There aren’t many bigger names in metal than SLAYER and Australia is extremely lucky they get to experience the band one last time to say farewell as this legendary band call it a day when they hit Download Festival and their sideshows kicking off in Brisbane tonight then off to Adelaide joined by fellow Big Four brothers ANTHRAX and the Polish Hammer of BEHEMOTH.
What can be said about SLAYER that already hasn’t been said? So far into their career and the final album Repentless scored their highest ever Australian chart entry at #3 on the ARIA Chart. An incredible achievement this far for a band of their calibre! Fans will certainly be making history seeing off these metal icons one last time.
In 1981 when SLAYER first formed in Huntington Park, CA, bassist/vocalist Tom Araya was 20 years old and worked as a respiratory therapist, guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a rehearsal studio employee at the time, was 17, drummer Dave Lombardo was 16 and delivered pizza, and 17-year old Kerry King was a full-time guitarist. At that time, there were no blueprints, no set paths, no boundaries or steps to follow; SLAYER’s new hybrid of metal and punk, heavier, faster and darker than the rest, assaulted the world and set a new standard, defining not only a genre, but an attitude.
Tom Araya, Kerry King, Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph sat down and talked about all things SLAYER. Episode 1:
Fast forward 38-years and SLAYER remains the preeminent punk-thrash-metal band that other heavy acts are measured against and aspire to, and up-and-coming metalheads continue to revere and emulate. The band is a metal juggernaut, with songs that are dark, aggressive and without mercy, mirroring the turmoil and aberrations of our society.
Their membership in “The Big Four” alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax – the four bands that defined the thrash/metal genre – secures the band’s place in music history. The five-time nominated, two-time Grammy-winners have also accumulated an abundance of certified Gold Albums along with “Best…” awards from media outlets all over the world. SLAYER even has its own exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute. Throughout their history, the band has never faltered in unleashing its extreme and focused sonic assault, and repudiating temptations gaining mass apeal across the globe and a legion of loyal fans willing to scream their name loud and proud for years to come. SLAYER has chosen to remain crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream. Sadly, Jeff Hanneman passed in 2013, and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has been filling in for him since. Paul Bostaph, Slayer‘s drummer from 1992 – 1996, then 1997 – 2001, rejoined Araya and King in 2013 and remains behind the kit.
In September 2015, Slayer released Repentless, the band’s 12th studio album, the first without Hanneman, first with Holt on guitar, first with producer Terry Date, and first on Nuclear Blast Records, to widespread rave reviews and the highest chart debut of the band’s career. Our resident metalhead Jim ‘Plugga’ Birkin scored it an 8.5/10 stating: “Four decades on, Slayer are still holding the fort as the gatekeepers of thrash” and we couldn’t agree more
The band also teamed up with director BJ McDonnell for three high-concept and brutal music videos for the album’s title track, then for ‘You Against You’, and the most recent, ‘Pride in Prejudice’, which have collectively racked up a combined 28+ million views. Dark Horse Comics published a three-issue comic book series in 2016, based on McDonnell’s original story concept for the videos and written by Metalocalypse director Jon Schnepp.
After a remarkable three-and-a-half decades, SLAYER announced one final trip around the world before moving on and we cannot wait until it all kicks off tonight for Australian fans… All Hail SLAYERRRRRRRR
Slayer – Final Australian Tour 2019
March 7th @ Riverstage, Bris
March 9th @ Download Festival, Sydney
March 11th @ Download Festival, Melb
March 13th @ Adelaide Entertainment Centre