Slayer took the leap to the big leagues with this, in the same way Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax all did with their second albums.
The only difference was this was Slayer's third album, the previous two, Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits both plagued by rough production which thwarted Slayer from sounding as brutal as they should have been. Reign In Blood put matters straight, as Rick Rubin's production put them over the top, with a precise and clean sound few have ever topped. This is the way to make a thrash album. Ten tracks clocking in at twenty eight minutes, all fast, an easy way to make an impact and a point. Overnight acts like Celtic Frost, Bathory, and Destruction were made to look as crude as they were, while Exodus, Metallica and Anthrax seemed tame by comparison. Hanneman and King established themselves as thrash's premier guitar duo, and rightfully so, the level of twisted genius running through Necrophobic, Criminally Insane and Angel of Death something they themselves had trouble topping. A glorious reaffirmation of how superior 80's metal was.
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