In 1986 this was as extreme as music got. While the lyrics could still be interpreted as 'scary' or 'satanic' by the average grandmother, thanks to people like Cannibal Corpse and Necro you probably wont be very shocked hearing this album in 2004 rather than 1986. Produced by Rick Rubin, who was certainly taking some risks, seeing as his other production included the Beastie Boy and Public Enemy, who aren't very much like Slayer or the music they make. All it took was 28 minutes to cement this album to a permenent posistion on the Greatest Thrash Albums list.
Starting the album is Angel of Death, considered by many to be the greatest song Slayer has written. Upon first hearing it, I was a bit baffled by the lyrics. Lyrics about Nazi concentration camps and 'destroying without mercy to benefit the Aryan race' seemed a little weird coming from Tom Araya, who is clearly from a non-Aryan background. However, I discovered later that all most all the lyrics and music on this album were written solely by Kerry King, with Dave Lombardo and Tom contributing no writing to the album.
The next eight songs are typical Slayer. Blazing guitar solos, Tom's often un-understandible lyrics and autopilot bass, awesome drum playing from Lombardo, and usually over in less than three minutes. The album closer, Raining Blood, is more or less the same 'ol Slayer, but creates a different mood, with the song begining and ending with the sounds of thunder and rain.
Remembering all the stories you heard about Slayer being satanists and racist and pushing teenagers to suicide may falsly prepare you for something you wont hear in this record.
Its still loud, it's fast, it's brutal, but unlike in 1986, it's no longer shocking in 2004.