September 22, 2008

Slayer - Still Reigning (2004)

In 1986 the band Slayer released the album Reign in Blood. It clocks in at around 28 minutes, and is a beautiful assault on the senses. Never letting up for one second, it was, and still is over 20 years later, one of the most brutal Metal albums ever released. Although the band have released some fine albums since they have never managed to surpass Reign in Blood, and quite truthfully they don't need to try.

This live DVD showcases the band, with their original line-up of Tom Araya, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and returning drummer Dave Lombardo, playing the Reign in Blood album in it entirety start to finish. From the opening screams of Angel of Death through to the onstage bloodbath of Raining Blood, this is quite honestly a splendid live performance. Now, I am sure there was some technical jiggery pokery in the sound department prior to release, but what the Hell, this is quite exceptional viewing. For a band where the members of pushing 40 they never let up for one second. They don't rely on a stageshow, just four blokes, a stack of amps and a wall of sound. It's nigh on perfection. A fact that is helped no end by the numerous cameras used to capture the show.

As per usual the inbetween banter is kept to an absolute minimum, Araya knows that the fans are there to hear the music and that is what they get. I've seen Slayer play 4 times so far, and every time they have been amazing, and watching this DVD only goes to show that they have nailed down what they do best, and don't deviate from it. The only thing different here is the blood during Raining Blood; yes it does rain, and rather than coming across as cheesy worked quite well I thought.

Aside from this main performance of Reign in Blood there is also the option to watch the band belt out a few other of their classics, which include South of Heaven, Hallowed Point and the immortal Necrophiliac, and yes Araya does give us the maggot-crunching intro. There is also an interview with the band contained on the disc. Really though, the live performance alone makes it worth the price. It looks good, and it sounds good, having the choices between Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0.

Finally, i'll put aside the fanboy for a minute and just add that this is definitely a DVD for the fans, it's not the sort of release that is going to get a lot of casual viewers. If you don't like Slayer this probably won't win you over, although it might. If you are a fan? You'll love it!

Rating 3.5 stars (out of 4)

Review by Jude Felton

No comments: