.I…. the list goes on.

    Heaviest of all time?
    As I said before that’s hard to tell.
    To me reign in blood is a fast album. There are alot heavy parts on it, like the beginnings of jesus saves and criminally insane just to name a few but overall it’s about speed. Heaviness is also very depending on the production, sound and performance. Like if we compare the guitars on master of puppets and reign in blood. Reign in blood has 2 guitars, 2 guitarplayers, very dry tone and quite uneven tightness. Not that it’s sloppy or anything but it’s far from perfectly played. Master of puppets on the other hand has 6 rhytmguitartracks on every song played by 1 guitarplayer and it’s insanly tight with a very fat tone. Just an example but then again that’s just my opinion. For the same reasons someone else can state that reign is heavier cause it’s up to each and everyone what heavy is to them. For me the thing that should not be is heavy – necrophobic is not.

    Influence on death metal and blaclk metal?
    Slayer as a band absolutely but reign in blood in paricular?
    Reign has much more of a punkfeel than hell awaits in my opinion. But compared to other bands around the same time I don’t see slayer as the band that pushed the limits the most. To my ears darkness descends and pleasure to kill sounds more like death metal than reign in blood. Just listen to the scream in angel of death and then the scream in the burning of sodom. Not to mention seven churches by possessed. And black metal? The return by Bathory is basicaly norwegian black metal recorded in 1985 so reign in blood or not – black metal would sound pretty much the same.
    Alot of you are probably gonna say “slayer influenced kreator and dark angel fuck you”. Dark angel may have been an influence on slayer, bet ya didn’t know that. Use google to find oit more. But eventhough Kerry King denies it, Metallica was a huge influence on Slayer as well. I remember reading a magazine back in 87 or 88 where the question was asked. Kerry said No! Jeff on the other hand said: “Oh absolutely yeah, if anything they got us started. Before we really didn’t know what we were doing but when we heard metallica we started writing songs like aggressive perfector”

    29 minutes?
    Well of course – there a 2 long songs and 8 short songs. It’s not like they took the same material on master of puppets and sped it up to 29 minutes.

    It can never be toped?
    I think it has been toped in every area. I’m pretty sure that 99.9 % of all grandmothers in the world will find chaosphere by meshuggah more agonizing to the ears and mind than reign in blood. Cause after all the real impact should be judged by people that don’t listen to this music at all. I”m only kidding but really, they have no opinions forced upon them which is the case with reign in blood in all honesty. If you don’t praise that album you are frowned upon.

    Best thrash album?
    One of the best for sure. But I would say Master of puppets. You hear it’s influence in doom metal, thrash metal, melodic death metal and most of all in Pantera whom arguably where the most influential metal of the 90’s. I don’t hear alot of reign in blood in pantera. Maybe even …and justice for all is more influential.

    My thoughts?
    I think it’s a great album. Some filler tracks here and there but overall I like it very much. I just don’t get peoples opinion of it being sooo superior to everything else. In my opinion, I don’t think the impact would have been so much as it was if it wasn’t for the lyrics to angel of death. If that song would have been called die in hell or something like that, think about it. Cause musically they don’t really push it any further than hell awaits. But those lyrics where just so damn controversial. And that helped alot in the making of the legend that is reign in blood. But of course it contains alot of classic riffs as well.

  38. Gavin O'Connor // April 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm // Reply


    Thanks very much for taking time to read the article and comment on it. Some very valid and well made points

  39. I’ve been a SLAYER fan ever since “Seasons In The Abyss” came out. But the first SLAYER album I bought was “Reign In Blood” And I have to say from the albums opener to the albums closer (I bought the Expanded Edition, so “Criminally Insane”(Remix) counts as the closer, for me anyway)it just blew me away! My heart was racing, my feet were thumping, I was just blown away! I LOVED it and I LOVED IT, and you know what? After 27 years I STILL LOVE IT!

