Starting out life in 1981 at the hands of guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, Slayer are undoubtedly the heaviest of the “Big Four”, with music and fans that make Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax look like mere thrash metal bands, while Slayer fit more into the cult/religion category.
Originally consisting of King, Hanneman, drumming monster Dave Lombardo and vocals/bass from Tom Araya the group released two albums (Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits) that caused a major stir on the underground scene. This led to enough hype for the band to be picked up by legendary producer Rick Rubin, and his new label, Def Jam Records. The group benefited from a major label budget and the resulting album, Reign in Blood, went on to be one of the most important thrash albums ever, taking the band to new heights and giving them their first gold album.
The group went from strength to strength, and while Lombardo came and went, the level of support from fans was nothing but consistent, netting the band several gold albums and a solid career touring the world. Despite the tragic death of Jeff Hanneman in 2013, the group show no signs of stopping, with a new album currently in the works.
Key listening would include Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, Seasons In The Abyss and Christ Illusion.
Slayer's style is a testament to the fact that you don't need to tune your guitars low to be heavy as the group rarely tuned below Eb in the early days (to suit Tom's voice), instead they would find their power from demonic riffs featuring heavy use of the tritone, dissonant harmonies (often in parallel 4ths), sheers speed and chaotic guitar solos, we've got you covered at LickLibrary with a selection of Slayer guitar lessons and Slayer backing tracks, so you can play like Kerry King today.