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Slayer Reign in Blood: Still Reigning

By Brian Davis, Contributor
Monday, November 1, 2004 @ 10:54 AM


(Universal)

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"Man, this is hard shit headbanging for an hour and a half! One of these days my motherfuckin' head's just gonna go rollin' someplace and its over."-Kerry King

Yes, yes-another Slayer DVD. Surely you're not complaining? Didn't think so. And fear not -- you won't be disappointed. In no way is this some feeble attempt by Slayer to grease their pockets. On the contrary, this DVD represents a unique opportunity for the throngs of loyal fans to share in what is destined to be a milestone in the Slayer legacy and a bonafide piece of musical history. Already a musical landmark in and of itself, the 1986 classic Reign In Blood stands unanimously as one of the greatest metal albums of all time. Now, some 18 years since the release of the meanest of all Slayer's bastard undead children, the masterpiece is resurrected in its entirety complete with the original band line up and a unique and ingenious twist that is sure to linger on in the minds of the Slaytanic hordes for years to come.

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First and foremost in line on the DVD is full concert footage of the band playing Reign beginning to end, climaxing with Slayer’s first ever use of the now-infamous ‘blood rig’ during the finale “Raining Blood.” Playing an exceptionally tight set the band nails every song dead-on with especially potent deliveries of “Jesus Saves,” “Criminally Insane,” “Epidemic” and of course the daddy of them all -- a blood drenched, full blown Type AB fallout of “Raining Blood.” Incorporating an idea that guitarist Jeff Hanneman had been kicking around for years, an overhead rigging drenches the entire band in a flurry of crimson and continues its unholy torrents throughout the song, adding incredible effect to an already legendary song and reinventing its classic status on an unmatched visual level.

The second facet of the DVD is a 20+ minute interview/retrospective with the entire band entitled, “In Their Own Words.” In it the band addresses their history, beginning with the coming together of friends to create Slayer through to their current status as the reigning monoliths of metal. Also included is ample backstage footage filmed before and leading up to this landmark concert, consisting of the band discussing the basics of the rig, the return of the mighty Dave Lombardo, the undying respect Slayer has for their fans and the rabid loyalty that their fans exhibit. While “In Their Own Words” covers a number of subjects (albeit briefly), the theme consistently returns to the importance of the fan support and the band’s love for them. There can be no doubt as to where Slayer’s loyalty lies.

The third and final section of Still Reigning is a bonus track section. Containing 6 songs that were also played during the same concert (they are a separate menu option from the Reign In Blood concert footage, which serves well to keep Reign its own separate phenomenon), the fans will be more than a little pleased and surprised by the presence of some seldom-seen but much-wanted songs including “Hallowed Point,” “Mandatory Suicide,” and “Spill the Blood.” Obviously not wanting to release even more footage of the same songs that appear on other Slayer concert releases, it’s easy to see that the band made an extra effort to make this DVD something special.

This is not a DVD to be judged by the quantity of its content; rather, it’s the quality that makes it worthwhile. The approximate 60 min. running time proves to be ideal for the material provided -- you’ll find no filler and no bullshit; just top notch, unfiltered, dominating Slayer doing what they do best. 20 years into their career and Slayer have cemented yet another razor-carved cornerstone into the annals of metal history, reasserting their status as metal’s true overlords and proving once again that the band is nowhere near done redefining music and the way in which it is presented. If indeed the blood is the life, then certainly Slayer will forever Reign.

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