Thrash-metal firebrands Slayer provide an apocalyptic soundtrack for a prison riot in the music video for the title track of their new album, Repentless, which comes out today. Full of gore and blood, the clip stays true to the legacy of the band, which once prominently featured a photo of a fan’s arm with the band’s named carved into it. One prisoner, played by Danny Trejo (Machete), viciously stabs a security guard, while other convicts bludgeon, strangle and slash one another — all as the band plays the jagged song live in the yard. It’s less “Jailhouse Rock” and more jailhouse mosh, and it ends with a particularly chilling scene.
Rolling Stone was on hand for the filming of the video, which was directed by BJ McDonnell (Hatchet III) and shot footage of how it was made, while talking to the band and cast. “We’re telling the story that we’ve always told about society and how humans treat each other,” frontman Tom Araya said. “It can get pretty violent. It can get pretty stupid. But that’s OK. That’s human nature.”
“We had a burning building and barbed wire and Slayer. It was killer,” McDonnell said. “We love horror movies and we played for that and made it really gnarly and violent.”
“I’m probably the most excited I’ve been for a video that we’ve ever done,” added guitarist Kerry King.
Repentless is Slayer’s first album since 2009’s World Painted Blood and their first since the 2013 death of King’s foil, guitarist Jeff Hanneman. Nevertheless, the record contains one song with a songwriting contribution by the fallen guitar player. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt, who had been filling in for Hanneman while he recovered from a flesh-eating disease in the years prior to his death, contributed solos in his stead. The album also features the return of drummer Paul Bostaph, who played in Slayer in the Nineties and early 2000s, appearing on four studio LPs.
With the exception of an appearance on Motörhead’s Motörboat cruise, which departs from Miami on September 28th, the band will be touring Europe for the rest of the year to support the LP.