It started to leak from various sources over the weekend: Supreme x Slayer.
You might not know Supreme. You might not know Slayer. That doesn't mean you can't keep reading along to hear some of the greatest thrash metal songs ever written.
Supreme is the godfather of streetwear. The New York brand has been at it since the mid-90s, creating some of the most iconic images in what has been a massive industry - street fashion aimed primarily at adolescent males in urban locales. And when the drop hits on Thursday, you can try to buy any of the massive number of items in the capsule, here.
Slayer is an amazing band. They employed imagery in a darker, more raw and gnarly way than just about any other band that came before them. While bands like Cannibal Corpse, a death metal band mind you, not a thrash metal outfit, went way over the top with extremely graphic lyrics and imagery, it was the subtle and artistic dark edges of Slayer that made them both in-your-face and a cultural phenomenon.
I've only seen Slayer live once, back in 2003. The deciding factor in attending the concert wasn't that the almighty Slayer was playing near me, it was actually because of the opener - Hatebreed. I love the thrash metal kings, but it was the metalcore masters, Hatebreed, that were the main draw. Slayer put on the best show I've ever seen from a band of that level of popularity. An arena show can never be as raw, violent, or intense as a small club being torn apart by a couple hundred maniacs. This was as close as it got to matching the intensity of an intimate setting.
Grabbing a Slayer shirt was my highest priority of the night. I still have that shirt. Probably always will.
Not everyone has been into Slayer for the past 15-20 years. Even then, you might be considered a "n00b" to the metal elite who, by virtue of being old people, were around much earlier. If you're not sure who Slayer is, but you're really digging the new Supreme drop, these are the six songs you should know before wandering around in your new "South of Heaven" shirt or "Seasons In The Abyss" jacket.
6. "Expendable Youth"
Basically, Slayer has been making music for more than 30 years, but if you really want to get what the band is all about, you just need to listen to their work from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s. I'd consider Divine Intervention to be an optional listen, despite the fact that it went gold in the United States and Canada.
So we're gonna stick with the other albums, because they rule. Enter Seasons in the Abyss, which was released in 1990. Like the other classic Slayer releases, it has standout songs, but it is best when you just let it play all the way through. "Expendable Youth" is the least recognizable song on this list and is about gang violence. A primarily white male thrash band that was on Def Jam Recordings for a very short time, writing a song about gang violence. In 1990. Camo jackets are super in right now, so if you plan to run wild in the streets in your new Supreme x Slayer camo jacket that says "Seasons In The Abyss" on it, you should probably remember this jam so you can explain it to your parents when you ask them for $600 to buy this thing.
5. "Angel of Death"
If a band sings a lot about Hell and violence, has particularly dark imagery, would you be even remotely surprised if there was a song about World War II? Like everything else Slayer has ever done, it was considered controversial by some, but loved by many. The high-pitched scream at the beginning of the song just about ruins any potential to take it seriously until you realize that the song is about a famous Nazi's horrific experiments on humans.
Oh, this track? It's 30 years old. That should blow your mind almost as much as the concept of white Supreme sweatpants with Slayer's "Slaytanic" eagle crest all over them.
4. "Raining Blood"
This is the ultimate Slayer song. "Angel of Death" is a crowd favorite at their live shows, but "Raining Blood" is THE Slayer song. If you have even remote thoughts of dropping however many hundreds of dollars Supreme will want for a "Reign In Blood" thermal shirt, you should definitely take the time to get to know the band's most iconic rager. Don't be a puss-weed, dude.
3. "South of Heaven"
Look, Slayer loves to come off as evil and shock people. And who knows what they've really got going on in their heads. Tom Araya, lead vocalist and bassist, is of South American decent and reportedly a devout Catholic. Not that being Catholic has anything to do with anything, I think we all know that. So, if you want to have more substance in your life than a Catholic, which isn't difficult, you'll probably want to know the title track from one of the best Slayer albums that also has its own t-shirt dedicated to it in the capsule.
2. "Dead Skin Mask"
This is one of the very best riffs you can hear in a metal song of any genre. Not only does this song rule on the record, it is a barn-burner live, too. It also doubles as the backing track for one of the best songs from controversial and eccentric German digital hardcore legends, Atari Teenage Riot. The track "Destroy 2000 Years of Culture" is just as crucial as they come and it gets its adrenaline and bite from the "Dead Skin Mask" riff. Also, you can't really roll up to your squad in a dank Slayer x Supreme hoodie and not be prepared to scream, one long, drawn out word at a time, "DEEEEAAAAAAAD. SKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN. MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASK!"
1. "Mandatory Suicide"
Back in 2003 or 2002 or 2004... one of those years, some friends were starting a pop-punk band and I decided that I should be their singer. Like, it was a bombed out house and we practiced in a disgusting room that smelled like the cat piss and poop that was strewn about the house. Quickly, I high-jacked - unintentionally, for once - the band and changed it from their pop-punk jam to Mandatory Suicide. Yes, I named their band for which I appointed myself the singer after a Slayer song. We played for a couple of hours and never really remembered our songs, added one of our friends to play second guitar, and then got on a gig either the very next night or the next week, I don't know which it was. We opened for Formaldehyde Junkies and they said they would never come back and play our city unless we were the openers again.
Also, "Mandatory Suicide" is probably the theme song for every hypebeast that misses out on the drop this Thursday because the bots are going to take everything from us and the rest of us will be fighting over scraps. So, if you're one of the 16-year-old kids that have money to blow on Slayer gear, but don't know the band, and you get really sad because you couldn't buy this shirt or this windbreaker jacket, just play this jam and walk into the ocean. Later, dweebs.
by Daniel Coughlin (@xvanwilderx)