Slayer

Eternal Pyre (American Recordings)

Released on 6/6/6, Slayer's Eternal Pyre EP is available exclusively at Hot Topic, which may seem like the surest sign of the Apocalypse yet. Slayer is the greatest thrash band, but guitarist Kerry King has a clothing line, so one commercial concession is excusable every 24 years or so. However, the disc contains just one live video clip, four minutes of studio footage, and a single new audio song, "Cult," from its upcoming LP, its first since 2001. (Returned original drummer Dave Lombardo makes beating the bejesus out of a kit look easy.) At $5.99, it makes iTunes look like a bargain. But if any band in its third decade deserves your six bucks, it's the hellions from Huntington Beach. Slayer's worst is never far from its best, and this cut's in the middle. Slashing from slow to full-speed furious, ax men King and Jeff Hanneman riff like they're summoning a storm of thunder, lightning, and human blood. Lyricist King always has something blasphemous for singer Tom Araya to say, as in this chorus that will please fans still harboring a grudge from Catholic school: "Religion is hate/Religion is fear/Religion is war... I've made my choice: 666." School's out, and Slayer's back.

 
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