  40. You bring up some pretty good points. I definitely agree with you on how the songs are quite inconsistant, you have Raining Blood, Angel Of Death, Altar Of Sacrifice, and a bunch of songs that sound similar. The lyrics are my least favourite thing about the album though, as I agree that they were still at the stage where most of the songs were nothing but edgy, satanic nonsense. A lot of people seem to mistake most thrashy album with the BEST thrash album. In terms of quality, this album is above average for sure, but Rust In Piece, Kill ‘Em All and Master Of Puppets are superior (Piece Sells would also be if not for the pile of garbage known as I Aint Superstitious, at least the filler songs in the other albums were simply mediocre (Leper Messiah) or good ( Lucretia is still great, just not up to the rest of the album). In general, I have found Slayer to be a bit overrated but at least their 90’s stuff showed real maturity.

  41. I gotta say I don’t agree with the 6 points and I don’t consider the Metallica albums and Megadeth albums to be pure thrash. Lots of thrash in them but a lot of non-thrash as well. Now…….your point about Vio-lence’s Eternal Nightmare is indeed intriguing. That album happens to be my personal favorite of ALL TIME. Thrash in and out for sure. Bonded is up there as well. Either way Reign is certainly hyped yes, but I gotta say it kinda really is worth it….

  42. I felt the same way about reign in blood since I first heard it. The people who were punk rockers in the early 90s when I was in college were the guys who praised reign in blood. I’ve always thought the record had only three songs, a good one at the end and the beginning, and a blurry mess in the middle for about 20 minutes.

    As for what the best thrash metal album is, I couldn’t say. Death metal came along and made thrash largely irrelevant for me.

  43. Stephen Palmer // April 22, 2018 at 12:15 am // Reply

    Reign In Blood is not greatest thrash metal album of all time. It’s the greatest album of any musical genre ever!

  44. First time I’ve ever seen someone argue that Slayer was a better band in the 90s than in the 80s. Make of that what you will.

    Anyway, I do agree that Reign in Blood isn’t Slayer’s best album, because Hell Awaits is. I would also rate South of Heaven above it. Show No Mercy and Seasons in the Abyss are pretty close and depending on my mood I prefer listening to those. But Reign in Blood is a classic well deserving of its status.

    • To be fair mate I didn’t argue the point they were a better band in the 90’s, I said they released a better album in 1990, not sure how that equates to their output for the whole decade which, apart from Seasons, is deeply flawed.

      I don’t disagree it’s a classic, however it is not the greatest thrash album of all time. Thanks for taking the time to read the article and comment, it’s all about generating a bit of debate!

  45. I don’t understand how this pile of garbage is considered one of the greatest metal albums of all time. Beyond Angel of Death and Raining Blood, its all unlistenable filler. There are far better albums out there. Any who says it’s the greatest album of any genre is truly delusional. I don’t care how influential it was. That’s not good music and you can flame me for that all you want.

  46. I agree that reign in blood is not the best thrash metal album of all time, but if ypou say reign in blood is over hyped, than you can’t even talk about mastr of puppets, probably the most overrated album of all time. its bland, boring, and above all its just a darker version of ride the lightning. metallica’s best song are on ride the lightning, and I would argue that there is not one weak song on there. so what i’m saying here is that ride the lightning is not only metallica’s best album, its the greatest thrash metal album of all time.

    • Thanks for reading the article chum but I have to disagree with you.

      I’m not sure you can say Ride The Lightning does not have a weak song on it when it contains Escape and Trapped Under Ice, so there’s two at least.

      Thanks again for the comment

  47. You are right!

    Still and simple cause “South of Heaven” and “Seasons in the Abyss” are better!

  48. Who wrote this? Surely some idiot who thinks that Sunbather is a revolutionary black metal album. Through Silver In Blood heavier than Reign in Blood? You must be deaf or stupid to make such a claim. Master of Puppets is a great thrash metal album … until Slayer recorded Reign in Blood. Here I see a more subjective than objective opinion.

