Slayer is a really big deal, you guys. They have rocked harder, longer, and more shockingly than just about any other metal band out there. (Their 1986 major label debut Reign in Blood helped define the thrash metal genre, while 2001’s God Hates Us All was released ON 9/11.) They also aren’t Nazis, and don’t eat babies. Or so my metal-loving boyfriend tells me.
That's why, when tickets for Slayer’s 2016 tour went on sale back in December (apparently selling out in minutes), I nabbed us a pair. Because I’m a thoughtful person, right? So yes, we’re going to the Roseland on Sunday night. And I’m (cue metal posture) terri-FYUUUDD. But I don’t know—maybe I'll be fine? Or maybe I'll be trampled to a bloody pulp by legions of blindly enraged yobs each vertically convulsing at 220 beats per minute? Below, I weigh my chances:
1. Slayer’s new guitarist Gary Holt plays a guitar literally painted in his own blood. (18 vials of it, reportedly.)
PRO—Yes! Obviously, Holt is now in a weakened state, and probably more interested in finding a sugar cookie than wreaking vengeance on “this abortion called society.”
2. After 35 years of thrashing, Slayer is showing a few gray hairs.
PRO—How scary can they be? Holt admits to copious use of ibuprofen and two beers before a show (never the hard stuff) to combat back pain. Guitarist Kerry King admits the band is at a point where they’re not sure how many albums they’ve got left. And Tom Araya, now a near total silver fox, tells Metal Hammer the band has “matured.” (We all know that’s code for “I’d much rather be playing Bananagrams with my cat than shredding hardcore on the Sabbath.”)
3. The band is still mourning the 2015 death of longtime guitarist Jeff Hanneman—including Holt, who jammed with the band before being tapped as Hanneman’s successor.
CON—They’re feeling sensitive. Hecklers beware! In a recent Blabbermouth interview, Holt had this to say of one fan who rejected the new line-up: “I had [a heckler] on my first European tour—this guy with this awful skullet, flipping me off the whole time. Little did he know that all I had to do was say something to have him beaten senseless by the Slayer road crew of thugs, but I didn't.” (Gulp.)
4. B-movie machete man Danny Trejo stars in new album Repentless’s eponymous music video.
CON—Of a music video that is essentially a mass prison shanking from start to finish (with the odd free weight to the face and eye-gouging for spice), frontman Tom Araya has this to say to Rolling Stone: “It can get pretty violent. It can get pretty stupid. But that’s OK. That’s human nature.” (Mommy!)
5. Comedian Jim Breuer took his wife to a Slayer concert once.
CON—That did not go so well. See video clip below.
Slayer play the Roseland Theater on Sunday, March 20