Ghost Cult continues to fly the flag of Slayer high, and customarily we celebrate the life of Jeff Hanneman, who passed away on May 2nd, 2013. Jeff left an indelible mark on all of metal through the music and performances he created with Slayer. His legacy as a riff maker, songwriter, soloist, and metal personality has not been dampened since his death. In the time since he passed, Ghost Cult observed Slayer as they released a final studio album with Jeff’s contributions (Repentless), had a legend take his spot live (Gary Holt of Exodus), released a comic book with Jeff’s likeness, completed their final world tour ever of two years, released an incredible film/music video trilogy (The Repentless Killogy), former bandmate DaveLombardo wrote a loving tribute to his fallen friend, and we have written two career-spanning retrospectives (read them here and here) on the end of the band. Every night on that final world tour, Slayer honored Jeff during ‘Raining Blood’ with the still reigning banner. Hail Jeff and Hail Slayer!
From the first day of December 2019, we enter a dark, horrifying new era. Life without Slayer.
Sorry. Life without SLAAAAAYYYERRR!!!
There, that’s better.
From the moment I discovered Slayer on a compilation album called Speed Kills back in 1985, my life was changed forever. Just the sound of their name was enough. Everything you needed to know about the band encapsulated in two perfect syllables, especially when screamed at an ear-splitting volume or when chanted with thousands of other like-minded blood-hungry psychopaths. Continue reading
Diminished twin lead guitars fade in above a filthy, distorted bass line. It segues into the intro of the title track, and Death Becomes My Voice (Relapse Records) begins in ill-conceived circumstances. This intro segment is a slow crawl through power chords and crashing cymbals, and completely unrepresentative of the album as a whole. When the main bulk of the title track begins it’s clear that the slow introduction was a calm before a storm, but perhaps an unnecessary breather to kick things off. It may have worked better somewhere in the middle of this unrelenting album as something of a palate cleanser, but more on that later. Continue reading
Six years ago today Jeff Hanneman of Slayer died. It still feels unreal that he is gone. Although Slayer has soldiered on without their fallen brother, Slayer is on their final world tour, a definite eventuality once Jeff passed away. Ghost Cult has written a lot of words about the importance of Slayer and Jeff as a composer and guitarist to the thrash metal genre, but also what he has meant to the scene as a personality, in both life and death. What follows is a collection of Jeff’s greatest Slayer hits as well as our original obituary, written at the time of his passing. Rest In Power Jeff!
What do you do for an encore when you have released arguably the greatest album in metal history, at the zenith point for the genre? Well if you are Slayer, you blow people’s minds and release South Of Heaven (Def Jam) as the follow-up to Reign In Blood (also Def Jam). Although some of its slower mid-tempo jams threw fans for a loop, Slayer’s fourth album is full of gritty, true to life bangers and classic tracks. Let’s revisit this masterpiece which turned thirty years old today. Continue reading
Slayer are the only band I have ever fallen in love with without hearing a note.
It was in 1994 when I was sixteen – despite growing up in a house full of Rock music I started caring about it quite late. Until fifteen, my only interests were video games, movies and books (initially about dragons, later about eldritch tentacle horrors – I must be one of the few Metal fans who got into Lovecraft before the music), with Rock arriving very suddenly through the surprising medium of Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet (Mercury). From there it was a rapid journey through Guns n’ Roses, Motörhead and Black Sabbath, and then a family friend put Master Of Puppets (Elektra) on and by the time ‘Battery’ had finished I was a different person. Continue reading