I’ve been a fan of Slayer way back since 1983 after buying their debut album Show No Mercy. 1985 saw Hell Awaits with the band playing a darn sight faster but the major game changer was Reign In Blood in 1986. For a measly £5.50 I got to see them on that tour, and they were breath-taking, as they took thrash metal to a new unfettered level.
Fast forward to the present day as they are coming to an end of their farewell tour. On a personal level I’ll be sad to see them go but the memories will remain. The Repentless Killogy film was shown for one night only in cinemas Worldwide on November 6th 2019 and it has certainly divided opinion. Basically the first half an hour is a gore galore film about a guy just known as Wyatt, played manically by Jason Trost, who goes on a killing spree, of (literally) eye popping special effects, as he hunts down his old Nazi gang who killed his partner. Slayer have always created controversy since their inception in 1981 so it’s no surprise that they are not going to hold back on the reins here. The band make cameo appearances, as does a grisly performance from Danny Trejo.
To add even more intensity there are three music videos from their final studio album Repentless, making it the soundtrack from hell. ‘You Against You’ sees the film live up to it’s Killogy moniker with a body count that makes Kill Bill look like Mary Poppins. ‘Repentless’ sees the band playing at the scene of a bone breaking prison breakout that kicks ‘St Anger’ by Metallica all the way to Alcatraz! ‘Pride In Prejudice’ sees the film reach new levels of insanity, which some will find disturbing to watch and it was nice of the band to include the audio for ‘Piano Wire’, written by sadly departed guitarist Jeff Hanneman from the World Painted Blood album sessions, re-recorded for the Repentless album.
Wyatt has now one more member (Luther) to kill and finds out, from a gig flyer, of Slayer playing at the Los Angeles Forum, August 5th 2017 where to find him, which ties the film with the show. So now we have Slayer in all their glory for ninety minutes, an aural and visual spectacle of might. Guitarists Kerry King and Gary Holt trade riffs and solos like two thrash metal gunslingers, drummer Paul Bostaph plays his sticks as if he had Thor’s hammer in either hand as lead vocalist/ bass guitarist Tom Araya delivers with an eerie calm. Twenty songs are thrashed out with aplomb with eyebrow singeing pyro to a rabid crowd.
Highlights are many but choice cuts are the monstrous riffing and wrist snapping snare work to set opener ‘Repentless’. ‘Antichrist’ from Show No Mercy shows that their early promise would soon manifest itself. The crowd go crazy as the opening riff to ‘Post Mortem’ blasts out and the outro still destroys thirty years on. A brief moment of calm sees Tom in the spotlight, soaking up the crowd adulation. Their is no bullshit bravado from this quietly spoken man as he eloquently thanks them for their support as they tear into a turbocharged ‘War Ensemble’.
A claustrophobic ‘Mandatory Suicide’ sees Tom ranting for the outro verse and he introduces a truly unnerving ‘Dead Skin Mask’ as “Here’s a tender love song for ya”. Huge cheers ring out for the opening chords to ‘Seasons In The Abyss’, a lumbering beast of a number. ‘Hell Awaits’ destroys everything in it’s path more than Godzilla ever could. How they keep up the pace here I’ll never know, especially Toms machine gun fire vocal delivery. They race towards the finish line with a quartet of stone cold classics beginning with a hypnotic ‘South Of Heaven’ that segues into the feedback drenched intro to ‘Raining Blood’ as the floor becomes one swirling pit. ‘Chemical Warfare’ defies belief with its inhuman time changes and they could only top that with the velocity of ‘Angel Of Death’. If this to be Slayers final release, they have certainly gone out on a high. Long may they reign!
The Repentless Killogy is out now on Nuclear Blast Records.
The Repentless Killogy track listing :-
Delusions Of Saviour’ (Intro).
When The Stillness Comes.
You Against You.
Dead Skin Mask.
Cast The First Stone.
Seasons In The Abyss.
South Of Heaven.
Angel Of Death.