Slayer: World Painted Blood
By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal
Release Date: November 3rd, 2009
Record Label: Columbia Records
My rating points:
One of the most anticipated metal albums of 2009 is finally here and it's the eleventh studio effort by none other than the thrash titans themselves, Slayer! I just got my hands on the limited edition and I can't even express how excited I am as I listen to this for the first time. This album has been talked about for quite a few months and I feel its definitely worth the wait! Here's a detailed track-by-track review for you.
The album kicks off with the title song 'World Painted Blood' itself. It has music written by Jeff Hanneman and the lyrics are by Jeff and Tom. It starts slowly with just a few drum beats and some dark guitar riffs but builds up very well. Tom Araya's brutal vocals kick in after about a minute, accompanied by riffs and drum beats at usual Slayer speed. But the song slows back down again after the chorus. Its quite an interesting song where the tempo keeps changing frequently. The short guitar solo is made up of just a few bent notes and nothing more than that. After reading the lyrics I'm amazed by the sheer number of lines that Tom Araya is able to sing in under 6 minutes. As the title suggests, this song talks about how death is spreading all over the world and the entire population is dying. The song isn't the best in this album but it's a great starter and gives an insight into what the album is like in terms of the music and lyrics.
The next song 'Unit 731', written by Jeff, blasts off with lightning fast riffs and signature Dave Lombardo style double bass drums. In contrast to the opening song, it's a typical Slayer song and never gives you a breather even for one second. This is thrash at its most brutal, which should keep all the mosh pits and head bangers going when the band decide to play it in shows. Lyrically the song talks in the first person about enjoying massacre and killing. Jeff's wah-filled solo is good. I look forward to hearing it live and signing along with the last line of the song 'You will see me in hell'!
The song 'Snuff' starts off with Jeff and Kerry's solos unlike most other Slayer songs where the solos come somewhere in the middle. The song keeps up with the speed of the previous one except for the chorus which is similar to the opening track. There are two more solos by Kerry in the latter half of the song. I really like these solos. It goes perfectly with the lyrics and the combination creates quite an aggressive and dark atmosphere for the listener. In terms of lyrics, it continues to describe the thrill and obsession of murder. The last two lines 'murder is my future, killing is my future' one should be another popular sing along for the fans. This is the first of five songs written entirely by Kerry King.
After these two amazingly furious tracks, 'Beauty Through Order' gets off to a much slower start. It stays that way except during the two guitar solos. I really love the solos and riffs in the album so far. The last few lines include the words 'My birthright is murder' give a perfect indication of what the song is about. Writing credits for this one go to Jeff and Tom. I feel the song is a little too long for a Slayer track, clocking 4 minutes and 37 seconds. Its probably the reason why it loses some of its impact. A good track none-the-less, and one that will grow on the listener with repeated listens.
Track 5 is called 'Hate Worldwide', a song I had heard when it was released by itself a couple of months back. I have to admit I like the song more than I did back then. So may be it doesn't stand out on its own but goes well when you listen to the songs in the album leading up to it. The opening riffs and lyrics are pretty generic. King has written this song on his own and his solo is really good in this one, may be even his best solo of the album.
This is followed by another song written by King, 'Public Display Of Dismemberment'. The intro riffs are great. The song follows the pattern of the title track, having a few changes in tempo. Kerry has again done a good job with the solo. Except for the intro riff, there's nothing in this song that really stands out and stays in your head but it fits in with the rest of the album.
The next song 'Human Strain' has music written by Jeff Hanneman and lyrics by Araya and Hanneman . Its slow but I personally love this because its quite dark and heavy. The lead guitar parts in this one are some of the best work in the whole album. This is definitely one of my favourite songs on the album and I pray that I get to see the band play it live sometime in the near future. Hanneman and Tom Araya have proved that Slayer are very well capable of coming up with this type of song in addition to the usual 'thrashy' tunes that form the majority of Slayer's reputation in the metal world. The graphic version of this song on the bonus DVD is amazing too!
The song 'Americon', written by King, continues to give out the dark aura that has been created by the previous few songs specially 'Human Strain'. This song has a mid-tempo to it, which goes pretty well with its dark feel. The guitar riffs that go with the chorus and also at the end are nothing short of awesome. Musically this is one of the best songs on the album for sure. I would be very tempted to hit the 'repeat' button whenever I listen to this song.
Next comes a song which I've already heard countless number of times ever since it came out at the beginning of this year and saw the band play it at their Mayhem festival gig a few months back. 'Psychopathy Red', written by Jeff is the shortest song on the album and its also the fastest, 'thrashiest' and most aggressive tune. This is one song during which you wouldn't even care how the riffs and solos are sounding or what the lyrics are trying to say. All you'll do is bang that head of yours. If this doesn't get your head banging, I don't know what will! A tune that every thrash metal fan should be instantly hooked to!
After the lightning fast Pyschopathy Red comes 'Playing With Dolls' written by the team of King, Araya and Hanneman. From the pure old school thrash metal in the previous song this takes the album back to its dark, heavy and slow/mid-tempo state that 'Americon' and a few others had given to it. The guitar parts have been written brilliantly in this one and in my opinion, guitar-wise this is the best song on the album.
The album comes to an end with 'Not Of This God' written by King. Another song which I feel could have been shortened a little bit. It follows a generic pattern of fast intro-slow interlude-fast ending. It's a decent song but there could have been a shorter, faster ending to the album.
Overall, there is a lot of variety in this album with some old school thrash as well as some slow and dark tunes. The band has shown that they still have what it takes to deliver the goods for their fans. Every Slayer fan should definitely go out and get this. I would recommend buying the limited edition because it comes with a 20-minute graphic novel 'Playing With Dolls' on a bonus DVD. I've seen the DVD and without giving anything away, I would say that its absolutely amazing and brutal. This album is right up there with Megadeth's Endgame and should succeed in keeping the fans happy. Rock out to World Painted Blood!! \m/To buy the CD and for more information, check out www.slayer.net
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