    • Oh dear, another poor slayer fan getting their feelings hurt

      For sheer heaviness I could have provided numerous albums that are heavier than it, maybe you are confusing speed with being heavy.

      As for who wrote the article, my name is right there at the end

  49. I think all these kinds of discussions are pretty silly, as it always comes down to personal taste. And that taste can change over time, me as an example have changed my opinions over time. It is impossible to be objective about things that are subjective in their nature. Discussing taste will never result in anything than bickering. But you can view your opinion, and for me the greatest thrash albums are: Eternal Nightmare, Bonded By Blood, Kill’Em All and Show No Mercy. And no debate can change that 🙂

  50. Oh, I forgot to mention a few: Destructor’s Maximum Destruction, Destruction’s Infernal Overkill and Exciter’s Heavy Metal Maniac. And OF COURSE Darkness Descends!

  51. I agree with much of this article. RIB is a classic, but not even in the top 10 best thrash albums. For one, the solos are atrocious (they’re just noise). Considering how short the songs are, a lack of good solos takes a bigger toll on this album than on other Slayer offerings. Secondly, the album; while not completely one-dimensional, does lack a level of variety that better thrash albums offer.

    RIB is still a classic, brutal effort, but it pales when compared to a huge chunk of classic thrash albums. I consider RIB the fourth best Slayer album. In a way, RIB is a watered down version of Hell Awaits. The riffs are more simplistic, though RIB is probably more relentlessly brutal than Hell Awaits.

    In closing; I agree with you, though some of your arguments I don’t. For example, I don’t think the album has any truly weak sounds.


  52. Thanks for taking the time to read the article and reply

  53. I was 18 when Reign in Blood came out. I’d stumbled on Metallica’s Ride the Lightning (courtesy of an American kid who joined our school) and it had opened a whole new musical vista to me after years of listening to Maiden, AC/DC, Scorpions and such like. When Master of Puppets was released, I thought to myself ‘I will never hear a greater album no matter how long I live”. I went to the tour, heard it live in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and now, some 33 years later, I don’t think it’s been surpassed. Maybe.

    That maybe is only there because the one record that subsequently made an impact like MoP was Reign in Blood. You simply cannot over-state how it changed the world of hard rock and of music generally. Whether or not it is a greater piece of art than MoP is arguable but what isn’t is that it’s more groundbreaking. Firstly, it was co-created by a dude who was a hip hop legend. Back then, hardcore and punk acts like DRI, English Dogs, Gang Green, and Suicidal Tendencies we’re taking flak for moving metal away from what a very great proportion of its fan base believed was an immutable core ethos. And the idea that a man who was championing Sir Mix A Lot as a genius was going to produce Slayer was about as radical as hearing Britney Spears was having a sex change and getting a gig fronting Manowar.

    I had only heard one Slayer song up to that point, a muddy, live version of Evil Has No Boundaries off the Music for Nations Speed Kills compilation. That record gave me my first listen to Megadeth too. And for me, Peace Sells is their masterpiece not Rust in Peace. So Slayer were interesting and that was good enough to get me curious. When I heard they’d got a major deal and were signing to Rubin’s Def Jam, I felt that this new disc was something I needed to check out.

    Almost half a lifetime later, I still remember the visceral impact that first listen had on me. That death scream launching Angel of Death. I simply could not believe what I was hearing. Such an astonishing controlled frenzy of aggressive power. The high speed spat lyrics. The energy in the songs. Compelling. When I heard the album close with the sound of the cloudburst in Raining Blood, I said to myself: ‘Has this surpassed Master of Puppets?’

