Book Review: The Bloody Reign of Slayer

Reviewed By Steve Earles

(Please note, this book was originally published in 2008 – The Ed)

Another book from the bionic pen of Joel McIver (who clearly shares some traits with his 80s in TV name-same in the resourcefulness department. Thankfully they don’t share the same mullet!).

Now, Slayer is a band I’ve enjoyed listening to for many a year, and I would be ultra-critical had Joel not done them justice (for all!). Thankfully he has, producing a well-researched and eminently readable tome (note to writers-this is the sign of a good writer, if no one enjoys what you’ve written, why bother?). But equally, Slayer is not Midas, not everything they’ve produced is gold, and Joel isn’t afraid to say so. Thus, Joel is rightfully critical of the truly awful Undisputed Attitude (a title sadly undeserved in this case, and surely covering such bands as Motorhead and Black Sabbath would have produced better results, particularly if members of those bands were to guest on the recordings, Not there’s a suggestion for you, Slayer chaps!), the unnecessary nu-metalisms of Diabolus in Musica (and such a shame to waste such a Slayer-esque title on such a poor album), and their bizarre cover of “Born to be Wild”! (Betcha didn’t know that, pop-pickers!)

Overall, a fine, well-researched read, worth getting for the amazing story of Slayer’s support slot with the mighty Venom, which brings new meaning to the phrase ‘taking the piss’!

Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.