"Songs like "Black Rose and Thorns", "No Idea", and "City of Sirtel" are pure Metal epics with lots of tempo changes and an all out pure guitar blitz assault provided by Paul Kratky which is heavy as hell."
"The technical precision is jaw dropping......one of the best underground bands of the eighties"
"Extended cuts like the 9 minute "Metal Is No Sin" or the 8 minute "Wicked Bitch" are so complex and yet heavy and, yes, catchy, that it blows your mind." - Chaos Realm
“SLAUTER XSTROYES was a 4-piece metal band and in 1985 they released an Lp that should've brought all self-respecting metal connoisseurs to their knees. The title cut, "Winter Kill," opens this record and by the time the listener has gone to retrieve their head from the other end of the room, they'll have realized that THIS IS SOME SERIOUS S*&%! Truthfully, the beginning of this song may be the most monumental exercise in blatant, heavy-as-s&%# Godliness that's ever been inscribed on vinyl.”
“For starters here's the 1985 album by Chicago Metal Gods Slauter Xstroyes. "Winter Kill" was privately released at the time and was later reissued by the good folks at the much-missed Monster Records. A strange band, their sound is primitive then technical by turns, some times epic, occasionally blunt, and this can all be in the course of a single song! They recorded another album "Free The Beast", which went unreleased at the time, but was later issued by Monster too. If anyone has this album, i'd be much obliged if you could post it. I love this album!”
“Having released a cult debut album in 1985 called "Winter Kill" that struck a chord with many heavy metal fans, the 1987 follow-up album didn't make much of a splash because it wasn't released. Well okay, it was shelved for well over a decade until it was issued in 1999. All that matters is that it -was- released, and it fucking kills. Taking off after their debut they don't sound too far from MERCYFUL FATE at their peak, and this time around SLAUTER XSTROYES are more aggressive incorporating some thrash elements here and there. The complexity has risen, there's even a bass solo early in "Wicked Bitch" that wouldn't be out of place on ATHEIST's "Unquestionable Presence." see more...”
“Alright, what can I say here… words can do no justice. This is a band of mythic status among the underground metal scene. Disbanded for years, having released only the uber-cult classic Winter Kill in the late ’80s and a compilation of unreleased material in the ’90s, they reunited for a few shows in the last year. Everyone was extremely curious how these guys would recreate their extreme progressive obscure U.S. power metal. After all, the original vocalist is gone and it seemed like an impossible feat to replace him. Well, we became witnesses of not only the perfect reproduction of all their instrumental and vocal acrobatics but in fact of a performance that exceeded the 25 year old recorded material! Their new vocalist is a dead ringer for the original and easily pulled off the mad and powerful vocal lines of the songs. This was an absolutely devastating performance, certainly one to remember for many years to come. 10+”
“Well this is the second album of this great band. Monster records released the stuff of this album 12 years after its recording. Slauter Xstroyes hailing from Illinois (USA) had already released their killer debut ?Winter Kill? in 1985. Two years later in 1987 they have recorded the stuff for their second album ?Free The Beast? that was about to released by King Classic Records, a release that never happened back then due to several problems. continued....”
“Well this band was ahead of its time their 1985 debut Winter Kill is not only one of the rarest records in heavy Metal but it is also the Holy Bible of the US Power / Prog Metal (together with the two Watchtower masterpieces of course). Here we got seven tracks –in the original pressing- of technical, intelligent, powerful, skull crashing, passionate and storm taking US Power Metal executed in a complex and ultra unorthodox Progressive way. Yes the record carries this special magic touch that makes it unique in the Metal universe and would make anyone realize the stuff of Winter Kill among a thousand bands / albums. ”
"the overriding mastery of SLAUTER XSTROYES is their ability to come up with the most massive riffs that are totally original. "Black Rose and Thorns," a monster epic and my favorite song on the Lp, along with "Winter Kill." Overflowing with acoustic sections, stratospheric vocals and ripping musicianship, it's in league with ditties like "Victim of Changes." W
"Outstanding, epic US Metal, very original, but catchy at the same time, with undistorted bass and majestic vocals that remind me of early Omen, early Virgin Steele, Manilla Road and Samson-era Bruce Dickinson - all wrapped up in brilliant battle hymns performed by four very talented musicians. "
"Their outstanding power play is identifiable in every song. In addition to this,Slauter Xstroyes present to the listener clever arrangements,a couple of breaks and cool ecstatic melodies. John Stewart who's the frontman of the band,is a singer whose organ(voice) varies from agressiveness to melody and strength and he,for sure, belongs to the elite of the metal explosion that took place in the early eighties."
"From the heavy droney keyboard intro, through the album's intervening moments of galloping attack, doomy riffing, and acoustic bliss, to the closing anthem "Mother, Mother Fucker" these guys rule."
"After spending an hour trying to find the words to review this album, the only description that fully encompasses this masterpiece seems to be indescribable. "WinterKill" is a heavy-metal fan's dream come true"
"Just listen to the opening track entitled "Winterkill" and you can understand what I mean-one of the best heavy metal songs ever written!"
"Actually, this is not just a good album, nor S.X. just another good band. These guys RIP!!!!! I challenge you to listen to the approximately eight minute long title track that is one of the best HEAVY METAL tracks ever composed! No kiddin'! Rough as hell rhythm section, vicious leads, uncompromising vocals and complicated songs will rip your spine off and get you beggin for mercy." -