Slayer’s “Show No Mercy”; Still Merciless @ 30 Years (1983-2013)

It was thirty years ago today that the Metal darkness known as Slayer released their debut album “Show No Mercy” on Metal Blade Records and while the Thrash Metal movement was still growing thanks to bands like Metallica and Raven, it was going to get a serious and more intense boot to the posterior based on this album. Slayer had been together since 1981 when Kerry King formed the group with drummer Dave Lombardo then added Jeff Hanneman and Tom Araya to the final roster and their earliest imagery paid heavy focus to Satanic iconography and the same principles applied to their music. Songs that would eventually make up the “Show No Mercy” debut. The guys in the band had to self-finance the release even though they had been signed but let’s face it, Metal Blade Records had only been around for a year at this time and Metal while popular in some circles was really quite the underground thing (especially with the kinds of bands that they were featuring back then). Now I will admit that back in 1983 I was not listening to Metal that was this intense and it would take me a few years to get into Slayer but clearly the band was onto something because their material and live presence was sheer brutality. I was often told by friends who had seen them during their formative years that you never forgot a Slayer show and that you would rarely leave unscathed after attending one. They had bruises to prove it but that never stopped them from going to another nearby show if it was possible to do so. Reception wise, according to the album’s Wiki entry “Show No Mercy” would become one of Metal Blade Records highest selling albums and that is something that Kerry King, Tom Araya and Dave Lombardo should be very proud of as musicians. Sadly the Metal world lost founding member Jeff Hanneman earlier in the year so I toast him for this accomplishment posthumously. It is however safe to say that his memory and influence still resonate loud across the genre. Today’s Metal scene also finds original drummer Dave Lombardo out of the lineup and replaced by the talented Paul Bostaph.

Several of these tracks are still played by the band during their concerts and they most recently completed a tour that delivered more of an “Old School” classic set and from “Show No Mercy” we got “The Antichrist”, “Die By The Sword” and “Black Magic” – Each song was still a throttling effort and helped swirl the circle pit to move faster and more furious. While Venom may have unlocked the door to The Abyss a few years earlier, now that Slayer had been unleashed and given the world “Show No Mercy”, the Gates of Hell were now officially open and woe to you ‘O Earth and Sea…Congratulations on this Metal Milestone to Slayer, I raise the horns to you. What does this particular release mean to you as a Metal fan? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments section.

Track Listing:
1. Evil Has No Boundaries
2. The Antiichrist
3. Die By The Sword
4. Fight Till Death
5. Metal Storm/Face The Slayer
6. Black Magic
7. Tormentor
8. The Final Command
9. Crionics
10. Show No Mercy

Official Website:
Official Album Wiki:

The album has been re-issued a few times and perhaps the best one to own if you do not have it already would be the 1987 one with the “Haunting The Chapel” EP tracks added on to it. My link below just brings you to a release of the original album. Let’s hope for some kind of expanded and extended remaster with unreleased demos or other live stuff from the period.

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