Sep 202019


(This is the fourth installment in an extensive series of posts by TheMadIsraeli devoted to a retrospective analysis of the discography of Slayer. Links to the preceding installments are at the end of this post. Our plan is to continue posting the remaining Parts on a daily basis until the series is completed.  NOTE:  Through an oversight, the assessment of Hell Awaits got skipped in the sequence, but we’ll have that installment after this one.)

Reign In Blood is rightfully considered the breakout album for Slayer in terms of their really becoming noticed in a more widespread sense.  I say rightfully, but while Reign In Blood is a good album, it’s not great. I think for me this shortfall is due to the fact that it distinctly lacks much of what would hook me about Slayer as I explored the rest of their discography.

Kind of odd, right? Considering this is the record that exposed me to the band.  But my exploration of Slayer’s entire body of work ended up reshaping my perception of this album.  While I like it, I’ve come to think that it’s overrated. Continue reading »

Sep 192019


(This is the third installment in an extensive series of posts by TheMadIsraeli devoted to a retrospective analysis of the discography of Slayer. Our plan is to continue posting the remaining installments on a daily basis until it’s completed.)

I really want to know what inspired Slayer going into the writing of Haunting The Chapel.  It’s such an overnight transformation that the question of what caused it to occur boggles the mind. This EP is one of the best ever created in the history of metal.  It’s a top 10er at minimum.  It’s concise, vicious, and unrelenting, and the song-writing and riff-craft speak to a release that had obsessive amounts of loving attention and detail put into it. Everything about this EP is in that sweet spot between speed, technicality, drama, and unrelenting brutality. Continue reading »

Sep 182019


(This is the second installment in an extensive series of posts by TheMadIsraeli devoted to a retrospective analysis of the discography of Slayer. With luck, we’ll manage to post the remaining installments on a daily basis until it’s completed.)

The thing about these early proto-thrash albums is, frankly, that a lot of them kind of sound the same. Obviously, this isn’t a fault of the musicians, as this was a developing style at the time and a lot of people fail to remember that these bands all came up in the same area and no doubt fed off each other creatively.

For a proto-thrash record, however, Slayer’s Show No Mercy remains distinctive even for it’s time. While Metallica had a simplistic, straight-forward approach and Megadeth rejoiced in excessive technicality, Slayer knew how to write songs, and this record makes that fact more obvious than any other when placed in the context of when it came out. It’s brimming with energy, its mix is incredibly good for its era, and some of the song-writing ideas here were ahead of their time. Continue reading »

Sep 172019


(This is the first part of an extensive series of posts by TheMadIsraeli devoted to a retrospective analysis of the discography of Slayer. With luck, we’ll manage to post each installment on a daily basis until it’s completed.)

I fucking love Slayer. The blasphemous flesh flayers are no doubt legendary in metal’s history and its evolution, for good reason. The speed, sheer technicality, outright viciousness, and the new wave of dark tonality they brought was absolutely, existentially crucial in the birth of what we now know as extreme metal.

However, there’s always been a lot of conjecture around this band. Lots of fluff about legacy, how they influenced metal, etc., but no one (that I’ve seen) has applied a hard critical eye and evaluated this band’s entire catalogue of albums as a work of art. Not as a piece of history, not as an influence, not as an example of innovation, but as an assessment of how Slayer have performed as musicians across their body of  work over time. Continue reading »

Oct 222015



(This is Part III of a three-part article prepared by our Russian friend Comrade Aleks. Part I is here, Part II is here.)

This third part of an article that has mainly told the story of World War II’s Eastern Front was supposed to appear earlier, but for some reasons I couldn’t rush. Its structure isn’t so straight, but the main subjects of this part aren’t battles, but the dirtier side of War, War Crimes.

It’s impossible to believe that such things were done by human kind in the period from 1941 ’til 1945, yet these crimes in different forms continue to the present days. You’ll not find here my point of view – only facts from the internet which you can easily check, and mostly extreme and brutal musical points of view on the events of World War II.

Here we have tracks from KYPCK, 1349, Slayer, and Jucifer (again), and you’ll also find exclusive comments by such bands as Winterborn (with fierce and sudden audio help from Impaled Nazarene), The Committee, Cirith Gorgor, and Endstille — along with their music.

I have no quote of Erich Maria Remarque for this time. Just never forget. Continue reading »

Jul 312015


(Wil Cifer attended part of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival stop in Atlanta on July 29, 2015, and has a few thoughts about what he witnessed.)

