Fellow Beasts.  All things must come to an end.  And though I say this with a massive grain of salt in my end, this too applies to some of our beloved Metal Acts.  Slayer, as no doubt some of you have heard have decided to call it a career.  Split so far into 3-parts, the first of these have come to a conclusion at the Austin360 Amphitheater last week.  Fitting, your most extreme and humble Metal-Eye-Witness caught the final curtain draw that night and is reporting it right now!

The first leg of this Farewell tour saw support from mainstays of the genre like Testament, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Lamb Of God.  The word support actually feels massively appropriate here, all four of these bands have either been relevant contemporaries of Slayer, or clear inheritors to their throne.  Starting off the processions was Testament, the legendary Bay-Area Thrash Force, and when a concert starts on a note this resoundingly perfect, the stage was set for the greatest Metal Concert this year!  With songs primarily drawn from Brotherhood Of The Snake and The New Order, Chuck Billy and crew savaged an already feral crowd into a frenzy.  At which point it was left to Polish Black-Death Metal titans Behemoth to carry the show after them with one of the most extreme and crushing performances to be witnessed on the largest stage in Austin.  Songs like Demigod, Ov Fire And The Void, and Wolves Ov Siberia gave an appropriately brutal tone to the evening.  Up next was Anthrax, Slayer's New York counterparts in the "Big 4."  Anthrax always put on a consistently frantic showcase, and there was no escaping the fitting inclusion on this bill, one send of from one band of brothers to another.  Lastly was Lamb Of God, the clear American disciples to Slayer's legacy of aggressive Metal.  Lamb Of God's set was a well-oiled machine, the hits seemed to fall in appropriate order and never let up on the audiences bloodlust.

After night had fallen on such a long day, Slayer finally took the stage on their final appearance in Austin and ignited a night the audience would never forget.  First out of the gate was the latest hit, Repentless, a furious opus of speed metal perfect for guitarists Kerry King and Gary Holt to annihilate a crowd to!  From that moment the tone was set and the band dug up all the staples across their long and historic career defining Death Metal with hits such as Disciple, Dead Skin Mask, Jihad,  Postmortem, and War Ensemble.  Even the first two albums, Hell Awaits and Show No Mercy were represented prominently, taking the audience all the way back to the very foundation of Slayer's march to domination.  The stage was simply set up with each member claiming a different corner to show off their separate brutalities, all while flames shot off behind them.  After an hour's worth of show and a brief (but unconvincing) pause, the band returned on stage for the four part encore composed of South Of Heaven, Reign In Blood, Chemical Warfare (where the banner commemorating the fallen Jeff Hanneman dropped), and of course Angel Of Death.  After the final crescendo singer Tom Araya took a quite sobering minute to thank the audience in Austin for being a part of the Slayer Family for all these years.

Presumably!  For the FINAL TIME EVER! IT IS MY PLEASURE TO BRING BACK TO THIS MAGAZINE! SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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