I’m going to lose a couple of friends here but fuck it: I don’t think Reign In Blood is that great, to me it’s just an amazing opening song and an amazing closing song and variations on these in between. By this, i don’t mean it’s a something bad but it isn’t also as genius, i like that album a lot but it’s not Slayer’s greatest album and it’s absolutely not the best thrash metal album ever, at all. I don’t think there is a definitive thrash album, I have my ´personal favorites and this is one of them.
The reasons are like this: listen to the sequence, song after song it’s just amazing rocking fast metal compositions that beg to be screamed live, the guitar solos are perfect in the sense that they fit in each song, are raw and aggressive without being simplistic or basic, this songs just explode and keep expanding in a musical wildfire. The thing is that it’s song after song, get it?
Ok, some history: The album was recorded in a mere month (July) at a shitty small studio in San Francisco with Metallica’s guitar tech Mark Whitaker producing in 1984 with the intention of releasing it by fall or winter by the guys footing the bill, Ken Adams and Todd Gordon, who signed the band to their fledging indie label Torrid. The plan didn’t get through because the band and the label argued about the cover art (the band wanted to have blood-soaked limbs and the label was against it), that, plus money problems kept the album from being released until April ’85 (about 20 years and two months ago, can you believe that?), which was kinda shitty at it’s time because it seemed like they were just another band instead of pioneers or vanguardists, but it didn’t matter in the long run since the album is that strong. "A Lesson In Violence" captures perfectly the whole fast amazing riffs plus shout along chorus plus face-melting solos plus fuck you attitude, straight and to the point, to the neck. The reissue of the album has a couple of live tracks on it so i decided to put one up, which is "And Then There Were None" which demonstrate that they didn't need to play super fast to be awesome.
I saw Exodus play live last year a few days after Zetro quitted (yeah, they brought this guy from Exhumed i think), and even though the guy who was “singing” hardly knew any of the band’s lyrics, they fucking slayed in the whole extention of the word, one of the best shows i ever been to; those songs still have an impact, they have something timeless.