Top 10 Covers of Classic Slayer Songs

by Richard Bienstock
Posted Sep 25, 2015 at 12:04pm

Repentless, the long-awaited 11th studio album from Slayer—who also are on the cover of the latest issue of Guitar World, was released September 11.

To celebrate the new Slayer's some old Slayer music. Specifically, 10 classic Slayer tunes, as covered by a variety of metal (and some not-so-metal) artists.

Check out the list below, and let us know what you think in the comments.

1. Voivod, "Chemical Warfare"

Canadian metal weirdos Voivod covered the leadoff track on 'Haunting the Chapel' for their raw 1984 demo, 'Morgoth Invasion.' "Chemical Warfare" closes out the second side of the cassette, the liner notes of which list frontman Snake on "Throat & Insults" and drummer Away on "Thunder Machine."

2. Cradle of Filth, "Hell Awaits"

The British black metal vets' cover of the title track to Slayer's second full-length appeared as a bonus track on CoF's 1996 record, 'Dusk…And Her Embrace.' Fittingly, they added some spooky synths to the thrash metal mix.

3. Hatebreed, "Ghosts of War"

On their 2008 covers album, 'For the Lions,' Hatebreed tackled songs by artists like Bad Brains, Cro-Mags and Suicidal Tendencies, among others. Their version of this 'South of Heaven' track led off the disc.

4. Vader, "Raining Blood"

Long-running Polish death metal band Vader are far from the only act to cover 'Raining Blood" (see the next entry on this list), but their version is one of the best. It can be heard as a bonus track on 2006's 'Impressions in Blood.'

5. Tori Amos, "Raining Blood"

Tori Amos' 2001 covers album, 'Strange Little Girls,' was strange, indeed, with a version of Eminem's "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" among the track list. But the ultimate oddball was this piano-driven rendition of the ultimate Slayer anthem, which she has also performed live over the years (only, unlike Slayer, without the actual blood).

6. Children of Bodom, "Silent Scream"

Children of Bodom's 2009 covers compilation album, 'Skeletons in the Closet,' showed just how wide the Finnish band casts their musical net. Among other songs, Alexi Laiho and Co. tackled Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Lookin' Out My Back Door," Poison's "Talk Dirty to Me" and Britney Spears' "Oops!... I Did It Again." Given that span, 'Silent Scream' seems almost too obvious a cover choice. But the band more than does the 'South of Heaven' track justice.

7. Korn, "South of Heaven"

Korn have performed 'South of Heaven' onstage, though they only tackled the instrumental intro…which is maybe for the best. (Another performance also included Kid Rock, with lyrics written on a piece of paper, taking a stab at the vocals.)

8. Less Than Jake, "Evil Has No Boundaries"

The Florida ska-punk band turns in a surprisingly vicious take on this 'Show No Mercy' classic. Vocalist Chris DeMakes even nails Tom Araya's opening banshee scream.

9. At the Gates, "Captor of Sin"

The Swedish melodic death metal pioneers churned out a particularly brutal take on this early Slayer cut, from their 1984 EP, 'Haunting the Chapel.' At the Gates' version appeared as a bonus track on the 2002 reissue of their classic 1995 album, 'Slaughter of the Soul.'

10. Apocalyptica, "Angel of Death"

The Finnish classical metal troupe's take on the 'Reign in Blood' opener is probably the most well-known "orchestral" rendition of a Slayer song. But it's hardly the only one. For more, check out the Vitamin String Quartet.

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