Despite the vanishing drummer syndrome that affects most bands of their ilk at some point, Slayer have always been a model of consistency and a band that fans of vicious, vein-bursting heavy metal can rely on. As a result, the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman – author of many of Slayer’s biggest anthems – caused many devotees to fear the worst. They needn’t have: Repentless is an imperious cuffing away of all that cynicism, original members Tom Araya and Kerry King’s determination to keep the evil thrash flag flying high manifesting itself in an exhilarating blast of prime, 21st-century Slayer, replete with all the breakneck tempos, whiplash-inducing changes of pace and swivel-eyed declarations of defiance that the faithful will quite rightly demand. The finest moments rival anything in the band’s canon: the furious title track, a tribute to Hanneman that threatens to rattle the rafters in Hell, the runaway juggernaut of Take Control and the Hanneman-penned Piano Wire are all stupidly exciting. Still the masters of this stuff, Slayer have honoured a fallen comrade in the best possible way.
Slayer: Repentless review – thrash masters still stupidly exciting
Writer. Musician. Metalhead. Dad. Twitter: @Dom_Lawson