Formed in 1981, Slayer assaulted the world with a new hybrid of metal and punk – heavier, faster and darker than the rest – and set a new standard, defining not only a genre, but an attitude. Throughout Slayer’s history, the band never faltered in unleashing their extreme and focused aural assault, and repudiating temptations, always choosing to remain crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream. In October 2021 the five-time nominated, two-time Grammy winners deliver a suite of vinyl reissues of their classic records Show No Mercy (1983), Haunting the Chapel (1984), Live Undead (1984), and Hell Awaits (1985) via Metal Blade Records.
With their second full length album and third overall, Slayer upped the ante in every way possible. Breakneck tempos, gruesome lyrics and proper production gave the band a progressive and distinct sound that was becoming all their own. Hell Awaits is where the band began to sound truly sinister and evil, Dave Lombardo’s famous double bass drumming brilliantly propelling the lightspeed riffing and twisted solos of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. Bassist Tom Araya’s dark and demonic lyrics touched on everything from the mind of a serial killer (“Kill Again”) to vampires (“At Dawn They Sleep”) and unhinged lust (“Necrophiliac”). Hell Awaits stands as one of best black and thrash metal documents of the ’80s and its influence is vast and undeniable.