No repent from Slayer


There’s something very, very right about listening to Slayer in September. Cool air becoming cold, days light but pulling up short, winter the next turn … yeah, September is Slayer time, and when there’s a fresh Slayer bloodflow – Repentless – it’s even better. A new rekkid is always summat to get stoked by, but this one – with Hanneman and Lombardo gone – seems more pivotal than most. Can they cut it? It’s way too early to get a proper perspective but the first impression sez fuuuuuuuckyeah. Araya and King have got a grade-A groove on, Holt shreds with melody and Bostaph … well, we already know he’s got Slayer-approved chops but his precise, punishingly physical performance on Repentless – in contrast to Lombardo’s tight-but-loose thrash flair – is exactly what Slayer needs right now: an anchor. Some of that God Hates Us All certainty.

Elsewhere in September rambles:

Is prog a four-letter word? That was the question put to Steven Wilson by Stuart Maconie on the Freakzone the other week (the tardiness of this Rewind means it’s probably just slipped off the iplayer now), and while Maconie would never feature any classic metal on his zone, you gotta wonder where the difference is. Take Iron Maiden – none more classic a metal band, right? Yet their new Book of Souls double album is home to the Irons’ longest-ever track Empire of the Clouds, a widescreen Bruce-athon which stops the clock at a Yes-bothering 18 minutes. Given their output since Brave New World, are latter-day Maiden prog?

And if so, is Steven Wilson Iron Maiden?

Ach, we’ll save the prog discourse for the time when Tales from Topographic Oceans finally hits the runout groove on side four, but if Pink Floyd are coming to be seen as prog, as Wilson posits, then we’re seeing a slow rehab of the p word. And a lot of what characterises P-rock – instrumentals, time and tempo shifts, length – applies to any number of spacepostavantmath types which bust out beyond the four-minute 4/4. SEMANTICS ROCK(s).

And that’s that for now, except to say there are a couple o’ good gigs coming up in Ox, including the ever-mighty Killing Joke the night before Halloween.

’til next time!