World Painted Blood

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World Painted Blood
Studio album by Slayer
Released November 3, 2009
Recorded October 2008 and from January to March 2009 at The Pass in Los Angeles
Genre Thrash metal
Length 39:51
Label American, Sony Music
Producer Rick Rubin (exec.)
Greg Fidelman
Slayer chronology
Christ Illusion
(2006)
World Painted Blood
(2009)
Singles from World Painted Blood
  1. "Psychopathy Red"
    Released: April 18, 2009
  2. "Hate Worldwide"
    Released: July 28, 2009
  3. "World Painted Blood"
    Released: November 26, 2010[1]

World Painted Blood is the tenth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. It was released through American Recordings and Sony Music on November 3, 2009 and was produced by Greg Fidelman and executively produced by Rick Rubin.[2] It is the band's only album produced by Greg Fidelman. With much anticipation for the album after 2006's Christ Illusion, members of Slayer were revealing information about the album since early 2009. There were four different artworks released for the album, each which completed one-fourth of a map, that when put together, illustrates the earth painted with red. There are eleven tracks on the album, with origins illustrating death and destruction, war, serial killers, and the Apocalypse. It is the band's first studio album to be played mostly in E-flat tuning since Divine Intervention.

Three singles were released from the album: "Psychopathy Red", "Hate Worldwide", and "World Painted Blood". "Psychopathy Red" leaked onto the internet over a year before its release, and was released as a seven–inch single on April 18, 2009. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. It was praised by The A.V. Club, who said that the "resounding success in that regard: It's eclectic, but never self-consciously so." "Hate Worldwide" and "World Painted Blood" were both nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 53rd and 54th Grammy Awards, respectively. The album peaked at number two on the US Top Hard Rock Albums chart, as well as twelve on the Billboard 200 and forty-one on the United Kingdom album chart.

World Painted Blood is Slayer's last album to feature founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman prior to his death and drummer Dave Lombardo prior to his firing, both in 2013. Overall, it is Slayer's last studio album to feature the band's original line up.

Writing and recording[edit]

World Painted Blood marked the first time that the band wrote material in the studio rather than entering the studio fully prepared with lyrics. The fact that they were not prepared made guitarist Kerry King skeptical. King related: "I was kind of thinking, 'Man, this could be the first record in a long time that's got a little bit of filler,'" he acknowledges. "But I think every song came out great. I was concerned some would sound similar, and every one is completely different. It's cool how it worked out."[3] The majority of the lyrics and music were written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman. Kerry King stated: "I like when Jeff writes as much as he did for this record. When you have one guy doing most of the writing you only get one perspective. A lot of Jeff's stuff has a very punky vibe this time; the stuff I write sounds thrashy but with a hint of punk, and when Jeff writes the stuff is more punk with a hint of thrash. It works together well."[4] Unlike 2006's Christ Illusion, the band was "under-ready" with their lyrics and music.[5]

Because we did those first three songs in October and those were all his. I don't know if he's worked just since January like I have. I would imagine he probably worked a little earlier than that.

Kerry King, Blabbermouth.net (2009)[5]

The album was recorded in Los Angeles, California with producer Greg Fidelman during October 2008 and then recorded from late January and March 2009.[6][7] There were 13 songs recorded for the album, but only 11 appear on the album.[8] In May 2009, King said of the album: "I think this one has a little bit of everything—more so than anything we've done since Seasons. So I would imagine people are gonna compare it to that one."[9] The band had recorded thirteen songs for the album, seven written by lead guitarist Jeff Hanneman and six by King, although not all of them were included.[9] King later confirmed the album's release date was pushed back to late summer 2009.[10] An article on Slayer's website confirmed the album's name.[11] On August 20, 2009, Roadrunner Records confirmed the track listing.[12] Thom Jurek of Allmusic said the production "takes a different tack altogether for this guitar-manic crew."[13] A listening party for World Painted Blood was held on October 30, 2009 at Duff's Brooklyn in Williamsburg, New York. The event started at 9:00 pm[7]

During the recording of World Painted Blood, King used BC Rich Guitars, Marshall Amplifiers and Cabs, Dunlop strings and picks, EMG pickups, and Korg tuners.[14] Hanneman used ESP guitars, Marshall Amplifiers and Cabs, Dunlop strings and picks, Monster Cables, and Shure Wireless System.[14] Vocalist/bassist Araya used ESP basses, Marshall Bass Amplifiers and Cabs, EMG Pick-Ups, Dunlop Picks and accessories, and MXR Effects.[14] Lombardo used Tama Drums, Paiste cymbals, Pro-Mark drum sticks, and Evans drum heads.[14]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Record producer Greg Fidelman said that "the fact that the songs were still new and fresh to them, and they hadn't been playing them for six months in rehearsal, kept the vibe and excitement in the studio very high."[2] Vocalist Tom Araya said that there "are two principal music writers in this band, so you're going to get a combination of speed and heaviness," and later said that the "writing is really aggressive and fast, while Jeff likes things to be fast, but with melodies and grooves. In making this album, we seemed to share the same vision from song ideas to titles; when we get together as Slayer, it just happens, nothing is contrived, it's not thought out, we just do it, and we did that with this new album."[2] Lombardo said that Hanneman's writing and performance had "gone back to this great punk energy, especially with 'Psychopathy Red'."[15]

"World Painted Blood" includes the B-side "Atrocity Vendor".

