Slayer is an American thrash metal band, formed in 1982 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. Since their debut record in 1983, the band has released, two live albums, one box set, and ten studio albums with sales peaking over four million. The band are known for their distinctive musical traits, involving fast tremolo picking, guitar solos, double bass drumming, and screaming vocals.
Slayer rose to fame as a leader of the American thrash metal movement, with their 1986 influential release Reign in Blood, which has been called "the heaviest album of all time". Slayer's lyrics and album art, which cover topics such as serial killers, satanism, religion, warfare and the Holocaust have generated album bans, delays, lawsuits and strong criticism from religious groups and the public.
The band has received Grammy nominations, headlined major music festivals worldwide, and are credited as one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands, along with Megadeth, Metallica, and Anthrax.