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SLAYER
Show No Mercy


Metal Blade (1983)
Rating: 9/10


The final weeks of 1983 saw the release of this… one of the heaviest, fastest, most awesome albums of all time!

Side one contains two Satanical mayhem classics – the 100mph opener ‘Evil Has No Boundaries’ and closer ‘Metal Storm / Face The Slayer’, which has a great build-up that explodes into a barrage of metallic death. Sandwiched between these gems are ‘The Antichrist’, ‘Die By The Sword’ and ‘Fight Till Death’. Each guaranteed to give severe neck dislocation to all but the hardest of hardcore metal fans.

Obvious musical comparisons can be made with Metallica, Exciter and Venom, and these influences are best witnessed on ‘Black Magic’. This track, which opens side two, is for me the highlight of the album, with bassist Tom Araya’s Cronos-like vocals delivering tales of evil amidst a wall of tight riffing, power drumming and lightning lead work. Satanic metal, power metal… call it what you like – this is just fuckin’ excellent!!!

If you’re still standing after ‘Black Magic’ then prepare for the onslaught of ‘Tormentor’ – yet more speed metal.

Basically Slayer play in two styles – fast and faster! In fact, the next cut, ‘The Final Command’, is on the verge of being too fast, and I must admit I find it a little monotonous.

‘Crionics’, dare I say it, features a touch of melody (à la Iron Maiden) amongst all the mayhem. Whilst the title track, ‘Show No Mercy’, is a fitting closer, even if it does sound like a Satanic version of Metallica’s classic ‘Whiplash’!

So there you have it, a highly recommended album that leaves the question: “How much heavier and faster can heavy metal get?”

Bernard Doe

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 3 (1984)


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