What you’ll hear in the songwriting are bar chords galore with riffs that are captivating. Not only that, but they also feature tremolo picked frenzies on some tracks. Both guitarists put out some amazing leads. It’s difficult to tell the difference between the 2 guitarists. Over time, there was a progression by Jeff Hanneman and a laziness in Kerry King’s lead guitar work. On this debut, both guitarists put out some great tracks and the crunch tone distortion reigns here. I still think that Reign In Blood is the band’s best output, but Show No Mercy is one hell of a good debut.
There are trade off leads here most of what you find in the music is purely original thrash metal to the core. Every instrument is in unison with one another. Again the raw production is typical when it comes to the early 80’s style of recording. The mixing and production forced the band to have talent. That is apparent here. The leads are simply amazing and awe inspiring. I don’t think that any of them could compete with their later releases. These leads on here are the most original. The riffs are simply amazing as well and the band put together a conglomeration of thrash metal genius.
The only beef that I have about the album are the lyrical concepts. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to write about Satanism/anti-Christianity. But this is why Slayer stayed underground over the years is because of them being notorious for construction these topics. But they admitted they were not serious about the topics or Satanists themselves. But I still do thing that it’s obvious that they have a beef with religion in general a lot like Destruction has as well. Metallica had some tracks on their early 80’s albums that talked about these topics but weren’t serious about it. They just wanted to stay underground.
No song on here is boring or lacking in intensity. Araya’s screaming goes well with the music even though I’m not a huge fan of his vocal work. But on Show No Mercy, his vocals well suited the music in its entirety. The most amazing and original amounts of work went into constructing the music. Both Jeff and Kerry were at their best on here especially in the lead department. They both are in unison when it comes to dual match up. Kerry definitely declined over the years where Jeff kept getting better and better then it became easier to distinguish between which lead was whose. On Show No Mercy, both of them were amazing.
If you don’t own this release and are a thrash metal fan, get it right away. You’d be amazed at most of the sounds coming out of your speakers. 10 tracks and a little over 35 minutes in length, Show No Mercy is a debut album that deserves mighty recognition for. Too bad about their latest release, stick with the old Slayer and you’ll be fine. This debut into the thrash metal world created such amazing work by the band and their talent during the earliest era. Most thrash metal bands either changed their style of music like Metallica and some others keep putting out releases that sound the same. Slayer’s new release is putrid. Show No Mercy is one hell of a great release however!