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The legacy carried by one of heavy metal’s most influential artists, Slayer, has long endured a sea of controversy throughout their career spanning thirty-five years. Since their inception in 1981, Slayer have dominated the thrash metal scene with not only the wielding power of complex riffs and speed rhythms, but their album artwork has inspired a string of controversies. The band recognizes no boundaries when it comes to artistic expression, in any form of art, whether it’s visual or musical. In recent years, Slayer suffered the loss of a founding member, guitarist as well as a key songwriter, Jeff Hanneman due to liver disease. As many questioned the future of the band, sans its critical musical contributor, Slayer continued writing new material with Kerry King, fellow guitarist, taking the reigns as primary songwriter.

In 2015, Slayer released their latest album titled Repentless, featuring Gary Holt as a fulltime replacement in Jeff Hanneman’s place. Perhaps the recent struggles have garnered a sense of purpose in an entirely new direction for the band. In an attempt to promote their latest album, Repentless, the band released a music video of the title track. Featuring a few well-known celebrities, the music video takes place in a high security prison. To describe the video as gory, violent, and bloody would simply be an understatement by diminishing the significance of its shock value. As the video gained momentum online, a storyline was set in place to film a prequel, as well as a conclusion to the Repentless music video. If placed in chronological order with respect to the story’s timeline, the videos should be played in this order; You Against You, Repentless, and Pride In Prejudice. Following the success of the video trilogy, Slayer were presented another opportunity to expand the Repentless universe using a different format; a limited comic book series.

Named after the album title, Repentless hit the shelves January 25th, 2017 with its first issue published by comic giants, Dark Horse Comics. The three-part limited series expands on the storyline of the video trilogy, maintaining the similar elements that drove the series into popularity such as the blood, gore, and extreme violence. When asked about the purpose and inspiration behind such a violent story, vocalist Tom Araya stated “ We’re telling the story that we’ve always told about society and how humans treat each other[1]”.

Repentless focuses on Wyatt; a young man whose left his past of Neo-Nazi convictions behind. Wyatt’s actions create tension between him and his family as he is now seen as a traitor; they seek revenge by kidnapping his wife, an African American woman. Her disappearance creates a string of ruthless acts as Wyatt is brought to face his past. If you’ve seen the music videos, you’ll already have an idea how the story will end. Yet the comic series offers much more details and backstory that rather than a carbon copy of the video trilogy, readers are presented with a great companion instead.

Slayer – Repentless video trilogy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zhi3FmTUFg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjb0j9l1sz4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF5iMLldBzE

 

There are currently only two of the three series released at this time. The third and final issue will be released May 24th, 2017. Pick up your copy soon before the third issue hits shelves.

 

Matthew.

[1] https://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/30-952/Slayer-Repentless-1

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