Slayer: Repentless #1
Writer: Jon Schnepp
Artist: Guiu Vilanova
Publisher: Dark Horse
A review by David Hildebrand
Slayer was the first real heavy metal band that was introduced to me. I remember the first time hearing the double bass drums thumping in my chest, those screaming fast guitars, and the vicious lyrics spat out by vocalist Tom Araya. I immediately fell in love. Throughout the years, I have seen them live numerous times. Moshing and crowd surfing with new and old fans alike. All of us brought together by one of the originators of thrash metal. After going through some rough times with original drummer Dave Lombardo leaving the band (for the second time) and the passing of original guitarist Jeff Hanneman, Slayer returned to the world of metal in 2015 with their latest album Repentless.
Repentless is pure Slayer, they are one of few bands today that has stuck with their original, pulsating sound, not conforming to a more commercialized rock/metal band to sell more albums or get more radio play. Never ones to shy away from controversy, the lyrical content ranges from religion, war, serial killers, and Nazism. Slayer has always been brutal and their new comic of the same name as the album, Repentless #1 is nothing short of what you would expect from the thrash metal legends.
The comic continues from the trilogy of videos directed by horror director BJ McDonnell for the band’s Repentless album. Written by Jon Schnepp, (Metalocalypse and Venture Bros) we follow the protagonist Wyatt, a one-eyed, patch wearing, former neo-Nazi that wants to leave his past behind. His savage brother Adrian has different ideas as he attempts to pull him back in. The comic further expands on the story line that is introduced in the videos, going more in depth with the characters and displays their violent history. Schnepp does a nice job throwing in Slayer lyrics and additional nods to the videos.
Vilanova’s art is solid throughout the issue. He illustrates a dark and gritty atmosphere that is perfect for the content of Schnepp’s script. The videos certainly don’t back down from being graphic, showing throats being slashed, people getting shot point blank in the face, and heads severed. The comic keeps the frantic pace going in the same direction. Blood is red and Vilanova makes sure we don’t forget that as it flows freely through the pages of the book.
Buy it! If you are a Slayer fan, then you are going to want to get your bloody little hands on this book! Even if you aren’t a Slayer fan, you can pick up the book and follow along with no issues. The book captured my attention with all the blood and gore. The characters are interesting enough that I want to continue and see their story play out. I strongly suggest that you watch the video trilogy before reading the book. It is lucky for you guys that I love you all and have added links to all three in order below.
Repentless #1 is in comic shops on January 25th!