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  • Writer's pictureEtienne Pelosoff

3 reasons ‘Reign in Blood’ was the precursor of Black Metal

Today, ‘Reign in Blood’ is 35 years old (damn!) and to me, this is still one of the most extreme albums out there that brought together the essential ingredients for black metal to emerge. Here’s 3 reasons why.

1. The Obscene Imaginary

Bosch’s most famous painting as the artwork is a sufficient reason for representing the core of the whole gothic aesthetics in black metal. Even more shocking are the lyrics, showing the taste for provocation which black metal will thrive on. What about this inhuman scream of suffering which starts the album with ‘Angel of Death’? Slayer took thrash metal to a whole new level of extreme with the sound, the visual and the lyrics.

2. The Hellish Ambiance

To me, this is the most atmospheric record of Slayer, and part of it comes from the organic nature of the recording. An album such as ‘God Hates Us All’ will be much more focused on transients and rhythm. On the contrary, ‘Reign in Blood’ presents this raw and mysterious trve vibe which will remain at the core of black metal. Even the sample of thunder in ‘Raining Blood’ embodies the whole atmospheric black metal tendency to come decades later.

3. Dave Lombardo on drums

Sure, no blast beat in this record. Yet Dave Lombardo smashes the double kick the same way black metal drummers will place blast beats at the center of their playing ten years later. Dave Lombardo keeps his playing simple and efficient. Rather than supporting the riffs, his double kick comes in to reinforce the atmosphere by providing a continuous layer of brutality. Not only does it make Dave Lombardo’s playing in this record exceptional, it also makes it a precursor of the black metal drumming style.

What is your favorite song in ‘Reign In Blood’? Or on the contrary, why would you not like about this? Do you also hear black metal in this album? Let me know in the comment!

Stay trve, stay jazz 🔥

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