© Kurt Dean Darby
Live Gig Review by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
The announcement of only Slayer’s third Belfast gig ever was met with extreme excitement and anticipation among the N.Ireland rock community. Subsequently the show sold out in record time-less than five minutes to be exact!!..Recent personnel changes in the ranks also brought questions among fans. The untimely demise of original guitarist Jeff Hanneman, and the departure of drummer Dave Lombardo created a little negativity with even the ardent Slayer faithful. However replacements Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph had lengthy thrash pedigree and were no strangers to the band itself.
Reports from a brace of Dublin shows had proved hugely positive, and having secured accreditation my son and I set off for his debut Slayer gig.I had forewarned him that any previous shows he had attended would not compare brutality-wise for what he would witness..Thus we stepped into the eye of the storm.
No support tonight and already the venue was close to capacity an hour an a half before Slayer were due to begin their aural onslaught. Audience seemed to be a mix of seasoned Slayer veterans, proudly displaying colours of past campaigns and fresh-faced virgins awaiting to be sacrificed. Even some tasty looking woman were present, unusually for a thrash gig.. Arriving a few minutes late the band brutally opened with a powerful rendition of “World Painted Black”.Stage bathed in blue lights..First thing that struck me was that Gary Holt was a shredding monster axeman,effortlessly replicating Hanneman’s solos. The huge groove of Arayas bass and Bostaphs skin battering were hitting hard like a hammer right through my scull…”Hallowed point” and “War ensemble” followed in rapid fire succession..
© Kurt Dean Darby
My son appeared his photography role fulfilled, he was grinning ear to ear already and the show was only three songs in..What then followed was a lesson in thrash history. Classic followed classic as many veterans of the metal scene were transported back in time to the songs of their youth(and in a time when we all were not so follically challenged).I honestly don’t think that I could personally have picked a stronger set than the band delivered. While the windmill headbanging of Araya was missing(due to medical issues in recent years) ,the war growl of battle was still strongly present. Kerry King may have put on a few pounds in recent years but both his appearance and guitar sound was a brutal as ever. Light show wasn’t too elaborated and sound quality was spot on both in terms of volume level and clarity of tone. Crowd was pumped up and while the pit seemed typically intense with stage divers also prevalent, we had a great view of proceedings with a reasonably clear path to liquid sustenance in the heat.
Slayer lived up to their legendary status and there were certainly no elements of negativity voiced in the after show fan debates in the bar next door. My son popped his Slayer live cherry, and we both survived the experience. The band have announced a quick return to our shores in August, and this show has also rapidly sold out. Highlight of the night had to be standing shoulder with my eldest thrashing it up to the double header of “Mandatory Suicide” and “Chemical Warfare”-Thrash the musical genre that traverses the years and unifies generations.
It was announced on May 30 by SLAYER’s Tom Araya (bass, vocals) and Kerry King (guitar) that Paul Bostaph would be behind the drum kit for the first leg of the band’s 2013 international tour. EXODUS’ Gary Holt is continuing to fill in for fallen guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died on May 2 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.
Bostaph was SLAYER’s drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band — the gold-certified “Divine Intervention” (1994), the 1996 punk covers album “Undisputed Attitude”, “Diabolus In Musica” (1998), “God Hates Us All” (2001) that received a Grammy nomination for “Best Metal Performance”, as well as the DVD “War At The Warfield” (2001), also certified gold. In addition to SLAYER, Bostaph has been a member of FORBIDDEN, EXODUS, SYSTEMATIC and TESTAMENT.
SLAYER’s 2013 itinerary will have the band playing 35 dates that will include headline shows as well as a number of major summer festivals in Europe, Eastern Europe and South America between June and October.
“Paul’s a great drummer and a good friend, and we’re very happy that he’s decided to rejoin the band,” said Araya. “We’re still pretty numb from the loss of Jeff, but we don’t want to disappoint our European and South American fans, and we need to begin moving forward… Having Paul back in the band makes that a whole lot easier.”
Original SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo sat out the band’s recent Australian tour due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. Filling in for him was Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX).