Sound — 9
Some say that this is the album that set the foundation for thrash metal. And who can argue with them? The sound this album has took the genre to new heights. It may in fact be the heaviest album ever made. Let's start off with the song many consider one of metal's finest: "Angel Of Death". It's fast, it's heavy, and it just plain kicks your ass to the curb. In fact, this is more of a straight-up speed metal song that just happens to be thrashy than an an actual thrash metal song. The rest of the album gets more thrashy along the way, especially with "Altar Of Sacrifice", which sounds like an over-the-top war anthem. There really isn't much to complain about with the sound of this album. It's evil, over-the-top, ridiculous, but oh-so satisfying.
Lyrics — 9
If I could get away with writing only two words for this section, they would be the following: HOLY SHIT. I mean...my goodness. Tom Araya's lyrics are scary beyond all belief, ranging from topics such as the Holocaust to Hell itself. It's as if he took Ozzy Osbourne's early writings and took them to an extreme far beyond comprehension. Araya's singing skills also are beyond belief. His loud, nearly Satantic screams help match the overall tone the sound and the lyrics of Reign In Blood. His vocals are amazingly frightening. In fact, he is a person who, if he read something as innocent as The Three Little Pigs, would probably still be terrifying.
Overall Impression — 9
The only problem with this album is that it is too short, clocking in at only a half-an-hour. In that sense, it's more like a longer EP than an actual album. But despite that, it is truly one of the best metal albums that ever existed. Heavy, loud, and scary; all three things that only Slayer can pull off so well.