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Slayer are an American thrash metal band, founded in Huntington Park, California, in 1981 by Tom Araya, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman, and Dave Lombardo. Lombardo has been in and out of the group many times, but the others have remained constant.

The band released their eleventh studio album, World Painted Blood, in 2009.

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Slayer (along with Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and others) are often credited with creating American thrash metal by speeding up the sound of NWOBHM bands like Iron Maiden. Slayer also drew from hardcore punk influences like Minor Threat, Dead Kennedys and The Misfits; borrowing some of that music's emphasis on extremely quick tempos in many of their songs. Some of Slayer's music can be quite progressive, as they often change tempos and arrangements multiple times through the course of a single track.

1986's Reign In Blood, has been called a "thrash metal masterpiece" and even credited with almost single-handedly inspiring the entire death metal genre, at least in North America. Kerrang! described Reign In Blood as "the heaviest album of all time". In 2003, Slayer played the album in its entirety throughout their full tour. A DVD of one of these performances was released with the title Still Reigning. The "Reign in Blood" portion of the show concluded with the band being drenched in a rain of fake blood.

Slayer received their first Grammy nomination for "Best Metal Performance" on January 8, 2002. They will be touring extensively in 2006 including multiple appearances with the band Lamb of God.