    That we are still debating this three decades and more later suggests to me that if Reign in Blood isn’t the greatest thrash album of all time, it’s definitely number two. And I am not saying it ain’t No. 1. That conclusion demolishes (for me) many of the arguments you made against it being the greatest thrash album of all time. All opinion is subjective but here’s my view: The cover is absolutely classic, evil personified. The production was groundbreaking because it managed to present a band playing at such speed with a cleaver-sharp sound. It’s on my system as a write and it still stands the rest to time thirty years later. The argument in your review that I anticipate most people who like thrash would probably take issue with most is with the suggestion that there are weak songs on Reign in Blood. That’s not the case. They are a perfect concoction. Some have more memorable structures and lyrics but, put them together, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime offering.

    So, is Reign in Blood the greatest thrash album
    If all time. It may be and if it’s not, it’s in the top two miles ahead of anything else.

    And is it over-rated by the critics? Not at all. It’s absolutely epic.

  54. Wow! This is really stupid. The only valid point made is that Reign in Blood was heaviest during its time. As it was in released in 1986. Yes, maybe it wouldn’t have the impact if it were released today, but that’s not the point, this album RAISED THE FUCKING BAR on aggression and speed in thrash.

    The reason Reign In Blood is revered as the greatest is because it is thrash ALBUM, is because the entire album is thrash START TO FINISH. You reference Master of Puppets, which also raised the bar in thrash that same year…but The Thing That should not Be is NOT a thrash song. Orion is not a thrash song. Kill ’em All is a pure thrash album start to finish. Beneath the Remains is a real thrash album start to finish. Bonded By Blood, Spreading the Disease, etc…Do you need more examples?

    Postmortem is nowhere near a filler song, it’s one of their best songs. Your ears are obviously not acclimated to pure thrash. You obviously need the later radio friendly thrash album format like Rust in Peace or the Black Album to let your ears rest from the speed and aggression. You mention Seasons in the Abyss as an example, proving that you need those slow breathers like Dead Skin Mask or Blood Red. And your idea of “filler” songs are a bit off: Expendable Youth and Temptation are perfect examples of filler songs. There are no filler songs on Reign In Blood. It is a start to finish master piece.

    Suggesting Rust in Peace is better is absurd. Rust in Peace is a good album, but songs like Hanger 18 and Lucretia are obvious attempts at trying to be a radio friendly. Slayer, to their credit, never watered down their sound for commercial radio appeal. I’m not implying Dave did anything wrong, but we’re talking about a THRASH ALBUM. Peace Sells was a great thrash album in the 80’s, unfortunately 30+ years later, has not aged well. I knew every song and every lyric on Peace Sells when I was kid. Every attempt I’ve made to listen to that album in the last 5 years, has me skipping to the next track before most songs can finish. Reign In Blood still stands the test of time, and I take in every second.

    This is only my opinion, but since you gave your opinion some kind of authority, I thought it only fair to speak up.

  55. Totally disagree. The only valid point made is that Reign in Blood was heaviest only during its time, as it was in released in 1986. Yes, maybe it wouldn’t have the same impact if it were released today, but that’s not the point: this album RAISED THE BAR on aggression and speed in thrash and influenced every thrash band in is wake.

    The reason Reign In Blood is revered as the greatest is because it is thrash ALBUM, is because the entire album is thrash START TO FINISH. You reference Master of Puppets, which also raised the bar in thrash that same year…but The Thing That should Not Be is not a thrash song. Orion is not a thrash song. Kill ’em All is a pure thrash album start to finish. Beneath the Remains is a real thrash album start to finish. Bonded By Blood, Spreading the Disease, etc…Do you need more examples?

    Postmortem is nowhere near a filler song, it’s one of their best songs. Your ears are obviously not acclimated to pure thrash. You obviously need the later radio friendly thrash album format like Rust in Peace or the Black Album to let your ears rest from the speed and aggression. You mention Seasons in the Abyss as an example, which suggests that you need those slow breathers like Dead Skin Mask or Blood Red. And your idea of “filler” songs are a bit off: Expendable Youth and Temptation are perfect examples of filler songs. There are no filler songs on Reign In Blood. It is a start to finish master piece.

