slayerWe could have jumped the gun and reviewed the standard version of the new album by thrash legends Slayer but certain bands demand to be heard on heavyweight vinyl.

So we waited. And waited. And waited. Until our 180 gram beast of a record finally arrived with 11 thumping new anthems from Tom, Dave and the boys. 

And was the wait worthwhile? Read on for the official rushonrock verdict on World Painted Blood.

Slayer – World Painted Blood (Sony Music) (Vinyl)

It seems Slayer always step up to the mark where blood is concerned. In fact if you ever need a donor then make these afficonados of thrash your first port of call.

More than 20 years after Reign In Blood proved the band belonged at the top table of the  most brutal movement of the 80s, this accomplished return to the theme confirms they still have a role to play in propelling a vital genre forward.

So it doesn’t quite possess the nervous energy and vitriol splashed across the band’s best output from their first decade as major players on the heavier than hell scene. But then Tom Araya, Dave Lombardo, Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman are all grown up these days.

What this record does showcase is a band comfortably matured and supremely confident in their ability to capture the raw essence of thrash and add a polished sheen.

The monstrous opening song – and title track – is only eclipsed by the following Unit 731. This short but sweet blast of classic Slayer features a stunning solo as good as anything this band has featured over the years and sets the tone for some dazzling axe work to come.

As a vocalist Araya hasn’t evolved too much and where Slayer is concerned that must be a good thing. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it and in their bass wielding frontman the band boasts a signature vocal which simply can’t be messed with.

Where Slayer do disappoint is on the opening to side two of the vinyl where the shouty Public Display Of Dismemberment is too much like an Anthrax B-side. It’s the low point of a record which is, on the whole, a cracking effort from a consummately professional act.

For as long as Slayer can continue delivering grandiose aural statements on this scale they have a key role to play in developing the next generation of heavy metal heroes. As founder members of the Bay Area’s Big Four they continue to fly the flag for the thinking man’s thrash and this vinyl edition of a rousing record stands alongside anything you care to pluck from the band’s bulging back catalogue.

rushonrock rated: 8/10 Bloody Brilliant