Jason Buhrmester (writer)
Slayer fans are so devoted that one might throw up the devil horns and scream “Slayer!” through the window as this is being written. The thrash titans built that blind loyalty through an onslaught of savage albums and brutal live shows. The group’s 10th album continues the Slayer mission: Take the ugliness of the world and turn it back on itself. Chemical warfare (“Unit 731”), apocalypse (“World Painted Blood”), and pandemics (“Human Strain”) all get the Slayer treatment with sharp-as-shrapnel guitar riffs and thundering drums. The stabbing riff of “Hate Worldwide” is vintage Slayer as singer-bassist Tom Araya grimaces, “I’m a godless heretic/Not a God-fearing lunatic/That’s why it’s become my obsession/To treat God like an infection.” We never doubted them.