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Top 10 Slayer Songs

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Peter Sotiriou. Formed in 1981 in Huntington, California by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, Slayer made a name for themselves as one of thrash metal's "Big Four" in the early '80s. Thanks to their fast-paced and unconventional guitar playing, double bass drumming and loud vocals, they have become one of the most influential heavy metal bands in recent decades. For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the band’s fan favorites as well as their most commercially successful songs. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Slayer Songs. Special thanks to our users Jason Lundgren, Eric Norris, Videomania English, Dibble. And Scott Breon for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Peter Sotiriou.

Top 10 Slayer Songs


Join us in the mosh pit with these thrash metal pioneers. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Slayer Songs.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the band’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “Chemical Warfare”
Haunting the Chapel (1984)

Just from that opening riff, the listener is already being set up for some damage. “Chemical Warfare” is about war and the use of modern tactics that rely on chemicals to eradicate opposing soldiers. Fast and aggressive, this Slayer track pounds on to the beat of the proverbial – and literal – drum. Originally released as part of their first EP, the thrash metal number was so popular it was added as a bonus track to the re-reissue of their first album Show No Mercy.

#9: “Black Magic”
Show No Mercy (1983)

The slow, rising intro builds up into this killer, memorable track from Slayer’s debut full-length. Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman shred through this song with memorable riffs and dazzling solos as Dave Lombardo’s power drumming and Tom Araya’s haunting vocals blend with the wicked themes of satanic rituals and possession. The band, in evil harmony, is capable of producing the same fear in the listener that the narrator experiences as demons pull him down to the depths of hell.

#8: “Dead Skin Mask”
Seasons in the Abyss (1990)

Serial killers are a common theme for these metal giants, as the perverse acts performed by these disturbed minds draw chills from anyone who listens to the stories; “Dead Skin Mask” is a song about famed maniac Ed Gein that succeeds in doing just that. From the opening twisted whispers of a deranged killer to the chill-inducing cries of children begging to be let out, this track plays out like a real-life horror story.

#7: “Disciple”
God Hates Us All (2001)

If ever there was a song that represents pure chaos, it’s this one: drugs, war, murder – you name it. “Disciple” relates the evil nature of humankind, and how God surely must hate us for being such wretched creations. Singer Tom Araya roars away as Kerry King’s twisted, screechy guitar play fills our ears. Despite the impurity being churned out, “Disciple” serves as a sort of catharsis, cleansing all the negativity and just letting the listener go buck wild.

#6: “Hell Awaits”
Hell Awaits (1985)

Macabre storytelling is a Slayer staple, and with brutal yet quality musicianship present throughout the title cut of their sophomore effort, the listener can certainly feel the coming of hell and all the evil it holds. Fast and fierce is a theme in “Hell Awaits”: guitars and drums blare swiftly as the lyrics are almost incomprehensible with the vicious velocity at which the singer spews them. And let’s not forget about that demonic voice that echoes along with it all.

#5: “South of Heaven”
South of Heaven (1988)

It’s safe to say that the members of Slayer aren’t known for being the politically correct type, and they call things as they see them. Much is the same for this 5-minute track, serving as an exaggeration of the immorality found in today’s society, which they believe lacks ethical integrity. It’s less about a coming apocalypse and more about how far south from heaven the Earth and its miserable inhabitants have gone. As is usual for a Slayer song, there are some crazy riffs and solos galore.

#4: “War Ensemble”
Seasons in the Abyss (1990)

One of the most iconic moments in the band’s vast catalogue of songs occurs when singer Tom Araya blasts a single word that echoes in your soul: WAR. As fierce and aggressive as it may be, “War Ensemble” is still mocking this sport we should “support,” the act of men killing each other. After all, it’s about “how many people you can kill.” From the technical side of things, awe-inspiring and inventive drumming complements the thrashing solos and blistering guitars.

#3: “Seasons in the Abyss”
Seasons in the Abyss (1990)

The title track of their Seasons in the Abyss album starts off at a slowed down tempo and pace, gradually builds tension and culminates in pure thrashing power. With blazing solos, brutal drumming and chilling vocals, Slayer guides us on a morose walk to insanity. The album’s longest song is also their most deranged – and that’s saying something. Intricate and overpowering, the 6-and-half-minute track conjures up pictures of serial killers, savageness, murder and darkness. Into the Abyss we go.

#2: “Angel of Death”
Reign in Blood (1986)

Based on the Nazi physician Josef Mengele and his horrific experiments, “Angel of Death” is a thrash metal masterpiece that offers fast and filthy musicality that has also stirred controversy. After being labelled Nazi sympathisers, the band refuted these claims, noting how the song’s lyrics do not glorify any act, but simply relate these horrible crimes as a WWII documentary would. Whatever the case, Reign in Blood’s opener is still played at every show they perform, and the fans still love it.

Before we reveal our number one Slayer song, here are some honorable mentions:
- “Mandatory Suicide”
South of Heaven (1988)
- “World Painted Blood”
World Painted Blood (2009)
- “Postmortem”
Reign in Blood (1986)
- “The Antichrist”
Show No Mercy (1983)
- “Bloodline”
God Hates Us All (2001)

#1: “Raining Blood”
Reign in Blood (1986)

Thunder is heard. Drum beats slowly. Chills run up and down our spine as hell is unleashed with this track’s devilish opening riff that leads to furious guitar thrashing. Widely considered one of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time, “Raining Blood” takes the listener through a satanic wet dream as we literally hear the sky tearing up and the blood pouring on our banging heads.Slayer does indeed reign in blood.

Do you agree with our list? Which Slayer songs cause you to head-bang the most? For more awesome Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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