by Doug Moore

Slayer at MSG Theater, 2013 (more by Caroline Harrison)

Revolver Magazine's Golden Gods Awards were last night. I'm not typically one for awards shows, but this one was notable for a surprise (read: tweeted about several hours in advance) live appearance by thrash metal legends Slayer, who are down to two original members following the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman (RIP) and the departure of drummer Dave Lombardo. In true post-2000 Slayer fashion, the Golden Gods appearance was timed to coincide with a business announcement -- the band have ended their relationship with Rick Rubin's American Recordings (which goes all the way back to the Reign In Blood days) and signed to a worldwide deal with long-running German label Nuclear Blast where they'll have their own imprint.

The band also announced a tentative early-2015 release date for their upcoming, still-untitled 12th album. They both debuted a song from it, "Implode," live at Golden Gods last night and posted a studio version on their website as a free download. It's their first new studio cut in five years and you can stream it below.

"Implode" pretty much picks up where Slayer left off before the lineup shuffle of the past few years -- which sounds better on paper than it does in practice. The groove section that opens the song aims for 'tense,' but predictably misses and ends up with 'goofy' instead. (There's something to be said for masking your lyrics with incomprehensible growling on occasion.) The band sounds much more confident at the faster tempos that occupy the second half of "Implode." It's not exactly a dire omen for the album to follow, but it hardly inspires renewed confidence in Slayer's songwriting future, either.

Stream "Implode" below...

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Slayer - "Implode"