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With World Painted Blood, Cali thrash-metal band Slayer continues to push buttons. However, they don't push the musical envelope. Here, the quartet has plagiarized their own work, but they were wise enough to choose their best album and decade for inspiration. Kerry King, one of the group's guitarists and songwriters, acknowledges as much: "The new music has an ’80s vibe to it."

The blistering hornet nest that is "Unit 731" harkens back to 1986’s "Postmortem." "Beauty Through Order," with its single-string guitar runs and 16th notes played on the bell of the ride cymbal, sounds reminiscent of Reign's signature cut "Angel of Death."

Slayer mixes things up slightly with a melodic, catchy number about the plague called "Human Strain." Lead vocalist/bassist Tom Arya even sings for a fleeting moment. But the group hasn't gone soft. The crooned lyrics, in true Slayer fashion, are disturbing. "Skinless resurrection/from the bodies of the dead/Sickness is increasing/as the oceans turn red."

The cool and punchy "Americon" espouses King's political views, "It's all about the mother fuckin' oil/regardless of the flag upon its soil/In a blood bath we pad our fuckin' greed/The price is high to maintain liberty." Perhaps the album's most unusual and interesting inclusion is "Playing with Dolls." The music ranging from ominous to high velocity is as manic as the lyrics and neither is recommended for the squeamish.

  • Album: World Painted Blood
  • Artist: Slayer
  • Label: American
  • Songs: (1) World Painted Blood (2) Unit 731 (3) Snuff (4) Beauty Through Order (5) Hate Worldwide (6) Public Display of Dismemberment (7) Human Strain (8) Americon (9) Psychopathy Red (10) Playing With Dolls (11) Not Of This God
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