Monday, February 6, 2017

Slayer - World Painted Blood (2009)

The new millennium had so far been kind to Slayer, revitalizing their sound and reignited their fury. The year 2009 was no different, a year when the band released their 10th album "World Painted Blood", a powerful knuckle sandwich that was ready to knock everybody down. While it did that to some extent, it was still a little lackluster in its performance, and it is quite telling now that I look into this album, about 8 years after its release.

You see, this album is really fierce, but there is something with this production that just flat out sucks. The whole band sounds muted, like they performed behind a glass wall or something. It forces me to raise the volume to an unnecessary degree that will only come back to haunt me when I play some other media after wards. Maybe it is not surprising since the band had lost more and more contact with Rick Rubin as the years had gone by, but it shouldn't be this bad (this is also the last Slayer record that Rubin had anything to do with).

"World Painted Blood" is also the last album that featured the original line up of the band. In 2013, Lombardo left once again (and was replaced with Paul Bostaph once again), while iconic guitarist Jeff Hanneman died in the same year by liver failure. While the band did not know this would be the final album for this line up, they still played like it would be, bringing it all on every song, never letting go of the gas pedal. Just the speed and fury of songs like the title track, "Snuff", and "Public Display of Dismemberment" would make any other musician jealous (or feel finger pain).

And that is the most frustrating thing about "World Painted Blood", the fact that it contains a really good batch of songs,  but also a couple of pointless fillers, and they all lose some quality because of the dense production. This album definitely had the potential to reach the same heights as "Christ Illusion", or even "Hell Awaits", but it is held back by its own dumb mistakes. Then we have the fact that the lyrics are just decent at best, nothing that stands out or anything like that.

Once again though, it is the performance of the band that lifts the record. Araya is pissed, King and Hanneman blazes through every riff and solo with great precision, and Lombardo pummels those drums with determination. This is a band that has found it groove again, delivering a passionate performance that should leave no fan untouched.

Man, this is an annoying record. It has such great ideas, such fury, such power, and yet, it has the hand brake on, never gaining any real momentum. The faults that plague "World Painted Blood" are too much of a hindrance, completely killing what could have been, a kick ass album that might have been one of the better Slayer records up to date. It is still a fine record, that is for sure, but it is not the steam roller I think a lot hoped for, and for that, it ultimately ends up as a disappointment. Just imagine the possibilities it could have had with some half decent production.

Songs worthy of recognition: Snuff, World Painted Blood, Psychopathy Red

Rating: 7/10 Americons

More reviews of Slayer
Show No Mercy
Hell Awaits
Reign In Blood
South of Heaven
Seasons In The Abyss
Divine Intervention
Diabolus In Musica
God Hates Us All
Christ Illusion

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