Allmusic said that it expressed moods such as Harshness, Fiery, Confidence, Rowdiness, Aggressiveness, Rebellious, Cathartic, Anger, and Hostility. It also is categorized in genres like speed metal and heavy metal. Thom Jurek said Lombardo's percussion beats "are WAAAAAAAY up in the mix," and said that "you can understand every word, even on the thrashers" about Tom Araya's vocal style. "[T]he guitars are simply further down in the mix and sometimes it becomes difficult to discern Araya's bass. Therefore, the first listen or two to World Painted Blood might be a bit confusing for the seasoned Slayer fan, but that changes quickly, and the sound of those drums blasting in one's head will become a more than welcome presence in the mix."[13]

The album's title track was said by band members to be the continuation of "Final Six", which was an outtake from their previous album.[16] "Final Six" origins deal with the apocalypse. "Human Strain" deals with apocalyptic origins as well. The track was explained by guitarist Jeff Hanneman to initially be about the human race dying off by a mutative disease.[17] The title of "Public Display of Dismemberment" refers to the consequences that countries outside of the United States give to citizens for crimes.[18] Tom Araya said that "Unit 731" is "very similar to Josef Mengele in the sense that it was a medical unit in the military, which was a Japanese military unit, actually. They did kind of the same thing; they tested the limits of the human body and recorded it for scientific purposes."[19] "Playing With Dolls" is about a child witnessing a serial killer.[20] "Beauty Through Order" is about Elizabeth Báthory, the most prolific female serial killer.[21] Jeff Hanneman explained: "I've been meaning to write a song about that for a long time. I couldn't figure out the angle, I was thinking, 'How does a woman write? I can't write like a woman I'm a guy!' Then I just figured, 'Well, she's evil; she has lots of power and killed people.' So I just started writing and the lyrics and they came out."[22] Slayer revealed to Revolver that the track "Snuff" has no lyrical concept.[23][24] "Psychopathy Red" was inspired by the Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo.[2]

Singles[edit]

"Psychopathy Red" was the first single from World Painted Blood.

"Psychopathy Red", a song inspired by the Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, was made available as a "limited edition, blood-red vinyl seven-inch vinyl" disc on April 18, 2009 as part of the third annual Record Store Day.[25] The song premiered on October 29, 2008, on a YouTube stream.[26] Originally, "Psychopathy Red" was going to be a b-side of World Painted Blood, but after there was access to it on the internet, they decided to add it to the album's track list.[27]

On July 28, the song "Hate Worldwide" was released as a CD-single, exclusively available at Hot Topic stores.[28] The song was available on the internet before November 2008 and until July 2009, it had been streamed more than a half-million times.[2] "Hate Worldwide" was released as a limited-edition single on October 20, 2009, through Columbia Records as a CD.[29] The song was made available exclusively at Hot Topic stores and was streamed at Hot Topic's ShockHound.com. The composition was written by Kerry King who said "It's a really cool track, and Tom's voice sounds incredible on it. The last line in the song's chorus is '..spread a little hate worldwide,' and that's what we've been doing for 25 years." Along with five other songs, "Hate Worldwide" was nominated for a Best Metal Performance Grammy Award, but lost to "Dissident Aggressor" by Judas Priest.[30]

The title track, "World Painted Blood", was released as a seven-inch single on November 26, 2010, and was limited to 2500 copies. It included the b-side "Atrocity Vendor".[1] A music video for the song had already been released on June 16, 2010.[31][32] The single was exclusively released through the Metal Club record store chain.[1] The song itself was said by the band to be a continuation of "Final Six", a bonus track on the special edition of Slayer's 2006 album Christ Illusion, and deals with the end of the world.[16] Araya and Hanneman have said "World Painted Blood" is "one of the more classic Slayer songs".[16]

A music video has been made for "Beauty Through Order",[33] however, it has been removed from most online sources.[34]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 78/100[35]
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4/5 stars[36]
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[13]
The A.V. Club A–[37]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[38]
Consequence of Sound 4/5 stars[39]
musicOMH 4/5 stars[40]
Now 5/5 stars[41]
Pitchfork Media 7.3/10[42]
PopMatters 8/10[43]
Spin 5/10[35][44]
Rock Hard 8/10[45]

World Painted Blood generally received positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, it has been given a score of 78 out of 100 based on 11 reviews.[35]

