Executive Producer of Satyrn Studios Jay Reiter. Released on Friday 29 April 2022.
For fans of Slayer, Pantera, Lamb of God
Do you remember where you were when you first heard Slayer? For me, it was 1987 in a Baptist church basement on a Scripture Union summer camp in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear (northeast of Newcastyle-upon-Tyne). On an afternoon exploring the town, my friend Dave returned with a 12″ vinyl copy of Slayer’s third album, Reign in Blood (1986). As we were the senior pupils on the camp, we were allowed to stay up late and listen to music on a battered old turntable in the church basement. I still remember how blown away I was by this raw agression. It was brutal, precise and to that 15-year-old very exciting. I got into Slayer immediately, soaked up Show No Mercy (1983) and Hell Awaits (1985) and saw Slayer live on their South of Heaven tour in 1988, supported by Nuclear Assault.
Forever Reigning – A Tribute To Slayer is the debut release from Satyrn Studios, drawing together talented underground bands to honour the thrash metal titans. It features twelve of Slayer’s best tracks covered by an array of up-and-coming metal acts.
Satyrn Studios executive producer, Jay Reiter comments:
As a fan this is a really big deal for me. It’s been fun and challenging to both learn the songs I did, but also put my own twist onto the songs [while] keeping it true to the original source material. As a business owner, this is my first major album drop. I’m learning a lot about the music industry, as well as the recording industry. I’m really excited to see where this album takes me!
The metal giants helped to define the genre with their brutal assault on the heavy music world. Over their long-spanning career, they have been highly influential to musicians, bands and metal fans all around the globe. Forever Reigning demonstrates an intense passion for heavy music, with each track fusing the sheer power of Slayer’s sound with the distinctive style of each guest band. From the iconic dark, haunting mood of “South of Heaven” with an enhanced demonic edge from Skrog, to Eulogy in Blood’s brutal reimagining of “Bloodline”, to Skull Fuckers Incorporated’s ruthless rendition of “Raining Blood”, each cover packs a heavy punch.Press release
As many can attest, tribute albums can go one of two ways—either it is an embarrasing mess of tracks performed by acts that clearly aren’t up to the job, or it is a respectful interpretation where each band nails the spirit of the track while putting on their own spin. Thankfully, this compilation falls into the latter camp.
In my view, there is no point in recreating tracks absolutely note for note—you might as well just listen to the originals. I love it when bands interpret the songs, they hit the notes where it counts, but put something of themselves into the songs.
Take Disinter’s interpretation of “Show no Mercy” (track 2). Coupled with better and modern production, this is a death/black metal version that is crisper and way heavier than anything Slayer put out. A case of “see what you could have won!”, perhaps.
It’s great hearing these older songs given a modern spin. “At Dawn they Sleep” (track 9) covered by Overt Enemy is heavy as. You’d never believe that this song was 39 years old!
Or Skull Fuckers Incorporated’s version of one of my favourite Slayer tracks, “Dead Skin Mask” (track 4), the charming little ditty about serial killer Ed Gein. Note for note, it’s not perfect, but damn! it absoutely captures the darkness of the song and the guitar solos hit the right notes when required.
“Delusions of Savior” (track 6) covered by Distal Descent has a horn section! And it sounds phenomenal. Can you imagine Slayer doing what Metallica did with the San Francisco Symphony with their S&M and S&M2 projects? No, me neither, but this gives a hint at how extraordinary it would be.
The album closes with “Divine Intervention” (track 11) from Skrog, which suffers a little from a treble-heavy mix, and then a respectful version of arguably the second greatest Slayer song of all time, “Raining Blood” (track 12) offered by Skull Fuckers Incorporated.
Obviously, we all have our favourite Slayer songs—the ones we would love to have heard covered. Would it have been too clichéd to have included “Angel of Death”? I’d loved to have heard “Hell Awaits”, for example. fine selection of great Slayer tracks, covered well, with each band adding something of themselves and with respect. You couldn’t hope for more from a tribute album.
Forever Reigning – A Tribute To Slayer is a dynamic collaboration drawing artists together through their appreciation of Slayer’s work—a hat tip to those who have gone ahead of them and paved the way for heavy music. It’s a hard-hitting record, embodying the crushing sound that went onto inspire generations, a dynamic tribute to Slayer’s continuing legacy.
Reign in blood forever!
Review score: 90%
Zach at Metal Devastation Radio PR (MDPR) contacted me inviting me to review this tribute album. I have no connections to either MDPR or any of the bands on this release. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Zach from MDPR, and to each of the bands for contributing to this tribute to the greatest thrash band, Slayer.