A Review of Slayer’s 2009 album "World Painted Blood": Jeff Hanneman's Last Musical Contribution
The album would be the last contribution for Jeff Hanneman (1964-2013)
American thrash metal band Slayer is known worldwide for such classic albums as Reign in Blood and South of Heaven. Their 2009 album World Painted Blood is another one of these good albums. This would be the last album for Jeff Hanneman because he would die of liver failure in 2013. This would also be the last album for drummer Dave Lombardo because he would be fired by the band again.
World Painted Blood: the First Four Songs Including the Title Track
How much better is this album compared to the previous album Christ Illusion? It may be better or worse depending upon what you tastes are. Christ Illusion does not have a song as good as Americon. Even if it feels like these guys are too one-dimensional, they still know how to write songs that are good enough to keep you interested. After all, they are still active while there are other metal bands that formed around the same time that are not. Slayer is still one of the best thrash metal bands that was formed in California. They show that with songs such as Snuff, they have neither lost nor abandoned their speed roots that they have been so famous for. The song starts off with some very fast soloing (no surprise there right)?
The title track is easily the longest song in the album clocking in at almost 6 minutes long. Even though the album is only 39 minutes long it is still an enjoyable listen for those that really appreciate this band. The song is about all the vices of this world including the fact that we have tons of disease. The band also tries to point out what can happen if man takes it upon himself to act like GOD. That will only lead to disastrous results. The songs Unit 731 and Snuff are fast ones that sound like they have a punk kind of feel to them. Slayer’s lyrics tend to not be the most positive but for those that enjoy thrash metal, they will like this album as well. Snuff is actually about someone who is willing to commit violent acts to achieve his objectives. The band slows down a bit for the song called Beauty Through Order.
"Americon" Is the Best Song On This Album
The album’s executive producer is Rick Rubin, the same person that would produce Metallica’s Death Magnetic album in 2008. Slayer uses lots of speed in their songs but the one thing that this band suffers from is the lack of variety in their songs. However, the band redeems themselves with the solid mid-tempo song Human Strain. "Americon" is the best song in this album. It describes how US foreign policy is motivated by the desire to obtain vast sums of wealth through oil. Meanwhile, the public is manipulated by the media that insists the US is only doing these things to serve their national interests. Slayer tries to point out the flaws of US foreign policy and I applaud them for doing so. We have to be informed about what is really going on in this country. Corporate greed has led to vast sums of money for these corporations while the middle class continues to suffer. "Americon" is a classic song to listen to. The extremely fast song "Psychopathy Red" sees vocalist and bassist Tom Araya use his harshest and highest screams yet. However, the song is kind of sub-standard.
The back of the album cover with the track listing
What is Slayer's Contribution to the Thrash Metal Genre?
Slayer may have experienced some weaker moments as a band with albums such as Diabolus in Musica or 2001’s God Hates Us All but this album shows that they did not stay down for long! However, Slayer is not as good of a thrash metal band as Canada's Annihilator for instance. However, Slayer has influenced other thrash metal bands such as "The Haunted" a very heavy thrash metal band that has excellent riffing and vocals that have such a harsh kind of shout that makes you wonder how it is possible that a band could have vocals so rough.
The excellent song called "Human Strain"
How Good Is This 2009 Album World Painted Blood?
World Painted Blood is certainly a better album than what Slayer was making starting in the early to mid-1990s with albums such as Divine Intervention and Undisputed Attitude. That stated, this is not even close to being as good as Reign in Blood. The strongest songs in this album are the title track, "Human Strain" and "Americon." The album gets an 80 out of 100 points in the opinion of this writer. It has a few not so good songs and that’s why I had to give it a lower score. However, Slayer rebounds as a band and puts out what is still a very good album overall.
The Influence On Other Bands By Slayer
Slayer has influenced many bands such as Canada’s Annihilator and Illinois based metalcore band Born of Osiris. As of 2015, Slayer has been in the music business for 34 years. They have constantly stuck to their main style of thrash metal and have not deviated from this path. They are a good thrash metal band but I prefer bands such as Kreator, Tankard, and Holy Moses.
The song called Americon (easily the best song on the album)
Looking back at this album over 10 years later, it has now exceeded my expectations. It can be a bit of a coincidence that the best song in this album isn’t even the fastest one. It is unlikely to even be better than Reign in Blood though but for some people certain albums can be memorable.
Strongest Songs in the Album World Painted Blood
- World Painted Blood
- Human Strain
© 2016 Ara Vahanian