Monday, October 31, 2011

Fan-Boy Icons #55: Slayer (@Slayer)

I thought I had left my metal days where they belong: in the '80s. Aside from Judas Priest, none of my metal loves of youth made it with me to the modern era. Then...

When I came across Slayer Pinball Rocks for the iPad, I was not a Slayer fan. I only noticed that it was well reviewed and looked really good. Being a pinball freak, I needed something and there seemed no better option. The music in the game started sticking with me, and I wondered why I never listened to Slayer before. I decided to pick up their best known album, 1983's Reign in Blood. From there I moved on to 2009's World Painted Blood (the album that spawned the music for the game) and 2010's Christ Illusion. I am pretty much hooked now. While bands like Anthrax have disappeared, and Metallica gone annoying, Slayer might be the only thrash metal band left. Well, there is Megadeth, but I just cannot handle Dave Mustane's voice.

One thing that initially put me off Slayer was the purported neo-Nazi ties. On Reign in Blood is the song "Angel of Death" about the infamous Nazi "scientist" Joseph Mengele. When I first heard the song, it was a little bothersome, but then after listening to more tracks I thought, perhaps, Slayer was taking a page from the Marquis de Sade's book and writing to be unreadable by the masses? Writing songs or stories about horrible things is not mutually exclusive to finding said things horrible. What eventually caught on was the anger that has not been present in music for a long time. On the two newest albums there is a lot of political dissent and attacks on religion; both things I find important, yet absent in our conformist, bling-based music scene today.

Alright, that's my post-metal, return to metal confession. Oh, and Happy Halloween! SLAYER!

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