[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/slayer_logo-776502.jpg]]

One of the "Big Four" ThrashMetal bands, Slayer was formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, later joined by vocalist/bassist Tom Araya and drummer Dave Lombardo. Deriving much of their sound from UK speed metal band Music/{{Venom}} and focusing on dark, Satanic themes, they released their first album ''Show No Mercy'' in 1983. Due to its success, they were quickly pressed to make another album, which resulted in the EpicRocking ''Hell Awaits''.

However, Slayer hit gold in 1986 with the release of ''Reign in Blood'' (their first album produced by longtime collaborator Music/RickRubin), which demonstrated the signature sound for which they have become known and featured their best-known songs, "Angel of Death" and "Raining Blood". The album has been recognized as one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time. A couple years later, they released ''South of Heaven''. This was met with mixed reviews. While some enjoyed the slower, sludgier style, others decried them for being Music/BlackSabbath wannabes. However, they combined the best of both worlds with the 1990 release ''Seasons in the Abyss''. Most fans tend to look down on the eleven year period when ''Divine Intervention'' and ''Diabolus in Musica'' were released. However, they gained mass controversy with the release of ''God Hates us All'' (coincidentally released on Sept. 11th, 2001). With their 2006 release, ''Christ Illusion'', more fans seem to be warming up with them since they are returning to their thrash metal roots, a trend that continued with ''World Painted Blood'' three years later.

As Music/{{Metallica}} is with its fans, Slayer is with the general public. Much of the content of Slayer songs is quite dark, sometimes focusing on Satanic and anti-Christian themes, and sometimes focusing on the major problems with the world (war, terrorism, religion, serial killers, etc.). Also, every single album cover can be described either as disgusting, unsettling, or horrifying. This has generated album bans and has led many MoralGuardians to decry the members of Slayer as Satanists. However, they fail to realize that vocalist/bassist Tom Araya is a Catholic and Kerry King (who writes virtually all the most stridently "Satanic" lyrics) is actually an Atheist. Despite writing these songs, King has constantly stated that he does not condone what the songs are about, instead likening them to horror movie-equivalent entertainment.

Many critics have called Slayer the world's first death metal band. While they did inspire many of the death metal bands of nowadays, they are strictly thrash metal. Slayer has even said that they do not support death metal and call it "cookie monster music".

Not to be confused with the {{Anime}} ''Anime/{{Slayers}}'' or the TV series ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' (Joss Whedon himself prefers for it to be shortened as ''Buffy'').

Slayer has made ten studio albums:
* ''Show No Mercy'' - 1983
* ''Hell Awaits'' - 1985
* ''Reign in Blood'' - 1986
* ''South of Heaven'' - 1988
* ''Seasons in the Abyss'' - 1990
* ''Divine Intervention'' - 1994
* ''Diabolus in Musica'' - 1998
* ''God Hates us All'' - 2001
* ''Christ Illusion'' - 2006
* ''World Painted Blood'' - 2009

(Also included in the Slayer discography is an EP, ''Haunting the Chapel'', released in 1984, and an album of HardcorePunk covers, ''Undisputed Attitude'', released in 1996.)

''Current lineup:''
* Tom Araya: vocals, bass guitar
* Kerry King: guitar
* Paul Bostaph: drums (1992-1996, 1997-2001, 2013-present)

''Former members:''
* Jeff Hanneman: lead guitar (1981-2013, died in 2013 of liver failure)
* Tony Scaglione: drums (1986-1987)
* Dave Lombardo: drums (1981-1986, 1987-1992, 2001-2013)
* Jon Dette: drums (1996-1997)

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!!Slayer shows these tropes:

