This book had been on my queue for quite a long time. Luckily Slayer never gets old so this book is still relevant! It’s been 30 years since they released their debut album (Show No Mercy). I’ve listened to all of their albums countless times yet whenever I need something fast and heavy the name Slayer comes to mind first. Now that Jeff Hanneman is dead and Dave Lombardo has left the band (yet again), they are close to the end of their careers at least in terms of releasing new material. So I’m glad I got to finish the book before they disbanded!
This book was written in 2008 and it covers all but the last album (World Painted Blood). Honestly I finished the book just because it is about one of my favourite bands, not because it was a page-turner. In the beginning, the sections about the early years of the band are rather interesting but later on it doesn’t offer much.
It’s like a collection of album reviews. I liked the album review parts, analyzing all songs helps understand them better. But I think there is just too much boring stuff. The stuff that might make sense if you read it in an article about a recent article. But pointless and irrelevant after the album is released 15 years ago.
It was also a bit disappointment to see how boring the lives of the band members are! They are just 4 regular guys that come together to make the records and then live their separate lives. Of course, as the author mentions, this is not an official book endorsed by the band. So maybe it’s coming across boring because of the lack of information released by the members.
Anyway, I’d not recommend this book unless you are a diehard Slayer fan. Even in that case I’d recommend to buy it just because it would look cool on your bookshelf. It’s a nice-looking hardcover book but the contents are just too mundane. There are not much interesting notes I remember from the book but here’s some trivia that I found enjoyable:
- Tom Araya’s birthday is on June 6 (Sixth day of the sixth month!)
- In the early years they stole lights from nearby houses to use them in their shows
- The producers of the debut album are Brian SLAgel and Bill MetoYER (get it?)
- Lombardo recorded Show No Mercy without cymbals because of the studio’s inadequacy. Later he overdubbed the cymbals.
- Slayer name was owned by a San Antonio-based band. They even supported LA Slayer one night.
- Kerry King played for Dave Mustaine’s Megadeth in some shows. Mustaine tried to convince him to join his band permanently (but failed in the end obviously)
- Dave Lombardo keft the band in 1986 because he wasn’t allowed to bring his wife on tour. A few months later he joined back only to quit again in 1992.
- They toured with Megadeth, Anthrax, Suicial Tendencies in Tge Big Four of Thrash and had personal issues with Dave Mustaine. Turns out Mustaine had issues with everybody else too in the industry!
- The idea of Wall of Blood (Sprinkler for fake blood at the beginning of Raining Blood) came up to Hanneman while watching the movie Blade