I've never met a Slayer album I didn't like...some are just better than others. Most Slayer fans would agree that the three albums released between 1986 and 1990, Reign In Blood, South Of Heaven and Seasons In The Abyss are the bands best with most picking Reign In Blood as the ultimate Slayer album. While I do love Reign In Blood, I've always leaned towards South Of Heaven and Seasons In The Abyss in a tie for #1 as my favorite Slayer. Today, Slayer released World Painted Blood, their 10th studio album (11th if you count the covers record Undisputed Attitude) and as I've come to expect with this band, it is awesome. There is no real descriptive review I can write of the band's sound because it simply sounds like Slayer and either you love that sound or you don't (and shame on you if you don't).
What I can say about World Painted Blood is that it is the best Slayer album since 1998's Diabolus In Musica. That isn't a dig on God Hates Us All or Christ Illusion (the two albums released between Diabolus and WPB) as they are both great, but this one is the first in a while to strike a healthy balance between fast, heavy Slayer and more "melodic" Slayer which is a recipe that worked nothing short of perfectly on Seasons In The Abyss. The album is excellent from start to finish, but my early favorites are "Beauty Through Order", "Playing With Dolls" and "Snuff".
I will also say that (and this might be a reflection of my age) the new Slayer is also better than a large majority of albums put out this year by newer metal bands. It is good to know that the "old guys" still have some tricks (and chops and licks) up their sleeves and that along with their peers in The Big Four Metallica (Death Magnetic) and Megadeth (Endgame) they can still put out great records (although Slayer has never had horribly misguided journeys in new directions in their sound like those two). Now if only Anthrax would get it together.....
"Playing With Dolls"
"Beauty Through Order"
World Painted Blood Digital Press Release