Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Slayer

  • Reign in Blood [Def Jam, 1986] B+
  • South of Heaven [Def Jam, 1988] B-
  • Live: Decade of Aggression [Def American, 1991] *
  • God Hates Us All [American, 2001] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Reign in Blood [Def Jam, 1986]
I'm not about to check out the complete works of Venom to make sure you can't do better, but anyone who wants to know what gets Washington ladies hot should steal, tape, or purchase this piece of speed satanism quote unquote. Rick Rubin focused, CBS passed, guitar's quicker than a theremin on reverb, and "Jesus Saves" mauls the enemy. Who ain't Jesus--or, damn right, Satan either. B+

South of Heaven [Def Jam, 1988]
The slower tempos will please their target audience and diminish their joke appeal for outsiders. The lyric sheet will please their target audience and make outsiders laugh at them. (Two consecutive lines: "Impulsive habitat./Bastard sons begat your cunting daughters.") For guitarniks, anti-abortionists, and target audience only. B-

Live: Decade of Aggression [Def American, 1991]
praise the Lord--I can hardly understand a word they're singing ("Hell Awaits") *

God Hates Us All [American, 2001] Dud