    Suggesting Rust in Peace is better is absurd. Rust in Peace is a good album, but songs like Hanger 18 and Lucretia are obvious attempts at trying to be a radio friendly. Slayer, to their credit, have never watered down their sound for commercial radio appeal. I’m not implying Dave did anything wrong, but we’re talking about a THRASH ALBUM. Peace Sells was a great thrash album in the 80’s, unfortunately 30+ years later, has not aged well. I knew every song and every lyric on Peace Sells when I was kid. Every attempt I’ve made to listen to that album in the last 5 years, has me skipping to the next track before most songs can finish. Reign In Blood still stands the test of time, and I take in every second.

    This is my opinion, and since you’ve given your opinion some authority, I have chime in.

    • Gavin O'Connor // December 10, 2019 at 12:27 pm // Reply

      Thanks for taking the time to read the article and comment

      You lost me though when you referred to Rust In Peace as radio friendly. As for your comments on PSBWB, well that’s obviously your opinion but just like you’re happy to tell me my opinion is wrong then I’ve no qualms saying the same about yours.

      You mention Slayer never watered down their sound for commercial appeal and while mostly true, you seem to have forgotten about them embracing Nu Metal with Diabolus In Musica

      I like though, how from having read the article you feel you can make assumptions about what I listen to. My point is that I feel when an album goes full tilt all the way through it actually loses some of it’s power and in fact this deftness of touch is something Slayer would utilise and master over successive albums. I don’t want it need it, I feel it helps the flow of the music

      To finish though I want to give you my heartfelt thanks for cheering me up no end in this miserable day by calling the Black Album a thrash album, trash maybe but in no way, shape or form can it be classed as thrash. Thanks for the chuckle though

      • Thanks for proving my point: The Black album is NOT a thrash album, just like Rust in Peace is not a thrash album. I put the Black album and Rust in Peace in the same sentence as they are both radio friendly pop metal albums, with thrash flavor thrown in. My point was that people who think that Rust in Peace is a full thrash album, are the same people think the Black Album is. You obviously think otherwise, but I don’t know a single person who grew up on thrash that would think that ANY Megadeth album should be higher ranked than RIB. The majority of comments in this section also think you’re way off.

        Thanks for spawning a discussion.

        • Chris Jennings // December 22, 2019 at 4:55 pm // Reply

          Agreed. The Black Album is unequivocally not a thrash album. However, Rust In Peace is not only a thrash album through and through but also one of the finest technical thrash albums ever recorded. There’s nothing ‘pop’ or radio friendly about it. In fact, I have never heard anyone describe Rust In Peace in such a manner before.

  56. My opinion…this article sucks!End of story!

  57. The problem I’m betting is that the reviewer wasnt alive at the time of release.
    I was into metallica and slayer, nuclear assault etc but when RIB came out after the horrific sounding Hell awaits everyone was blown away. There was no one in the planet that sounded like them apart from maybe Possessed but they had horrific sounding vocals. Now these days bands try and sound heavier etc but they missed the point. This was a moment in time and changed music immeasurably. Yes it doesnt have the best sound now of course but then it did.
    It is without a doubt the most important album released in the 1980’s. And the greatest Slayer and thrash album of all time.
    Deal with it.

  58. How much are you willing to bet?

  59. The quote by Kerry King sums it up quite well. The timing was an essential ingredient of this album’s success, but that’s just it. We can look back and pick things apart, but in doing so we can become overzealous and discard something that is great exactly because it’s more than the sum of its parts. I think Reign in Blood qualifies as yes, the guitar work is at times sloppy and the production is the Rubin special of “everything is as loud as possible at all times”, but in the end, it’s the definitive statement of Slayer as a band that started out wanting to play louder and faster than everybody else. It’s telling that they’d switch things up with the considerably slower, more melodic South of Heaven, as the band simply wouldn’t be able to top Reign in Blood without falling into repetition.

