If ever breaks of hell were on the loose, I guess it was all beginning with “Hell Awaits”. If the doors of hell were unlocked, it happened 26 year ago and the key was this 37:11 minutes of no mercy and reign in blood ( 😀 ). Seven tracks of brutality and aggression as only Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King and Dave Lombardo knows to deliver since and forever. No weakness, no hesitation, no second thought, only killer riffs, fast and furious drums and deadly howls and screams. Araya spit his killer thoughts like no other, Hanneman and King have the most murderous solos and some of the most cutting riffs ever bring to this Earth while Lombardo is not only deadly precise, but fast and colorful simultaneously.
“Hell Awaits just holds the entire thing. Every bit of everything to do with heavy music” said in an interview Phil Anselmo of Pantera/Down/Superjoint Ritual, and “Hell Awaits” paved the way to the very particular and distinctive sound of their own which bring them recognition and make them one of the “Big Four” alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax.
While the band’s previous release, “Show No Mercy”, was exclusively paid for by band members, and it became Metal Blade Records’ highest selling release to the date, selling 40,000 copies worldwid, producer Brian Slagel desired to release a second Slayer album, so he decided to financed the recording budget and recruited several experienced producers to help in the studio. Slagel hired producer Ron Fair, who worked for Chrysalis Records, and had seen the band perform live and enjoyed their performance, while Bernie Grundman provided audio mastering, Eddy Schreyer worked on remastering, and Bill Metoyer acted as sound engineer.
01. Hell Awaits
02. Kill Again
03. At Dawn They Sleep
04. Praise of Death
06. Crypts of Eternity
07. Hardening of the Arteries
The recording featured audio effects such as the intro to “Hell Awaits,” a reversed recording of a demonic-sounding voice repeating “Join us,” ending with “Welcome back.”
To promote Hell Awaits, Slayer embarked on the Combat Tour with Venom and Exodus.
Following the success of “Hell Awaits”, Slayer was offered a recording contract with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin’s newly founded Def Jam Records.
But “Hell Awaits” is not the kind of record which enter any charts, but the hearts and defined the essence of further extreme metal.
“Hell Awaits” were re-recorded by various other metal bands, and have appeared in several tribute albums, such as “Slatanic Slaughter II” and “Gateway to Hell 2”. The song “Hell Awaits” has been covered by Cradle of Filth and Incantation, “Kill Again” by Angelcorpse, “Praise of Death” by Sinister, “At Dawn They Sleep” by Six Feet Under, and “Necrophiliac” by Benediction.