Formed out of Huntington Park, California, in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, they are very much labelled by many as Thrash Metal, but fundamentally they are just a one of the all time great Heavy Metal bands.
They rose to fame after the release of their 1986 album "Reign in Blood", and became cited as one of the "Big Four" Thrash Metal bands, alongside Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax, and were also cited as pioneers of Thrash Metal and Heavy Metal. Many would cite them as a huge inspiration over NWOAHM.
They have a musical style that involves;-
- Fast tremolo picking
- Double bass drumming
- Guitar riffs in irregular scales
- Shouted vocals.
Originally, King, Hanneman, and lead vocalist/bassist Tom Araya added a lot to the band's lyrics, and most of the musical content was written by King and Hanneman, with additional help from Araya and drummer Dave Lombardo.
A lot of their lyrics and album art, will cover topics such as serial killers, necrophilia, religion, anti-religion, and warfare, and this has caused album bans, delays, lawsuits, and criticism from religious groups and the public, but their music has been highly influential, often being cited by many bands as an influence musically, visually, and lyrically.
Following their debut in 1983, they have put out ten studio albums, two live albums, a box set, six music videos, two EPs and one cover album.
- Show No Mercy (1983)
- Hell Awaits (1985)
- Reign in Blood (1986)
- South of Heaven (1988)
- Seasons in the Abyss (1990)
- Divine Intervention (1994)
- Diabolus in Musica (1998)
- God Hates Us All (2001)
- Christ Illusion (2006)
- World Painted Blood (2009)
- Repentless (2015)
Awards n Stuff
Four of their studio albums have earned Slayer gold certification in the USA.
They have had five Grammy nominations, only two of which they won, 2007 for the song "Eyes of the Insane", and one in 2008 for the song "Final Six".
In 2006 Slayer won the Kerrang! Hall of Fame, and in 2013, they were winners of Kerrang! Legend
Members Name Check
- Tom Araya – lead vocals, bass (1981–present)
- Kerry King – guitar (1981–present)
- Paul Bostaph – drums (1992–1996, 1997–2001, 2013–present)
- Gary Holt – guitar (2011–present)
- Jeff Hanneman – guitar (1981–2013)
- Dave Lombardo – drums (1981–1986, 1987–1992, 2001–2013)
- Tony Scaglione – drums (1986–1987)
- Jon Dette – drums (1996–1997, 2013)
- Bob Gourley – drums (1983)
- Gene Hoglan – drums (1983)
- Pat O'Brien – guitar (2011)