After ruling the heavy metal music space for nearly four decades and revered as one of the best live acts on the planet, Slayer are calling it quits.
The band had announced their retirement plans in January 2018 and on November 30th 2019, in the band’s hometown of southern California, the band shall take their collective final bow. Their farewell world tour ran through 30 countries and 40 states in the U.S.A. On their final leg of the tour their farewell tour, “The Final Campaign,” the band will be supported by Primus, Ministry and Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals, who will perform a list of Pantera songs.
Circa 1981 in Huntington Park, Tom Araya, a 20-year-old respiratory therapist, a 16-year-old pizza delivery boy Dave Lombardo, Jeff Hanneman a 17-year-old rehearsal studio employee and Kerry King who by 17 was already a full-time guitarist, formed Slayer.
Though inspired by Judas Priest, King Diamond, Black Flag and similar bands, the band did not follow their path. Instead they created a monster of a sound, combining their ‘Devil may care’ attitude with a concoction of metal, punk and speed.
Following the devastating and untimely death of Hanneman, Exodus‘ Gary Holt filled up the slot. The band has an often rotating drummer position between Lombardo and Paul Bostaph but at times Jon Dette performed the duties.
Slayer made headline not only due to their lyrics,
“I feel the urge the growing need
To fuck this sinful corpse
My tasks complete the bitch’s soul
Lies raped in demonic lust”
– “Necrophiliac” (Hell Awaits, 1985)
But also because of their use of Nazi and Satanic imagery. Even after Araya suffered from a fused vertebrae, which made him unable to headbang anymore, the band remained uncompromised in their attitude.
Slayer are a part of the ‘Big 4’ of thrash, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. They have released 12 studio albums and multiple live recordings. They have won two Grammy awards among five nominations. Slayer have been featured on loads of magazine covers and even created a comic-book series and made a movie.
But one thing which most bands cannot achieve, Slayer did. They changed the face of heavy metal forever.
Slayer is a cult!
It is not a run of the mill metal band which produced some hit songs. The massively fierce fan army can get any opening act nervous with their ‘Slayer! Slayer!’ chants in between their performance. If you have been to a Slayer show, you have witnessed something incomparable. It is huge moshpit or even a rock concert in a riot. On their farewell tour, and according to the concert industry trade publication Pollstar, they have made $10 million off of merchandise sales alone.
It’s been almost 40 years since Slayer made their debut and have lasted a hell of a lot longer than any band. Right from Show No Mercy in 1983 to Repentless in 2015, Slayer have lived up to the titles name. They may bow out on 30th November 2019, but their music will still be blasted by fans.
With those two words, Tom Araya would close most of their show.
It is time to repeat those words to the Titans of Thrash.
Long live Slayer!