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  • The Basics

    The perfect storm of thrash metal created by Southern California's Slayer rests on several rock-solid elements — superb musicianship, an overriding lyrical fascination with all things morbid, and blinding speed. Dip your toes into the band's sulfurous waters here with controversial Holocaust meditation "Angel of Death," "Disciple" from God Hates Us All (an album released, in a diabolical coincidence, on September 11, 2001), and Best Metal Performance GRAMMY®-winner "Eyes of the Insane," which surveys the world from the standpoint of a Gulf War veteran. Follow Slayer's bloody footprints from the debut album through to the 21st century, in Next Steps.

    $3.87 The Basics
  • Next Steps

    Explore early Slayer here with a fistful of choice cuts from their first two albums, Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits — "Die By the Sword" from the debut would become a concert favourite, and the latter's "Kill Again" thrashes with genuine menace. Christ Illusion (2006) — about the connection between religion and war — marked the reunion of the original lineup, with Dave Lombardo back on drums after a decade-long absence, thumping out a thunderous beat on "Cult" like some demented blacksmith at work on the devil's own satanic anvil. Slayer varies its pace, and inspires a metal sub-sect, in Deep Cuts.

    $5.16 Next Steps
  • Deep Cuts

    Cited as pioneers by fans of the burgeoning death-metal scene during the early '90s, Slayer rode long and hard on the demon wings of 1994's Divine Intervention, which includes the darker-than-pitch "Serenity In Murder." Several years previously, South of Heaven (1988) had introduced a marked slow-down in tempo to their equation, and encouraged the world to view the band as something more than speed freaks — check out the slave-ship time signature on "Spill the Blood" . . . then rip it all to shreds with the supercharged bpm of "Hallowed Point."

    $3.87 Deep Cuts
  • Complete Set

    For a band that began its death-obsessed life in Huntington Park (inland from Surf City, Huntington Beach) playing Judas Priest and Iron Maiden covers, Slayer has blossomed beyond all imagining. Although "blossomed" is, perhaps, not the right word — in Slayer songs, you'll find blood "raining from a lacerated sky," "desecrated" rhymed with "eviscerated," chaos invariably "rampant" . . . and those are some of the few printable snippets from the band's hardcore poetry of the apocalypse. In fact, due to the explicit nature of 1986 masterwork Reign In Blood, CBS/Columbia pulled out of distribution (Geffen stepped in), creating a fetid pool of notoriety into which a new slew of devoted fans were more than happy to plunge. For many, Slayer remains the strongest among the four horsemen of the thrash-pocalypse, alongside Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth. Proceed with caution.

    $12.90 Complete Set