Venom and Celtic Frost. But it was more than simple intestifying, some sort of elemental aggression was unleashed on "Hell Awaits".
Slayer played way faster, than others before, and their directly evil sympathyzing and blasphemous lyrics showed some sadistic pleasure. The increased speed, better sound, noisy, wild solo themes, evil lyrics, and Tom Araya's barking/screaming vocals alltogether created that elemental aggression, that made the band an icon, and showed the overwhelming intensiveness of thrash metal. Unlike other bands with similar ambitions, it didn't sound like a fortunate result of a musical experiment, or a scandal seeking perfomance, it was about pure rage and intensity with the lack of any sense of humour or funny, unserious features. Their catchy themes and aggressiveness were well debuted on "Show No Mercy" already, but with this album the listener recieves a perfect composition of hellish rampage by a determined and experienced band. Music straight from the "fiery pits of hell".