The American thrash metal band was the brainchild of four musical proteges, i.e., Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman as guitarists, Dave Lombardo as the drummer and Tom Araya as bassist and lead vocalist. They came together in 1981 to form the Slayer in Huntington Park, California. Slayer’s aggressive riffs and fast tempo music earned them a reputation among three other legendry metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax to make the big four.
Slayer’s members have been changing over time. The final members, before the group was disbanded, were King, Araya, Paul Bostaph and Jon Dette as drummer and guitarist Gary Holt. Lombardo was replaced by Paul in 1992 and finally in 2013. Holt replaced Hanneman in 2011.
The original trio of King, Hanneman, and Araya wrote the lyrics while the first two were responsible for making the adrenaline pumping compositions. The lyrics and album cover of their music represented some dark themes such as: –
- Murder, serial killers, torture, organised crime, hate crimes, terrorism, and genocide
- Politics, theories, human subject research, and secret societies,
- Mythology, occultism, Satanism, religion or antireligion,
- Nazism, fascism, racism, xenophobia, war and prison,
Sometimes, their album was banned because of touching into sensitive subjects. Their release was delayed, attracted lawsuits, and drew flak from religious institutions and the general public because of their extremist views. However, this doesn’t deter them from making their music as it was. Their songs were highly influential and were considered musically, visually, and lyrically moving. Reign in Blood is elucidated as a genre in itself. Its described as having the most stirring music in the thrash metal genre. It was Slayer’s third album which was released in 1986.
Here is a list of Slayer’s discographies: –
- Studio albums- 12
- Live albums- 2
- Box set- 1
- Music videos- 6
- Extended plays- 2
- Cover album- 1
The Slayer’s four studio albums have received gold certification in the United States. The band is said to have sold 20 million copies worldwide according to Nielsen SoundScan. The band sold over 5 million copies in the USA alone from 1991 to 2013.
The band had a successful journey. It won a Grammy Award in 2007 for Eye of the Insane and in 2008 for Final Six. They have been nominated five times. Both the songs that won the Grammy’s were from their album Christ Illusion which was released in 2006. Slayer announced the disbandment in 2018 after performing and releasing music for almost 3 decades. The disbandment was to follow a farewell tour that started in May 2018 and culminated in November 2019.
AllMusic stated once that the style of Slayer made it unique and stronger than other bands of the big four. The band left bigger shoes to fill with a shiny legacy missed by their fans worldwide.