10 Facts About Slayer

The heavy metal Gods.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
10 Facts About Slayer
5

During the 35 years of existence, Slayer has released 12 albums

Show No Mercy (1983), Hell Awaits (1985), Reign in Blood (1986), South of Heaven (1988), Seasons in the Abyss (1990), Divine Intervention (1994), Undisputed Attitude (1996), Diabolus in Musica (1998), God Hates Us All (2001), Christ Illusion (2006),World Painted Blood (2009) and Repentless (2015). They have also released three live albums, two EPs, and two box sets.

The band received five Grammy Award nominations

Slayer won two of them: one in 2007 for the song ‘Eyes of the Insane’ and one in 2008 for the song ‘Final Six.’
YouTube preview picture

At least two of Slayer songs became a soundtrack to the tragic events of 9/11

Slayer’s ‘God Hates Us All’ was actually released on Sept. 11, 2001.
YouTube preview picture
Tori Amos covered ‘Raining Blood’ for her 2001 album Strange Little Girls, which was released a week after 9/11. Guitarist Kerry King described her version as ‘not his cup of tea.’
YouTube preview picture

‘Seasons in the Abyss,’ the album’s title track, served as Slayer’s first-ever music video.

Filmed in Cairo on October 9, 1990, ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ got substantial airplay on MTV's now-defunct ‘Headbangers Ball.’ The concept came from Rick Rubin, the group's producer and president of their Def American label at the time. "He was always trying to be the visionary," Araya says. "He just told us, 'We want you to do a video where we'll fly you to Egypt.' And we were like, 'Egypt?!' I thought, 'You know what? Fuck it. That's so cool.'"
YouTube preview picture

Slayer started as a cover band

The group started its journey in 1981 when Kerry King met fellow guitarist Jeff Hanneman in Huntington Park, California. The two connected over similar taste in music and Kerry soon introduced Jeff to Tom Araya, who had played with King before in a band called Quits. The three started playing cover versions of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest at a clubs and parties. They were spotted by former music journalist Brian Slagel at a gig, who had them an original song titled ‘Aggressive Perfector’ for his upcoming Metal Massacre III compilation. Slagel later signed the band to Metal Blade.
YouTube preview picture

Kerry King breeds snakes

The band’s lead guitarist Kerry King loves snakes. He owns a Psychotic Exotics reptile house and herpetology nursery, where he breeds species including carpet pythons, reticulated pythons, Madagascar ground boas and more. He also breeds show dogs.
YouTube preview picture

Only two members stayed in the band the entire time

Tom Araya and Kerry King were the only two members to stay in the band since its inception. Jeff Henneman passed away in 2013 at the age of 49 due to a liver failure. Dave Lombardo performed with Slayer on nine albums, but also played for other bands like Grip Inc., Fantômas, Philm, Testament, Suicidal Tendencies., Dead Cross and the Misfits.

Public Enemy sampled Slayer's 'Angel of Death' half-time riff in their 1988 song ‘She Watch Channel Zero?!’

YouTube preview picture
The song was also sampled by KMFDM in ‘Godlike’.
YouTube preview picture

Slayer is one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history.

Groups who cited Slayer among their major influences include Bullet for My Valentine, Slipknot, Gojira, Hatebreed, Cannibal Corpse, Pantera, Mayhem, System of a Down, Lamb of God, Behemoth, Lacuna Coil? etc.

The band's 1986 release Reign in Blood has been an influence to extreme and thrash metal bands since its release and is considered the record which set the bar for death metal.

It had a significant impact on the genre leaders such as Death, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and Napalm Death.

YouTube preview picture

In 2014, Slayer released an official Christmas card

The card reworked SITA’s cover art with a Santa Claus motif and stated: ‘Seasons Greetings… In the Abyss.’

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    alex720
    I'm surprised that the classic tale of Kerry King chasing the Beastie Boys around in a gorilla costume isn't mentioned here.
    binadra1234
    I fucking love Slayer music. Maybe I don't listen to them as much as when I was younger but nothing can beat their classic albums. And they are always great live. I was 4 times at the Slayer show and I never came out dissapointed (I even saw them live with Pat O'Brien).
    tomaxandxamot
    I always thought Seasons in the Abyss was their "Black" album before Metallica's - if there is a radio friendly Slayer album, its Seasons....1st video realeased.....etc
    allisdaddy75
    1986 - Kerry King was working on their Reign In Blood album and The Beastie Boys were working on Licensed To Ill, both albums produced by Rick Rubin. Rick asked Kerry to do the riffs and solo guitar parts for Beastie Boys, "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn".
    kmitchell74
    did you know the band's name "slayer" comes from the desire for pussy and cigarettes