TITLE: Show No Mercy
YEAR RELEASED: 1983
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Metal Storm / Face the Slayer.
LINEUP: Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King, Dave Lombardo
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut album from thrash / death metal legends highlights the path that they would trod upon in their career.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Like most independently recorded albums in the 80’s, the sound quality here isn’t that great. This kind of metal needs crisp production, not mud (it’s the same problem that plagued early Metallica albums). Yet the content and playing shows Slayer already in decent form, ready to take on the world and scare the bejeezus out of those who don’t know or understand.
A few tracks definitely show the potential of the group, like “The Antichrist”, that is at a quite quick tempo, isn’t breakneck, and has nice solo passages and tempo changes that allow the listener to breathe and grasp what’s happening in the song.
The playing, the musicianship, and the arrangements would all improve, and become more consistent. “Metal Storm / Face the Slayer” is the signature track on the album (in my ears), and the big building block for the band to come. The production just makes some of it a slog through sludge.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: After this was released, they received a letter from the PMRC, asking them kindly to not release any more albums. Sigh.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, an extra cut and a couple of covers on several re-releases.
GRADE: B-: You can bang your head to it, it’s just muddy and a few cuts aren’t the best.