Greg Moffitt from the BBC said that the album "is their best in years."[46] He also noted that "a few of the songs command the attention with the insistence of old, but quite frankly we were beginning to wonder if they still had an album like this left in them." Moffitt also said the album was "a deliciously wicked ride."[46] Thom Jurek of AllMusic rewarded the album three and a half stars, saying "in many ways it could be Reign In Blood Revisited", and later said that "some compositions on this new recording have more of the band's early–style melody in them, with lightning flare–up riffs between verses: quick unexpected guitar pyrotechnics; and blastbeat power drumming from Dave Lombardo pushing it all into red."[13] Blabbermouth.net's Ryan Ogle gave the album 75. out of 10 and said that it "jumps into fairly aggressive thrash gallop, but doesn't really have that 'straight-for-the-throat' feel you'd expect from track one."[47]

Leonard Pierce of The A.V. Club described the album as "burden", and said it "weighs particularly heavy on bands that made their reps with intensity and innovation; Slayer, in particular, was perceived as wandering in the wilderness during the years Paul Bostaph sat behind the drum kit, and expectations were high for the group."[37] Pierce rewarded the album with an A–, and said that the album was "eclectic, but never self-consciously so. It rarely flags in intensity, and it's good enough that if it were inserted in Slayer’s discography right after Seasons In The Abyss—the record it most resembles—it would be an almost seamless transition."[37] Adrien Begrand from PopMatters gave the album eight out of ten stars, saying "it's a slight improvement on Christ Illusion, as more than on any of their previous five albums, the foursome of guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, bassist/vocalist Tom Araya, and drummer Dave Lombardo find themselves revisiting the seminal styles of their 1986–88 heyday."[43] About.com's Chad Bowar and MusicOMH gave the album four out of five stars.[36][40]

World Painted Blood sold 41,000 copies in the United States in its first week, landing it a number twelve spot on the Billboard 200.[48][49] The album peaked number seven on the German music chart.[50] The album also debuted number forty–one on the UK Albums Chart.[51] "Hate Worldwide" was nominated for Best Metal Performance in 2009,[52] and the title track "World Painted Blood" was nominated for the same award a year later,[53] but lost to Iron Maiden's El Dorado.

Release[edit]

Marketing and artwork[edit]

In June 2009, it was announced that the album would be released in the late summer of 2009.[8] The album was released on November 3, 2009. The album's artwork was revealed on September 15, 2009. Four different covers were equally shipped for a standard that when put together, they create a world map covered in blood.[54] The album has four special collector's edition CD covers, and each of them "display one-fourth of a provocative continental map illustrated with human skulls and bones; when placed together, the four images form a complete and grisly map of the world." Each album has a blood-red, transparent top panel, with the map displayed beneath it. The full map is also seen in a sleeve of the double-digipak edition of World Painted Blood.[55]

Release history[edit]

Region Year Label Format Catalog Ref
Europe 2009 American Recordings LP, Gatefold 88697 41318 1 [56]
Russia Sony Music Entertainment CD 88697 61431 2 [57]
Japan Sony Music Japan International Inc. SICP 2253 [58]
Europe American Recordings 88697614912 [59]
United States 88697 41318 2 [60]
Europe 88697413182 [61]
Australia CD, DVD, NTSC 88697534382 [62]
Europe 88697534382 [63]
United States 88697 41318 2 [64]
LP, Gatefold 88697413181 [65]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "World Painted Blood"   Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman Hanneman 5:53
2. "Unit 731"   Hanneman Hanneman 2:40
3. "Snuff"   Kerry King King 3:42
4. "Beauty Through Order"   Araya, Hanneman Hanneman 4:37
5. "Hate Worldwide"   King King 2:52
6. "Public Display of Dismemberment"   King King 2:35
7. "Human Strain"   Araya, Hanneman Hanneman 3:09
8. "Americon"   King King 3:23
9. "Psychopathy Red"   Hanneman Hanneman 2:26
10. "Playing with Dolls"   Araya, Hanneman, King Hanneman 4:14
11. "Not of This God"   King King 4:20
Total length:
39:51
Limited bonus track
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
12. "Atrocity Vendor"   Araya, King King [66] 2:53
Japanese bonus track
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
12. "Psychopathy Red" (Explicit Live Version) Hanneman Hanneman 2:47

Charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[67] 9
Austrian Albums Chart[68] 13
Belgium Album Chart[69] 38
Canadian Albums Chart[70] 8
Dutch Albums Chart[71] 15
Finnish Albums Chart[72] 12
French Albums Chart[73] 28
German Albums Chart[50] 7
Italian Albums Chart[74] 26
Japanese Albums Chart[75] 20
New Zealand Albums Chart[76] 16
Norwegian Albums Chart[77] 15
Polish Albums Chart[78] 16
Swedish Albums Chart[79] 21
Swiss Albums Chart[80] 14
UK Albums Chart[51] 41
US Billboard 200[49] 12
US Top Hard Rock Albums[81] 2
US Top Rock Albums[81] 4

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from AllMusic.[82][83]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]