SLAYER – Show No Mercy

SLAYER - Show No Mercy


Metal Blade Records
Release date: December 3, 1983

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1983. The beginning of the Metal Renaissance. Musicians were getting together in dingy bars, nightclubs, and garages with dreams of creating the next revolution in Rock and Roll. From these dreams came an uprising in what was known as Hard Rock. One can thank bands like Van Halen, Accept, Judas Priest, Saxon, Kiss, and Iron Maiden for bringing Heavy Metal to the masses.

Many bands introduced themselves to Metalheads that year; Metallica, Dokken, Queensryche, and Pantera to name a few, but the turning point of the Metal rebellion was created by one band: Slayer. With them came the creation of the Metal subgenre, Death Metal.

Slayer’s first journey into the abyss started with the 1983 debut, Show No Mercy, released by Metal Blade Records. With Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman on the axes, Dave Lombardo on skins, and Tom Araya, bass and vocals, they created the beginning of a 20+ year voyage, much to the appreciation of their very loyal fan base.

Coming at a time when British Metal was king, Slayer set the bar for things to come. Piercing screams, serious guitar riffs, and percussions that left you with your jaw agape set them apart from others in the ocean of new Metal bands.

Show No Mercy has 10 short tracks with all but two songs coming in at less than four minutes, making it a thirty-five minute crash course in Death Metal. The songs continue to grow in speed and aggression as they flow effortlessly into the lower depths of your soul. “Evil Has No Boundaries” starts the album off right with a vocal assault giving you a preview of Araya’s vocal talents. One can hear Araya’s fascination with serial killers and war in the lyrics of “Tormentor” and “Die By The Sword.” You can feel the intensity Hanneman and King are putting their guitars through in “Final Command,” and you can see your mother cringe as you listen to Lombardo’s flawless drum intro for the “Show No Mercy” devilish undertone, putting the listener on a roller coaster ride through Hell with a smile on their faces and doing a damn good job at that.

The album was not received with much acclaim at that time, but even after 20 years, Slayer still plays several songs from Show No Mercy as part of their current shows. To date, they have put out 9 LP’s, 2 live albums, countless soundtracks and compilations with other artists, and several EP’s, including the 6/6/06 release of Eternal Pyre that comes with one track from their forthcoming LP and some DVD footage. They are currently working on a new album, and starting The Unholy Alliance Tour on June 6, 2006.

The quartet from California probably didn’t know that they would inspire this generation and future generations of Metalheads in 1983. But, thanks to perseverance, dedication, desire to be heard, and the strive to be louder, faster, and eviler, they have done just that. Feared by some, rejoiced by others, idolized by all, undoubtedly Slayer is and will always be the godfathers of Thrash Metal.


  • Jason Soto

    Jason was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was never really into the Glam Metal scene and stuck to Thrash/Hardcore Metal. Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, Samhain, etc., and Classic Rock like Sabbath, CCR, The Doors, Hendrix, etc. He went to as many concerts as his wallet would allow, and snuck into a few too. Jason lived in Germany for ten years, where he took advantage of all the Metal opportunities Deutschland can offer. He went to Rock-Am-Park a few times. Saw Slayer with Cradle of Filth in Boblingen. He also saw Danzig at a small club outside of Stuttgart. His highlight was getting backstage with Sepultura and getting autographs and a folding chair after they played a helluva show. Back in Texas he saw Social Distortion at Stubbs BBQ in Austin, and Ozzfest with the original Black Sabbath lineup.

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