* AlbumTitleDrop:
** The closing line for "Raining Blood" (the last song from ''Reign in Blood'') is, "Now I shall reign in blood!"
** ''God Hates Us All'' as the last line of the intro "Darkness Of Christ" and part of the chorus in "Disciple".
** ''Christ Illusion'' in second-to-last song "Cult."
** Averted with ''Diabolus In Musica''.
* TheAlcoholic: Jeff Hanneman. Sadly, it's what ended up killing him.
* AnimatedMusicVideo: "World Painted Blood", which was apparently [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner financed with monopoly money.]]
** Also this fan-made music video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqr4QrwSEj4 Criminally Insane]]
* AuthorAppeal:
** Tom Araya has an interest in serial killers, as noted in the songs "213" (Jeffrey Dahmer) and "Dead Skin Mask" (Ed Gein).
** Jeff Hanneman was interested in World War II, since his relatives served in the military, and of Nazi history, despite the fact that in various interviews, he neither supported nor condoned Nazism itself.
** Kerry King ''really'' doesn't like organized religion... Which is ironic as Tom Araya is a devout Christian but is willing to sing anything that King comes up with (and in fact is pretty enthusiastic about [[{{Troll}} singing stuff that he thinks is likely to piss people off]]; it helps that a lot, if not all, of what the band members write is about stuff that pisses ''them'' off).
* ClusterFBomb: Several songs on ''God Hates Us All'', but "Payback" takes the cake.
* CoverAlbum: ''Undisputed Attitude'', although one of the songs is a parody instead of a straight cover (Music/TheStooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" becomes the straight-up IntercourseWithYou "I'm Gonna Be Your God").
* CoverVersion: Music/IronButterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," Music/JudasPriest's "Dissident Aggressor"
* CowboyBebopAtHisComputer: When Jeff Hanneman passed away, several newspapers wrote an obituary that featured the image of Gary Holt, the band's backup guitarist during Hanneman's recovery.
* DeathSong: Take your pick.
* DramaticThunder: The opening of "Raining Blood."
** [[BookEnds And at the end too.]] Actually, the song ends with rain, but the thunderclap is the point where the music itself stops.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: ''Show No Mercy'' has a lot of NewWaveOfBritishHeavyMetal influence that isn't obvious on their later work. In the run-up to their second album, ''Hell Awaits'', the band had been listening a lot to Music/MercyfulFate's ''Don't Break the Oath'', and it shows, with multiple songs being influenced by ProgressiveMetal and [[EpicRocking approaching seven minutes in length]]. This, again, was not generally repeated in the band's later material.
* EpicRocking: Mostly on ''Hell Awaits'', on which several songs exceed six minutes in length, although it shows up occasionally on other albums as well, such as the title track from ''Seasons in the Abyss''.
* {{Flanderization}}: While their earlier albums had some Satanic themes, they were often mixed with other topics and usually took a RockMeAsmodeus form. As Kerry King (who is an outspoken atheist) has gradually begun writing more lyrics, their main theme seemed to become [[ReligionRantSong hatred against Christianity]], [[AuthorFilibuster as the titles of ]]''God Hates us All'' and ''Christ Illusion'' suggest. ''World Painted Blood'' appears to have turned this around, however.
* [[FiveManBand Four Man Band]]:
** TheLeader: Kerry King
** TheLancer: Tom Araya
** TheBigGuy: Jeff Hanneman
** TheSmartGuy: Dave Lombardo
* FunWithAcronyms: To some fans, Slayer is an acronym for "'''S'''atan '''L'''aughs '''A'''s '''Y'''ou '''E'''ternally '''R'''ot".
** This is in fact a ''backronym'', which the band printed in the sleeve of ''Divine Intervention'' (and also carved into the runout groove of the LP of ''Show No Mercy'', making it OlderThanTheyThink).
* {{Gorn}}: Some of their lyrics fall into this category, most notably "Angel of Death", "731", and "Piece by Piece".
* HairTodayGoneTomorrow: Kerry King.
* HatesEveryoneEqually: "Disciple" is the TropeNamer.
-->I hate everyone equally
-->You can't tear that out of me
-->No segregation, separation
-->Just me in my world of enemies
* HorribleHistoryMetal: "Angel Of Death" (about horrible medical "experiments" conducted by [[ThoseWackyNazis the titular Josef]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Mengele "Angel of Death"]] [[KarmaHoudini Mengele]] during WorldWarTwo) and "Unit 731" (about horrible medical "experiments" conducted by the Japanese during the UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar).
* {{Jerkass}}: Kerry King can ''definitely'' come off as this at times!
** If anyone had any doubts about this, the circumstances surrounding Lombardo's latest departure should lay all doubt to rest.
* LeadBassist: Tom Araya. It helps that he's also a vocalist.
* LongRunnerLineup: Type 1 or 5, thanks to twenty nonconsecutive years with Dave Lombardo behind the drums.
* MadLibMetalLyrics: A lot. This trope might as well have been called "Slayer Style Lyrics".
* MetalScream:
** The opening of "Angel of Death", most notably.
** Tom Araya was quite fond of doing this on the early albums, suddenly turning a single word into a high-pitched drawn-out scream, as seen in "Black Magic", "Chemical Warfare", "Necrophobic" and "War Ensemble".
** The way some fans like to refer to the band: they don't simply say the name, they [[NoIndoorVoice just belt out]] '''[[NoIndoorVoice SSSSSSSSSSSSLAAAAAAAAAYEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]]'''
* MinisculeRocking: ''Reign In Blood'' only has three songs that are longer than three minutes - the whole album, which has ten songs on it, comes in at just under half an hour.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness : Unlike [[Music/{{Metallica}} some]] [[Music/{{Megadeth}} other]] very popular thrash metal acts, they usually settle on Level 9, with ''South Of Heaven'' and ''Show No Mercy'' typically staying in the 7-8 range. Back in their day, however, ''Haunting the Chapel'', ''Hell Awaits'' and ''Reign in Blood'' would be considered solid 10s, with some songs from each of the three (e.g. "Angel of Death", nowadays a very hard 9) reaching 11.
** ''Diabolus In Musica'' and ''God Hates Us All'' are mostly a solid 8, while ''Christ Illusion'' is basically half 8 songs and half 9 songs. ''World Painted Blood'', however, generally stays in 9 territory.
* MotorMouth: Several songs, but "Reborn" and "Necrophobic" (both from ''Reign in Blood'' and the latter a full song in less than two minutes) are probably the best-known. "Hell Awaits" is another excellent example.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: "Payback." Holy crap, "Payback."
* NonAppearingTitle: "Seasons in the Abyss".
* NotChristianRock: Yes, '''''Slayer''''' of all bands has an example here: "Silent Scream" on ''South of Heaven'' is not only an anti-abortion song but is explicitly based on a rather obscure anti-abortion video entitled "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silent_Scream The Silent Scream]]". [[spoiler:The movie--most well known in evangelical Christian and Catholic anti-abortion circles where it is still used as a "scared straight" film--purports to depict a first-trimester D&X (dilation and extraction) abortion via ultrasound, and includes rather graphic descriptions of the dismemberment of the fetus and the "terror" of it trying to get away from the instruments of abortion including "screaming" (lending the film its name).]]
* PrecisionFStrike:
** "Fight 'Till Death" ''Show No Mercy''
---> There is no future, no fucking world to be saved
** "Chemical Warfare" from ''Haunting the Chapel'',
---> Artificial fucking peace / Line up in a death row.
** "Criminally Insane" from ''Reign in Blood''
---> I have yet only just begun / TO TAKE YOUR FUCKING LIVES!
** "Expendable Youth" from ''Seasons in the Abyss''
---> TRY AND TAKE ME, YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!
* "[[RainOfBlood Raining Blood]]"
* RatedMForManly: It's pretty much a certainty that there will be no line for the women's restroom at a Slayer concert.
* ReflectiveEyes: The entire video for "Eyes Of The Insane" is shot from this kind of perspective.
* RefugeInAudacity: Invoked at least twice by Tom in interviews. First in explaining why he doesn't mind singing Kerry's anti-Christian lyrics, and second in explaining why the reaction to "Jihad" was so muted compared to, say, "Angel of Death." In both cases his explanation boiled down to, "It's just Slayer being Slayer."
* RockMeAsmodeus: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9R3_cS6jsk They really like Satanic themes]].
** ReligionRantSong: Present much more on recent albums like ''God Hates Us All'' and ''Christ Illusion,'' mostly of the Type 2 variety. However, there are still examples on earlier albums, such as ''South of Heaven''[='=]s "Read Between the Lies" and ''Reign in Blood''[='=]s "Jesus Saves".
* SarcasticTitle: "Jesus Saves"
* {{Satan}}: Several of the band's earlier songs were about Satan or Hell. But once TheNineties rolled around the band stopped singing about him (although they still sing about things like war, Nazis, serial killers, anti-religion, etc.)
* TheShowMustGoOn: Kerry King has confirmed that despite Jeff Hanneman's death, the band will continue.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: The HardcorePunk CoverAlbum ''Undisputed Attitude''.
* SympatheticPOV: Averted in songs like "Angel of Death", "Dead Skin Mask", "213", and "Jihad". Not that it stopped MoralGuardians from getting worked up, but the band's general point of view seems to be that they shouldn't have to tell anyone [[AndThatsTerrible how awful the subjects really were]].
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: The chorus to "Payback."
-->I'm going to tear your fucking eyes out
-->Rip your fucking flesh off
-->Beat you till you're just a fucking lifeless carcass
* ThoseWackyNazis: "Angel of Death", "Behind the Crooked Cross", "SS-3"
* UpToEleven: {{Inverted|Trope}} with their fourth album, ''South Of Heaven.'' The band knew that they couldn't possibly top ''Reign In Blood'', so they consciously decided to slow down, stripping away lightning-fast riffs in favor of a more melodic sound.
** However, their next album, ''Seasons In The Abyss,'' combined the best of both worlds.
* VillainSong: There are a ''lot'' of these in Slayer's song catalog. One of the band's trademarks is that they frequently sing from the bad guy's perspective, be it Nazis, {{Serial Killer}}s, or even Satan himself.
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