There is no news like bad news, and the inner webs are quick to let you know it. So it’s no secret that this year’s Mayhem Festival has been getting more than its fair share of anti-hype. Kerry King spoke out against the lineup, saying “you need talent to make people feel like spending that much money”. I’m not sure if that was a self-deprecating stab at his own band or he really feels like going out with some bands the high school kids seem to love is mandatory career suicide.

The Mayhem Fest co-founder has gone on record saying the metal genre is in trouble because there are not many younger bands that have headlining power and blames the older bands for not taking less money, like punk rock bands, in order to benefit the scene. So I was curious when I checked the tour out myself. Continue reading »

Apr 242014

I’m about to leave my computer for the rest of the day, but before I go I thought I’d just paste the following announcement right here — because it’s Slayer.

Last night at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, SLAYER surprised the capacity crowd with an unannounced performance, kicking off the show with a three-song set that included the global premiere of “Implode,” the band’s first new studio recording in five years.

Recorded earlier this month at Henson Studios in Los Angeles and produced by Terry Date with co-producer Greg Fidelman, “Implode” is now available as a free download as a “thank you” to the band’s fans for their continued support. As SLAYER guitarist Kerry King put it, “You’ve done for us, now we want to do for you.” Registered members of SLAYER’s fan club were the first to receive an e-mail to hear the song before it was made public. “Implode” can now be downloaded by all fans at

Continue reading »

Sep 222013

(It’s been a while since we received a guest post from Dane Prokofiev (who writes everywhere and has his own blog at Zetalambmary), but today he returns with an argument about why it’s worthwhile to use band comparisons in music reviews.) 

I used to dislike comparing a band whose album I was reviewing to another band in my written reviews and only resorted to doing so when I found absolutely nothing interesting about the band’s music to be worthy of description through the use of metaphors. Ever since my exposure to Saussurean semiotics, however, I have changed my mind.

Saussurean semiotics posits that there is no intrinsic connection between words and their meanings. That is to say, it is not natural for the word “dog” to refer to the concept of dog-ness. The word “dog” is a linguistic construct, something that is distinct from the concept of dog-ness. What English-speaking people label as “dog” is labeled as “الكلب” by Arabic-speaking people , “chien” by French-speaking people, “hunder” by Icelandic-speaking people, “犬” by Japanese-speaking people, and “狗” by Mandarin-speaking people. The fact that people use different words for the same object in different languages means that there is no particular connection between the word “dog” and the thing that we refer to as a “dog”.

The product of this arbitrary relationship between the signifier (“dog”) and the signified (the concept of dog-ness) is called the sign, which is the mental image that is conjured in a person’s mind when he or she sees the signifier and understands that it is referring to the signified, aka certain properties that constitute the thing-ness of something. Continue reading »

Sep 102013

Painstakingly selected from among the detritus that litters the interhole and the NCS in-box, here are items of interest that appeared over the last 24 hours.


If you need more darkness in your life — and who doesn’t? — then you should listen to Vermis, the new death metal monstrosity by New Zealand’s Ulcerate. The album won’t be released in North America until September 17 (a day earlier in the UK and September 13 in certain European countries), but yesterday Metal Sucks began hosting an exclusive stream of the album. Ulcerate are one of those rare death metal bands who are pushing (or dragging) the genre in new directions. The music of Vermis is harrowing and inhuman, but it exerts a powerful attraction. You should hear it.

THIS is the link for the stream.


The new Carcass album, which we reviewed here, is due for release on September 16. I have a feeling that anyone interested in hearing the new Carcass album has already heard it, but just in case, it’s now streaming in full, too. Nuclear Blast has uploaded the entire album to YouTube. Obviously, it’s one of the biggest releases of 2013, and it also happens to be a fine album. You can hear it next.  (thanks Daniel for the tip) Continue reading »

Sep 042013

Yesterday I posted our final article of the day at about 1:30 pm EDT and then turned my attention for the rest of the day to what I actually get paid to do. While I wasn’t looking, someone re-opened Pandora’s box and a horde of red-eyed bat-winged things flew out in a blizzard of leathery wings and ammoniac guano. Yeah, baby, a veritable flood of nasty shit — so many noteworthy news items and new songs that to fit all of them in this post will require that I wire my jaws shut and mumble only a few words per item. Here . . . we . . . GO!


It started with dates in Hollywood and NYC and predictably has now mushroomed into a full U.S. tour. Well, at least 16 cities in the fullness of the U.S., which do not include all the wonderful cities in the Pacific Northwest or 36 other states. But fear not, others may yet get to see Gojira (!!!), the aging remnants of Slayer, and Melbourne’s 4ARM, because more dates will be announced later. Here are the ones announced yesterday:

25 The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
28 Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA
30 Events Center @ San Jose State, San Jose, CA Continue reading »