Sound — 8
Soon the chants would come, as a new band released their debut. Basically unknown to this point, Slayer had chiselled away a unique sound and were ready to record. What came out was 'Show No Mercy', Slayer's first ever recording achievement. Slayer's first goals was simply to play faster and heavier. 'Show No Mercy' is that sound. Not something that I would quite call Death Metal, not essentially Thrash Metal, just a mixture of the two. While a far shy away from 'Reign in Blood', this album is definately the same sort of sound, just not quite there. Sometimes there is a bit too much echo on the guitars and drums than what I would like, not as sharp. Tom's vocals are ok, but they are very sharp, and it clashes with the echo of the other instruments; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. And although each song is individual, by the end of the CD, you can't actually pick out any song that really stuck out at you, none of the songs are bad, but none of them are particularly outstanding, either.
Lyrics — 7
Tom Araya doesn't do too bad on 'Show No Mercy', but there is definately room for improvement. On some songs, such as 'Black Magic', they really let him down. I assume that is to make the band sound heavier, but it's a bit of a hit and miss issue. Some, such as 'Crionics' and 'Die By The Sword', I really enjoy his vocal work, but on others such as the afformentioned 'Black Magic' and 'Tormentor' and most dissapointingly, the title track. It just isn't as good as they could be. Average, but hey, it just leaves more room for improvement.
Overall Impression — 8
'Show No Mercy' was a very good start for Slayer. It didn't take long after this album when they started to get noticed and their fan base grew after it's release. As usual for most artists, it is the groundwork for what Slayer were to become, and why they will become the greatest underground act in the world. I love the guitar work. Kerry and Jeff are just amazing. Generally a good album, but the vocals and some aspects of drumming just let 'Show No Mercy' down. Still, a very good album that I do not regret buying.