    For the record, I don’t think Reign in Blood is *the* best thrash album of all time (that would be Rust in Peace imo), but that’s simply because there are a few albums out there I believe to be even better, while this article focuses more on flaws that I think either aren’t flaws to begin with, or not significant enough to hurt the listening experience.

    In the end let’s just be glad that picking your favorite Slayer album is like picking your favorite child. These guys had an amazing first decade of their career and Reign in Blood is just one example of that.

  60. This is the most enjoyable comment thread I’ve read in a long time.
    I went through all the comments and what I gathered is a confirmation of what I already knew: REIGN IN BLOOD is THE quintessential thrash metal album, no matter how many different sides you want to look at it from or how many ways you want to pick it apart.
    If we’re talking heavy music, there’s tens of thousands albums which are better played, more diverse, more intriguing and even heavier and faster. But if you say THRASH… the answer can be only one. Reign In Blood is a devilish trip to hell and back, and I bet 95% of the people who know and love it still remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard this beast for the first time. I’m pretty sure I can state it as a fact. That alone kind of says it all.

    Nice article though.

    • So you’re basically saying that Reign in blood is the quintessential thrash album because you say so? Kinda weak argument. I remember when I bought the album. So?
      I agree that it is ONE of the quintessential thrash albums but the thing that pisses me of is the people that says it is soooo superior to everything else. Like really? Can you for real state that for example Necrophobic is so much more brutal than The burning of sodom or Death is certain by Dark angel? I think they’re basically on par with each other. But it’s the fanboy sickness what else can I say? To me and to alot of people thrash is so much more than what Reign in blood represents. It has such a punkfeel to it musically so to me it is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of thrash. Same with Darkness descends, it has a darker edge to it more in line with early death metal. But Master of puppets has, at least to me, all the elements that represent the genre. You have the speed, the heaviness, the groove, different tempos, melodies and harmonies. Overall more dynamics and to me thrash as a genre is alot broader than just speed. But I respect that people feel like Reign in blood is the greatest album based on the fact that it is so potent and pure in it’s thrash/speed approach but to be the greatest in my opinion you can’t be that narrow. Of course none of our arguments would hold any water if it wasn’t for the awesome songwriting on both albums. And that is a matter of taste isn’t it?

  61. I don’t know if it is the best thrash album from all the times but it should be in the top ten. I think that top ten (not in this oder) are: Beneath the remain, Bonded by blood, The Legacy, Pleasure to kill, Rust in Peace, Agent Orange, Ride the lightning, Reign in blood, ultra-Violence, Season in the abyss, the Gathering

  62. greatest thrash album of all time it’s “hell awaits”. “reign in blood” it’s top ten. end of story! i never been able to listen a full megadeth song. ‘black album” is not a thrash! “south of heaven”, leave scars”, “darkness descends” it’s a top ten, also! “the legacy” of testament was a better album than “peace sells”!

  63. Jason LaTulippe // July 7, 2020 at 5:28 am // Reply

    Nope,overrated. Very good album,but to many dudes on here writing book lengths of words saying how great a album it is. For me….nope. Good but Slayer has better and thrash has better.

  64. I don’t even disagree with the contention about how overrated RiB is (in fact, I’d go several steps further and just saw the vast majority of Slayer’s output is shit), but you totally lose me when you shit on Trapped Under Ice. Coming from someone with very few good things to say about Metallica, that track is undoubtedly one of their absolute best, and way better than anything on Master of Puppets.

  65. confirmed that the band’s nastiness was as present in their music as it was in their twisted, confrontational lyrics. Made even more thrilling by the fact that dedicated Slayer fans will listen to it knowing exactly what’s coming next, it’s one of the greatest things Jeff Hanneman ever wrote

  66. What a load of crap. Go and born again. You went wrong.

  67. This article is a sincerely classic case of one talking out of their poop hole!

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