Saturday, January 14, 2012

Get Into: Slaughter

I stuck this song on a mix for a party tonight, and it was the first time I'd thought about Slaughter in a while. They're really good, and if you haven't actually listened to them by now you damn well should. People talk about them as "death metal pioneers" because they played thrash so fast it wasn't thrash anymore, but this doesn't sound much like what death metal became, or even what most of it was at the time (mid to late 80s). If anything, Slaughter was like a crossover punk band that was really into Hellhammer. But while crossover tended towards spazziness, Slaughter was all about continuous, bludgeoning tremolo/chug attack. There's a liquid flow to the music.

Everything on Strappado is awesome, but "The Curse" is my favorite track. It's based on these thrashing micro-riffs that all follow the same basic rhythmic form but stand out clearly from one another, and the transition from each to the next feels totally natural, absolutely necessary. It seems like such an obvious way of writing metal, but I've heard very little in this vein. "The Curse" clearly came straight from the gut. It will hurt your neck.

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