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Show No Mercy

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Album Review

Released at the forefront of the early-'80s thrash movement, Show No Mercy proved to be only a small step toward Slayer's domination of the extreme metal scene, basically amounting to a cleaned-up version of black metal stalwarts Venom. Everything about this album, from the production to the musicianship, is amateurish compared to later releases, but in the same way Metallica was on their own debut, Kill 'Em All. Despite the band's shortcomings, a number of future classics are present on this album, including concert favorites "The Antichrist," "Die by the Sword," and "Black Magic." Show No Mercy remains a solid, if inessential, part of the Slayer legacy. [The 1987 reissue includes three tracks from the Haunting the Chapel EP, though those have since been omitted in favor of both records being independently re-released.]

Customer Reviews

What can you say!

The reason why I Fell in love with Thrash,Before this there was nothing,absolute insanity, these guys blew me and my mates away! How many years later and they still kick a*s! Awesome live!


Except for maybe Raining blood and Season in the Abyss this is Slayers finest moment..the very begining, thiuth it matches the first two albums I named top songs are Die by the Sword, Black Magic and all of them deserve to be a single!


There are no skeletons in Slayer's closet, nothing to embarrass them in their back catalogue. But few bands can have progressed so much over their first few releases as Slayer did. A year after Show No Mercy they released the 'Haunting the Chapel' EP which introduced the bass-heavy chromatic riffing and snarling, declamatory vocal delivery that became trademarks; the next year their compositional skill blossomed in the extended, progressive pieces on Hell Awaits; and in 1986 they effectively closed the book on thrash and speed metal with the incredible 'Reign in Blood'. To be honest, there are only glimmers of that majestic future career on Show No Mercy. It's all good solid ballsy metal, and technically they were already as good as anyone in the field, but it's still a record that looks backward to NWOBHM more than it looks forward, both in style and production. A lot of it sounds like better-played Venom tracks, while 'Crionics' is a blatant rip-off of Iron Maiden's 'Phantom of the Opera'. In retrospect it's odd to hear something so derivative from such a trailblazing band. But everyone has to start somewhere, and Show No Mercy is still worth a listen.


Formed: 1982 in Huntington Park, CA

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Slayer were one of the most distinctive, influential, and extreme thrash metal bands of the 1980s. Their graphic lyrics dealt with everything from death and dismemberment to war and the horrors of hell. Their full-throttle velocity, wildly chaotic guitar solos, and powerful musical chops painted an effectively chilling sonic background for their obsessive chronicling of the dark side; this correspondence helped Slayer's music hold up arguably better than the remaining Big Three '80s thrash outfits...
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