(TheMadIsraeli has reached an ugly point in his chronological series on the discography of Slayer, with the subject now being the band’s 2009 album World Painted Blood. Links to previous installments in the series are at the end of this post.)
World Painted Blood was heavily marketed as a “return to form”, a throwback album to Slayer’s glory days, and the fanbase seemed to eat the PR campaign for this album the fuck up. Lots of music journos at the time heaped endless praise onto this album. I was excited for this record, because while I had enjoyed Slayer’s more modern direction I had faith the band could reproduce something as good as Reign In Blood or South Of Heaven. I pre-ordered the album, received my copy, popped it in and began listening.
I wish I could get that money and time back.
World Painted Blood might very well be the worst Slayer record. Upon further reflection, I actually think this album is so bad it’s obviously the worst. It hits the worst note of washed-up old men trying to recapture past glories. The songs are boring, the riffs uninspired, Araya’s vocals are at an all-time strained low, and to top it all off it’s all encased in a carbonite tomb of quite possibly the worst mix on a thrash album I’ve heard that wasn’t Metallica’s St Anger. It’s a weak, ineffectual album that just reeks of insincerity and a desperate misguided attempt to please old school fans who didn’t evolve with the band.
The thing is, what I said there should be about all that needs to be said about this record. Songs like the title track, “Hate Worldwide”, “Snuff”, and many other songs on the track list are about as inspired as a year-long guitarist’s first thrash song from Ultimate Guitar’s forums back in the day. Nothing about the riffs on this album feels like the band even likes this music they wrote, which I know is an odd thing to say, but it’s a record so devoid of passion and drive that I really struggle to understand how it was even made.
The album’s horrible production is really brought to the forefront by songs like “Americon” (the only down-tuned song on the album, really highlighting the record’s ATROCIOUS guitar tone). “Unit 731“, a song that is a bit better than the average on this record and was probably written during the Christ Illusion sessions has a fantastic array of riffs ruined by the flaccid drum mix and guitars that sound like they were recorded with fifty-buck practice amps bought at pawn shops. I seriously can’t think of much good at all to say about this album. It’s flat-out awful. I can’t even express my contempt for how awful it is, though I’ve tried.
The only good song on here is “Psycopathy Red”, which is the only one with the sort of riff flavor, bile, and bitterness that makes Slayer Slayer, but it’s also extremely hampered by the AWFUL mix of this record.
Just absolutely atrocious. I hated having to listen to this shit over again for this project.
PART 1 (Intro)
PART 2 (Show No Mercy)
PART 3 (Haunting the Chapel)
PART 4 (Hell Awaits)
PART 5 (Reign In Blood)
PART 6 (South of Heaven)
PART 7 (Seasons In the Abyss)
PART 8 (Divine Intervention)
PART 9 (Diabolus In Musica)
PART 10 (God Hates Us All)
PART 11 (Christ Illusion)
Wow – I love this album and would rate it way, way higher than the 3 albums that proceeded it, and to my ears is a far better than their final and disappointing effort ‘Repentless’
Yes, the production is a bit thin and ‘Demo’ sounding but the drum mix for me is perfect, and Lombardo sounds great throughout. Utter lack of Tom’s bass, as on ‘Repentless’, is a bit rubbish but not the end of the world.
Song wise this has some of the best Slayer songs in years and has very few of the basic and uninspired downtuned numbers the prior albums had.
The back to back punch in the head of ‘Unit 731′ and Snuff’ is fantastic. The title track is one of the best Slayer album openers full stop. ‘Hate Worldwide’ ‘Psychopathy’ Red and ‘Not of this god’ are all bloody strong songs as well.
‘Public Display…’ with Lombardo busting out his blast-beats again is a total win as well.
A really strong album overall IMO.
World Painted Blood is not Slayer’s worst album by any means whatsoever! It is not close to their best either. I put it somewhere in the middle.
The title track is so fucking bad that it made me decide not to purchase any more Slayer albums. Listening to it again while reading this, it sounds even worse.
I loved this album. Thought it had some great songs on it. But the mix, as stated, is terrible. No dynamics to it at all.
