So, you’re discovering Slayer for the first but don’t know where to start? Buckle up because we ranked their studio albums from worst to best, and this list will get you a better perspective on Slayer’s exceptional career and discography.
11. DIABOLUS IN MUSICA
Diabolus In Musica is the eighth studio album by Slayer. The album was released in 1998 and is considered by many fans to be one of their worst efforts.
Overall, the album partially maintains Slayer’s signature sound while incorporating elements that will later become signature moves of many nu metal bands. Because of thes exploration into unknown musical terrain, fans considered Diabolus In Musica a total departure from their esential thrash metal roots.
Highlights: Bitter Place, Stain Of Mind, and Scrum.
10. GOD HATES US ALL
Slayer’s 2001 effort, God Hates Us All, is a controversial and brutal exploration of the darker aspects of humanity and society. The album features heavy guitar riffs, intense drumming, and aggressive vocals. The lyrics touch on themes such as violence, religion, and the complexities of human emotion. While it was far better than Diabolus In Musica, this particular album was still far away from the sheer brutality Slayer delivered earlier in their career.
Highlights: Disciple, New Faith, Threshold, Exile, Seven Faces, Bloodline, War Zone, and Payback.
Repentless is the twelfth and final studio album by the American thrash metal band Slayer, released in 2015. The album was produced by Terry Date, who has worked with other famous metal bands such as Pantera and Deftones.
Slayer almost entirely come back to their roots with Repentless. Once again, they combined challenging riffs with ultra-fast beats, while Tom Araya’s voice sounded better than ever. The band did the right way and recorded an exceptional album that embraces thrash and modern metal aesthetics but still sounds like a classic Slayer album.
Highlights: Repentless, Take Control, Cast The First Stone, Piano Wire, Atrocity Vendor, You Against You, and Pride In Prejudice.
8. WORLD PAINTED BLOOD
World Painted Blood is the tenth studio album released on November 3, 2009, through American Recordings and Sony Music Entertainment. It was generally well-received by critics and fans alike, with many praising its brutal sound and return to the band’s thrash roots.
Highlights: World Painted Blood, Unit 731, Snuff, Hate Worldwide, Public Display Of Dismemberment, Americon, and Psychopathy Red.
7. CHRIST ILLUSION
Christ Illusion was the band’s first album to feature original drummer Dave Lombardo since 1990’s Seasons in the Abyss. Christ Illusion also includes the Grammy Award-winning songs Eyes of the Insane and Final Six. The album has been generally well received by critics and fans alike, with some considering it as a return to their Season Of The Abyss and South Of Heaven era after mixed reviews of God Hates Us All.
Highlights: Flesh Storm, Catalyst, Eyes Of The Insane, Consfearacy, Catatonic, and Cult.
6. DIVINE INTERVENTION
Although unquestionably different than their previous works, Divine Intervention showcases many impressive, technically demanding orchestrations in combination with brilliant ideas. The song structures were far more complex, and the band sounded heavier than ever.
Highlights: Killing Fields, Sex.Murder.Art, Fictional Reality, Dittohead, Divine Intervention, Circle Of Beliefs, and Mind Control.
5. SHOW NO MERCY
Although Slayer’s timeless classic debut Show No Mercy received mixed reviews upon its release on December 3, 1983, it still stands the test of time as one of the best thrash metal albums of that era. With songs exploring the themes such as occultism, horror movies, and politics, it also shaped the course of metal music in one way or another.
Highlights: Evil Has No Boundaries, Die By The Sword, Fight Till Death, Metal Storm / Face The Slayer, Black Metal, The Final Command, and Show No Mercy.
4. HELL AWAITS
Their second full-length release showcased many improvements in songwriting, composing, producing, and musicianship. At the time, the band already went to extremes with their provoking lyrics, but this particular album even went a step further. Back then, Hell Awaits unquestionably set the tone for the Slayer’s upcoming works that skyrocketed them to metal stardom.
Highlights: Hell Awaits, Kill Again, At Dawn They Sleep, Necrophiliac, Crypts Of Eternity, and Hardening Of The Arteries.
3. SOUTH OF HEAVEN
South of Heaven is an essential addition to any metalhead’s music collection. Released in 1988, the album features eight intense tracks that showcase the band’s signature thrash metal sound. From the haunting opening notes of the title track to catchy aggression of Spill The Blood, this album never lets up.
Highlights: No skips here.
2. SEASONS IN THE ABYSS
Released in 1990, Seasons In The Abyss features some of the band’s most impressive works like War Ensemble, Seasons In The Abyss, Dead Skin Mask, Hallowed Point, etc. The album showcases their signature moves that serve as a lecture in thrash and speed metal music of the early nineties. It’s a more than adequate demonstration of sheer aggression, power, and speed distilled into dynamic, complex, and perfectly balanced songs. Seasons In The Abyss will satisfy even the pickiest listeners.
Highlights: No skips here.
1.REIGN IN BLOOD
Slayer – Reign In Blood LP
Reign In Blood is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential thrash metal albums of all time. Clocking in at just under 29 minutes, the album’s nine tracks are a barrage of lightning-fast riffing, thunderous drums, and confrontational lyrics tackling topics like serial killers, war, and Satanism. Produced by Rick Rubin and featuring the iconic cover artwork by Larry Carroll, Reign In Blood is an essential listen for metal fans and a defining moment in Slayer’s career.
Highlights: Don’t even think about skipping tracks on this one.