SLAYER: Repentless: CD/LP

Repentless is Slayer’s first album without producer Rick Rubin and his American Records label. However, that hasn’t caused the band to change their style. It’s still what you’d expect from them: a nice mix of slower, darker tunes (“When the Stillness Comes”) and faster tracks, (“Repentless”). As drummer extraordinaire Dave Lombardo left the band, Slayer has gone back to their 1990s drummer Paul Bostaph. He’s not quite as good as his predecessor, especially with a lack of double bass in parts where it might add some more power to Slayer’s sound. Also missing is guitarist Jeff Hanneman’s nimble guitar playing and punk influence. Kerry King does a good job at channeling his sound here and there, but it would’ve been cool to see what Hanneman could’ve done with some of these songs. His lyrics would also be welcome as I always appreciated his take on serial killers and murder (not sure what that says about me, but whatever). For what it’s worth, King’s lyrics don’t seem as juvenile as they have on past albums and it’s not all about how much he hates Christianity (although there is some of that onRepentless). What you’re getting on these twelve songs is pretty par for the Slayer course. It’s good thrash with some fine guitar solos and heavy riffs. It’s not quite as good as their last album World Painted Blood, but there’s proof here that Slayer still has retained some of that mojo and is able to channel their past sound to continue to create heavy, credible songs.   –kurt (Nuclear Blast)