It’s a pretty bad album. Hate Worldwide is absolutely embarassing, as are most all of Kerry King’s post-Seasons lyrics. There’s a couple of songs that would’ve been ok without Tom Araya screaming and yelling over them. Not an album I’d listen to again
Another great album, and unfortunately the last to feature the original lineup. But they delivered the goods. The title track is a monster and just made to kick off a Slayer concert. There’s several standout tracks like Snuff, Hate Worldwide, and Psycopathy Red.
As with Christ Illusion, Araya was singing in a lower pitch that sounds less forced than God Hates Us All, while still sounding powerful and melodic. I saw then on this tour cycle and his vocals still impress the hell out of me. Age has lpowered his pitch, but the power and intensity has never wained.
I absolutely hated this album when I first heard it. In the following weeks, it didn’t really grow on me, either. However as more and more time has gone on, I’ve grown to really love it. Ok, “Americon” is a terrible song, there are a few recycled riffs here and there, and the production leaves a lot to be desired, but overall this album is great. I feel it’s easily on par with Christ Illusion and Divine Intervention in terms of quality. The worst album from Slayer to my ears is still Diabolus.
I thought “Playing with Dolls” was an interesting song, at least.
I am amazed by how many people dislike this album. It just sounds like Slayer to me. Folks, not every CD is going to be mixed and engineered the same. Get over that! Every good band tries new mixing techniques. Different isn’t bad! You over analyzing it is.
The songs are solid and aggressive as always.
This album seems to suffer from “Divine Intervention” syndrome, as in 50% of Slayer fans love it and the other hate it for what seems strange and inexplicable reasons.
I was attracted to the extreme creepiness of the title track, the funeral doom type intro to it still being perfectly chilling. Plus it’s middle part is a mix of Angel of Death’s and Fictional Reality with the metal ring on the finger noise bridge. I never had a problem with the mix, but if you do, get to hear the album on vinyl, and one of the reissues, the ones with a catalogue number like this B0018857-01, starting with B are secretly remastered, they’re from 2013 and 2014 reissues, they sound better than the original. Now with production aside.
Not Of This God might have one of the best thrash breakdown and explosion in speed with solo. I love its death metallish main guitar riff, the short blast beat at the end when Tom yells “NOT OF THIS….NOT OF THIS GOOOOODDD!!!!”. Really the only songs I think are average in quality are Public Display of Dismemberment (despite the blastbeats and mad drumming in general) and Playing With Dolls, which works but is the weakest of their slow creepy doomy songs out there. Another highlight is the soloing in Hate Worldwide, despite the weak lyrics, it works because it’s so beautifully intense, their soloing is at levels it hadn’t been since Seasons/Divine on here generally, but even the surprising changes in riffs under the solo, which leads, literally where the song goes next, is part of the thrash pantheon of riffs/solos.
I think the overhype about Lombardo during that era might be what caused this kind of review to exist. I’ll agree that the fast riff in the title track is a bit easy to play (aka lazy), but it works. Americon doesn’t bother me at all, the punky riff and the double bass are killer and again when the soloing comes in..
But the eargasm for me here is Snuff and Beauty Through Order, the latter being so full of tempo changes, it is exciting to hear what comes next at first listen. Tom using his singing voice similar as in SoH and SitA works well considering he’s singing from the perspective of the most evil medieval Queen of all time. And that sweet circle pit summoning preceded by the creepy riff exchange when Tom goes “heated iron bar I’ll insert inside your cunt, princess of cruelty…”. I only wish it wasn’t placed right after Snuff because they have similar endings (explosive with a repeating line getting more intense at every utterance.
That album determined late 2009 and the “fears” in the air there were from H1N1 (laughable then to me, laughable later, only know one person who bothered getting the shot for that), most ended up in the medical waste disposal furnace…but the doomy drone of Human Strain works for me, as I expect just what the lyrics describe in the song too, adding more serious feels to the song, the new coronavirus is coming from the Pacific Ocean (I could go on about that but it’s not the place nor the time…I just woke up).