Slayer - The Repentless Killogy

Slayer The Repentless Killogy cover
The Repentless Killogy
Trafalgar Releasing / Nuclear Blast Records / Prime Zero Productions
Slayer allegedly have finished their active “career” as a touring band, whatever that means and however that can be reinterpreted…
The band has been one of the most visceral and extreme in metal, without having to resort to extreme theatrics and pretentious schemas and probably the edgiest of the titular big 4. That much has not really changed – despite the band seemingly having lost its edge after the seminal 1990 epic that “Seasons in the Abyss” was, both taking longer times off between albums, but also changing the style ever so slightly to a more punk and urban sound, which didn’t have the same sinister character of the works up to that point with rare exceptions. Slayer, if you’ll excuse the pun, I am about to make, always Slayed… live!
But… they had already classic live album, with the impressive “Decade of Aggression” that captured them on the 1991 eponymous tour, but not very much after that, since they really went about releasing visual only live performances in the 00s in the form of DVDs, which again were cool, depending on the setlist and lineup. The Big Four performance, which was also captured on film was not particularly bad either, but it was more massive than impressive in on itself… thus “The Repentless Killogy” is meant to act as an updated “best of – live compilation”, of the hits for the band, captured on their final tour, a crowning achievement of four decades of thrash, adversity, relentless touring and less than ideal circumstances (ie finishing with 2 original members).
The short film, which pretty much mixes scenes from all the latest (and ultra-violent) video clips the band released during the “Repentless” cycle and ties them together with some additional footage that features both the protagonist of those videos, Wyatt (Jason Trost) along with guys like Danny Trejo, because why not, he looks badass still at 70… and others and it all climaxes at the end of the Slayer show. The whole story is so loosely conceived that it hardly makes any more sense than the flop that “Through the Never” for Metallica did, at least as a film/stoty. Wyatt seems to run with the wrong crowd – a bunch of neonazi’s but some girl there manages to make him redeem himself… yet his former, comrades won’t let him be… the story starts with a barrage of “You Against You” – “Repentless” – “Pride in Prejudice” all being loosely tied together by a few establishing extra scenes, which try to justify the change of scenery and create some sort of a plot…
it being that Wyatt is doing time for his crimes, but is set free during a riot at the police station and since his former gang has killed the woman who saved him, he is going after a certain character named Luther. In his quest he brutally murders a bunch of nazi goons in extremely gory ways… including the pregnant g/f of Luther, ripping the baby from her womb after he shots it. It’s a cliché revenge trope, as all these scenes allude to. One of them cracks when Wyatt threatens to kill his entire family, but Wyatt he beheads him by pulling a wir and guess what, the main baddie is meant to be at the “Slayer concert” on some business… not the likeliest of stories, but it is what it is…We’re then transferred in the Forum, with Slayer on stage, performing, “Angel Of Death” which closes the show.
The titular “Luther” appears, finally, first among the crowd and then backstage holding a gun and trying to murder a middle-aged Latina who manages to make him shoot himself instead just as Slayer walks in after the first night’s show and stands there – confused af. The Latina lady is proven to be an agent of Wyatt, and he’s seen finally free from the neonazi clutches… It’s just weird and hardly a contender for the Oscars… let’s leave it at that.
After the short film there’s the option of watching the entire show that Slayer performed at The Forum in Inglewood, California, on August 5th, 2017. It’s early in the tour, but the band is on fire and their performance is electric... manic, full of attitude and pathos, a really great band giving it all, giving both fans and the world a taste of what might have been to have seen Slayer in the prime, almost. Trying to represent most key albums and all eras, the set might be a bit more “Repentless” oriented that one would expect, but it still has a good number of classics from the first five albums, in fact about a dozen out of twenty or so. Visually things are not too bad, but, the director didn’t have the luxury of asking the crowd to act along, while he could capture the musicians from really close, ie on stage and as such the montage, has mostly mid rage shots, with the occasional zoom and while it gets the job done, it’s certainly not as impressive as it could be. (Case and point “Through the Never” by Metallica, that might be a shitty film, but has some of the most impressively choreographed and great looking onstage material ever seen).
Also the fact that the band is pretty static in their performances, other than headbanging a bit doesn’t really make for much in ways of visual splendor. But the music makes up for that. That being said, the audio is offered in standard definition and the bare minimum of configurations… it’s not the ultimate in audio visual quality, with the audio suffering a bit more. I suppose with a few more shows till the tour ends later this month and a massive “Farewell” gig on new year’s eve, that’s meant to feature a six band thrash marathon of a set, we might be getting a definitive tour memento from that show… with a shaven, more 90s looking Araya.
Without managing to outdo “Decades...”, The Repentless Killogy”, either in audio or visual form, manages to at least come close, giving an up-to date career encompassing view from the “killing fields”. Probably what’s to come “posthumously” will be the “definitive” Slayer live experience, but “Killogy” is a very good collection and something to “sate” the craving for blood and war forevermore…