3 out of 5
Label: Nuclear Blast
Produced by: Kevin Lehman, Matthew Kogle (recorded by)
If I were a more fervent Slayer fan, I suppose I could dig in to this a bit more – I like Slayer, and listen to them often, but I came to them after the fact, and so don’t really have deep attachments to albums or songs – but I ultimately don’t have too much to say about it, beyond considering its boons as a live recording. Live recordings: of which I’m generally not a fan, as I’m not sure what to get out of them when original versions generally sound better and work best with their other album songmates. And that applies here – while the recording (a full show from 2017, during the band’s long, farewell tour after their reputed final album, Repentless) is very clear, with vocals powerful and crisp atop discernible guitars and drums, it still has the kind of flat, washed out sound of live albums, and none of the songs have any particular flourish which would make them more definitive versions than their originals. However, the other side of this is that this is Slayer: a band that has proven that they’ve never lost their fire over the years, in studio or live, and that ferocity and sharpness is still wholly intact on this recording – given the set’s runthrough of both Repentless and any given classic Slayer track you can name (21 tracks in total), it makes for a quality “best of” of older and newer material. So if I am in a general mood to listen to the band, and not after a specific album experience, ‘The Repentless Killogy’ absolutely works.