George Starostin's Reviews



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Pat D. <> (18.05.2002)

Yes, very early Slayer blows. And hell, at one time i even thought much less of their arguable masterpiece, Reign in Blood. The problem with being a newcomer to the band (i'm going to assume this is the first record you've heard from them) is that the production/mixing on their records (except for maybe Diabolus and some parts of the new one) is awful. Really awful. At no point during any of their 80s output can i hear ANY bass guitar. Now, Tom may not be Chris Squire, or Steve Harris, but he cant be THAT bad that you need to completely remove him from the mix. Not helping the Slayer listening curve is the blindingly fast tempos ('Necrophobic' off of Reign in Blood is a friggin 240bpm, for pete's sake) which become nearly indiscernable thanks to Rick "Clueless with Slayer" Rubin.

Anyways, i dont like this album at all either, nor do i much care for the next two releases, but give Reign in Blood a good, long listen before you throw it in the trash. It took me a YEAR to figure out what was good about it. On the other hand, even after an extended run of mp3s, I dont think anything here is worth listening to more than once except maybe "Antichrist" and "Black Magic", both of which pretty much sound and are played better on the Decade of Aggression live album. Also, Dave Lombardo would get a LOT better with fast tempos and cool as hell rolls on 'South of Heaven' and 'Seasons in the Abyss'. And he even throws in some cool rolls on the aforementioned unbelievably fast "Necrophobic". If you ask me, in the early early days (like this album), he wasnt much better than Lars Ulrich, or even AS good. Sure, he plays fast, but lets have some variation like on the later albums! I give this one a 3 or one and a half stars in your system.

JM and Angel <> (29.08.2002)

While Slayer became more innovative a few years later, and while the band would see some radical improvements in terms of production, Show No Mercy is my favourite album from this ensemble. While I agree that there is a certain campy, juvenile quality to this recording, characterized here by Tom raya's satanic lyrics and hillarious falseto (but still somehow cool sounding) falseto shrieks, a lot of metal depends on this sort of brash, exuberant atmosphere, and this is part of the reason I love the genre so much. I don't think anybody who can swallow a band like AC/Dc and their ridiculous rock clichés and call it genius (an opinion, by the way, with which I would wholeheartedly agree) really can knock this album for being over the top, and in a way, ridiculous. It's not particularly innovative..other bands were, at this time, playing metal that was at least as extreme, and recorded more poorly to boot...but there is an out of control, rampage like feeling on this disc that the band would never achieve again. LIke Metallica's debut, this is firmly rooted in heavy metal rather than thrash or death metal..and yes, one can hear Judas Priest all over this record, but it's like Judas Priest on a careening rollercoaster with a speedfreak at the controls. I find the songs here more satisfying and diverse than those on "reign in blood", although it's hard to beat that album in terms of aggression and compactness...and the nods to Priest and other lesser known british metal acts is something I can really appreciate. Part of the problem people have with this album, methinks, is the production, which is a wee bit on the tinny and insignificant side, and Dave Lombardo's drums (there are no cymbals on this album because the studio engineer was too incompetent to get them recorded right), are relegated to mostly background thudding. Once you get past this though, there are a whole load of memorable hooks and riffs to be heard, not to mention that adrenalized, impetuously destructive atmosphere I mentioned earlier. In my v iew, the band really started playing in their own style on the followup ep, 'Haunting the Chapel", but I still prefer this for some reason. Finally, "Crionics", is a damn fun song for a band to play, and I don't understand why the band dropped this from their live catalogue so quickly.


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Richard Burger <> (02.07.2002)

You are joking about Poison, right, George? I mean, I'm not going to insult your intelligence by pretending you're not. That was just metalhead baiting, right? [Sssh! Right, but don't tell anyone! - G.S.]

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