American Recordings – 2009 – USA
When every up-and-coming thrash metal band sounds like Slayer, it must be difficult for the originators themselves to stand apart, right? Exactly. Slayer’s newest opens with a bareknuckle title track that abandons the quartet’s chunkier material post-“Seasons In the Abyss” and harkens to their ‘classic’ material. The stripped down sound driven by Dave Lombardo’s (unimaginative) drumming and those ticklish pestilential riffs glazed over by Tom Araya’s signature bark return with full force here, albeit with far less venom as before.
Naturally, those forever blinded to Slayer will find no fault in this album, but for the rest of us “World Painted Blood” is tough-love. Its slap dash compositions come off as generic Slayer songs that use the same ingredients over and over. Though murderous tracks such as “Unit 731,” “Psychopathy Red,” and the asinine “Hate Worldwide” shine amidst less imaginative songs, most of “World Painted Blood” is a by-the-numbers affair. Even the band’s energy seems lacking, as if they were going about the business of aural brutality with their eyes closed. Again, take Dave Lombardo, whose work outside Slayer (like that short stint with Testament in the late 90’s) eclipses this album’s lackluster percussion work, which is kinda…*yawn*
Content-wise, this is vintage Slayer, judging by the fascist undertones of “Beauty Through Order,” “Americon”’s political bent, the gore-infested “Psychopathy Red,” and the oddly titled “Playing With Dolls.” Of course, ignoring Tom Araya’s Roman Catholicism (hello “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey”?) the boys take aim at the father of all things with the apt finisher “Not of This God.” (Even if God listens to Slayer.) On matters of production “World Painted Blood” is as bare bones as these guys have ever been, like they stepped back in time to their first four albums. The cover art? How about f-u-c-k-i-n-g-d-u-l-l.
In summation, this new opus from thrash’s greatest is reliable, but (ahem) T-E-D-I-O-U-S. “Workmanlike” would also fit. How about meat and potatoes? Geriatric? Seriously, Slayer should tour with Holy Moses and At War, two bands whose latest albums have been well-received here at Extreminal. Why? Because they’re all cut from the same mold. The Slayer mold.
Hate this album already?
Just remember God hates YOU muthafucka, because he LISTENS to…