THAT ONE ALBUM: Brendan Canning

There’s always that one album; the one you stick up for no matter what and would fornicate with if you literally could. Instead of talking about the discs we love,    we’ve decided to turn the spotlight on musicians. Broken Social Scene co-founder BRENDAN CANNING names his favourite record, one adored by metal heads.



There’s not too many records in my lifetime where I counted down the days before its release. About a month prior to it coming out, I was listening to Brian Taylor’s Aggressive Rock show on CKLN 88.1 when I first heard songs off of SLAYER’s Reign In Blood. It was “Altar of Sacrifice” and “Jesus Saves” back to back. That’s right kids, they do blend into one another so you have to play them both, don’t you? Anyway, I taped those two bad boys and couldn’t believe the leap Slayer had made from their “pretty good” album Hell Awaits. No one could!


Much has been written about this album over the years because it is glorious. For older metal heads like myself, this was as good as metal got and the whole thing clocked in under 29 minutes. I’m sure that decision among many others owes a little to the production ideas of Rick Rubin who signed Slayer to Def Jam Recordings. A metal band on Def Jam? Insane, right? It all made sense when you played the record and put the headphones on; no God-fearing parent could bear to hear all that ungodly heaviness.

The lyrics were so on-point compared to so many other metal band’s satanic musings or tales about destruction. “Angel of Death” spoke of the Holocaust so graphically that one couldn’t help but write all the lyrics on the detention room desk out of pure necessity. I am older now and I can’t say I’ve listened to Reign In Blood lately, but give me a microphone and I’ll tell the world it’s the stuff nightmares are made out of.

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