For thirty-seven years double Grammy award winners, Slayer, have pioneered extreme music in the relative mainstream, being one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time. Especially in the early MTV years alongside their contemporaries in Anthrax, Megadeth, and Metallica.
Their long and industrious career, which has spanned twelve studio albums as well as a multitude of alternate media such as comic books, live albums, and more.
These have cemented Slayer’s status among fans of extreme music as not only somewhat progenitors of the art, but also one of the few acts that have remained a mainstay in the industry.
However, that is all about to change once this world tour comes to an end, the tour itself being on its final third leg already.
The supporting acts on this European leg of the tour are Obituary, the aforementioned Anthrax, and Virginian death metalheads, Lamb of God, who each brought their own unique style to the 3Arena last week. As well as both being inspired and inspiring the others, particularly when talking about the coexistence of Anthrax and Slayer as two of the most prominent members of the “Big 4” of thrash metal.
Floridians, Obituary (7/10), had the honour of opening the concert, and although it was the shortest of all the sets played on the night, it worked well in hyping the audience up for what was to come. The downside to opening so early was lacking the total number of ticket holders being present as of yet, in addition to the audience taking it easy in anticipation for the bands to come. However, Obituary definitely served as a delicious sampler for the night.
Following Obituary, the New York legends, Anthrax (7.5/10), took to the stage. While there is not much to be said in terms of downsides to the music (on the contrary they were second only to the main act on the night). However, their shortened set list, due to them being a supporting act for a band whose stature could be considered comparable to that of the headliners, did unfortunately not lend well to the impact that they could have easily had. Overall, however, Anthrax were easily one of the highlights to the concert, with an obvious air of respect to equally important godfathers of the craft.
The final openers were the, for some, contentiously named Lamb of God (8.5/10).
The first moment of eruption for the crowd came from two of their most popular songs, ‘Walk With Me in Hell’ and ‘Redneck’.
One could not have asked for a more perfect final curtain before Slayer took the stage, a testament to team Slayer’s own understanding of the art of heavy metal and how to compliment it.
And now, without further ado, the main act. Truly a triumph of their career, and a promising start to the following tour dates to come, Slayer (10/10) played one of the finest setlists of their vigorous and dynamic career. Surprisingly, full to the brim with both bona fide classics and lesser known tracks leading to a genuinely retrospective journey through 35 years of recordings. Opening with the title track from their most recent outing, ‘Repentless’, through ‘Black Magic’ from their very first, and, of course, ‘Raining Blood’, ‘Angel of Death’, ‘South of Heaven’ and ‘Seasons in the Abyss’, any and all fans of the band would find something to whet their palette.
While stage flags and pyrotechnic inverted crosses made a spectacle of each passing drum beat and riff, as ‘Raining Blood’ began the penultimate stage flag fell revealing a touching tribute to founding member, guitarist, and chief songwriter Jeff Hanneman, who died of liver failure in 2013.
Accompanied with a “thank you for being here tonight’ (with a strong emphasis and inflection on “tonight”), as well as a call for the audience to act like “angry little leprechauns” (this coming with a stereotypical accent), not only Slayer but all bands had an excellent rapport with the audience. With rousing applause from the audience and a final goodbye, Slayer were then gone from Ireland for good.
While there will not be any more concerts in Ireland on the tour, if the chance arises to catch them on one of their other concerts throughout the mainland it is highly recommended to do so. While the price may change slightly depending on where they are, approximately €60 to see four bands in one night is well worth the price. If not to see Slayer, the recommendation strongly extends to the other bands too.