Slayer’s ‘Reign in Blood’ Turns 30: Rockers Reflect
On Oct. 7, 1986, the world of metal would forever be changed with one of the most brutal, heaviest releases ever -- Slayer's Reign in Blood. The iconic album turns 30 today and we recently spoke with a number of acts at the Ozzfest Meets Knotfest festival about the album and Slayer's music in general.
Trivium's Corey Beaulieu recalled, "That's obviously one of the best metal records ever. I remember when I first got that record. I think the first Slayer record I ever got was Divine Intervention. I found it at a pawn shop surprisingly and thought wow, this is really cool. So then I went and got Reign in Blood and it just kind of blew my mind with the speed and the aggression."
He adds, "I still think 'Angel of Death' is one of the best metal songs of all-time. Instantly, when I heard that song, I just thought, 'That song f--king rules' and I think so to this day that that song just never gets old. It's just like a perfect, perfect song. Every aspect of it is just evil as f--k, and it's just amazing. Plus that record, that's not one bad song on that record. It's 30 minutes of f--kin fury. That's just a record that's untouchable."
Goatwhore's Ben Falgoust says the album got him in a bit of trouble growing up. "It impacted me in school to lose points in a class because we were hanging out in the bleachers listening to it. That caused me to get a zero that day," says the singer, who adds that Slayer is one of the band's he would love to tour with. He says his dream bill is Goatwhore playing with Slayer and Judas Priest.
Suicide Silence's Mark Heylmun says, "It's f--king 26 minutes long. It will make you s--t your pants. I f--kin' hated it the first time I heard it. That's the funny thing about it. I was too young. I didn't really get it, but it's insane how there could be something so harsh that eventually you're like wow, it comes back around and I understand it. Same thing with Chaosphere from Meshuggah. But it's timeless and completely aggressive. It's so wrong too. That's the best thing about it is it's so wrong. Why did Rick Rubin even work on that record? It's like, is that real? That's just insane." Heylmun's bandmate, Eddie Hermida added, "It speaks for centuries and centuries. It's perfect music."
Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta told us, "I love that record, and I believe we did the 20th anniversary tour when they did that album. Yeah, that's still up in my favorites and they're still one of the bests. I love Slayer still and I recently revisited Christ Illusion and those later records and they're killer too. They're one of the most consistent, brutal, yet still catchy bands out there. That's going to be great. 30 years is incredible."
Oni's Jake Oni was born years after Reign in Blood was released, but says he made sure to check it out while developing his metal knowledge. "It's crazy that it's 30 years ago but it's awesome that Slayer is still kicking ass today," says the singer. "They have definitely influenced all of the extreme metal that we have. It's a special record."
DevilDriver's Dez Fafara states, "That band, a seminal band. Where would all of us be without them. 30 years of Reign in Blood, c'mon man. And every time I've seen Slayer, they f--kin bring it. Slayer is the one name that people scream at any concert. I don't give a f--k if it's Taylor Swift or some punk band. They're saying 'Slayer' and there's a f--king reason. They bring it, they bring it hard, they bring it original, they bring it real and it's a pleasure to know those guys. Just to be able to speak about them is a pleasure."
Zakk Wylde reflected on what it means to be a Slayer fan, stating, "With Slayer in general, it's bigger than a band, it's a mindset. It's a lifestyle. If you're a Slayer fan, you're a lifer. Those guys are like the hardest working guys in show business. They never stop working. God bless 'em. They're a symbol of testicular fortitude and a work ethic of doom. So kid, you want to be like Slayer? Well then you better be ready to do some work."
Disturbed drummer Mike Wengren congratulates Slayer on the anniversary, stating, "I respect the guys and I respect the band. They've made a huge contribution to that genre of music. I'm proud of them and I'm happy for their success and wish them all the best." Meanwhile, Anthrax's Frank Bello, who is currently on tour with Slayer, says he's sure there will be a celebration to mark the occasion, "It's a classic. I mean not only are they my buds, but look, it's a classic Slayer record. There will be a lot of Jagermeister and a lot of craziness to celebrate."
Loudwire sends our congrats along to Slayer for 30 years of Reign in Blood. Read more about the album's history by clicking on the red button below for our anniversary piece.
Slayer's Kerry King Plays 'Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?'
See Where Slayer's 'Reign in Blood' Landed on the Top 80 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1980s