By Jay Oakley
Slayer!…Slayer!…Slayer!…Slayer! That’s the iconic chant that rattles every venue that Slayer has ever played. The relentless chants of “Fucking Slayer!” are just as well known as the band itself. Slayer brought it’s Repentless World Tour right through Baltimore and it landed at Pier 6 Pavilion.
Touring with fellow metal powerhouses Behemoth and Lamb Of God, all lay the groundwork for a visual spectacle, complete with bleeding ears and melted faces. Behemoth and Lamb Of God were quite stellar and showed that they were perfect for this tour. Behemoth features a much more eccentric, black metal style: black makeup, animal bones and a pounding sound. Lamb Of God have a much more stripped down show but doesn’t lack any kind of intensity. LoG features a much more shredding style of playing with screaming vocals. Front man Randy Blythe was like a super ball, jumping all over the place screaming until the veins protruded from his neck. He also took some time to talk about the old days when Lamb Of God where known as Burn The Priest and played Baltimore’s Ottobar.
But, this night belonged to Slayer. As the curtain fell, the thrash legends dropped the hammer down and showed that they still can’t be touched. Opening up with “Repentless” off of their latest record of the same name they started off with heat, then followed up with “The Antichrist,” “Disciple,” and “Postmortem.”
Slayer kept the engine fueled and after ripping through a series of other classics, they hit the NOS and tore the crowd up with “Dead Skin Mask.” After “Born Of Fire” and “Bloodline” the crowd was rabid waiting for their favorites and it was now time for the iconic tunes. “Seasons In The Abyss,” “Hell Awaits” and “South Of Heaven” stoked the fire and then it was “Raining Blood” bringing the mains set to a close.
The encore featured “Chemical Warfare” and “Angel Of Death” and the crowd was spent. Slayer designed a stellar set of 19 tracks and tore it up with all of them.
Front man and bassist Tom Araya sounded solid and fit, and axe-God Kerry King … well, he’s fucking Kerry King. I was very interested to see Gary Holt live, no stranger to the thrash scene as he has already established himself with his work in fellow thrash innovators Exodus. The death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman left huge shoes to fill but the fact is Gary is the right man for the job. Drummer Paul Bostaph is worth a mention as well as he kept those double drums pounding and runs with a furious tempo. Slayer’s long since established themselves as legends but they aren’t resting on their laurels, showing that they still have more to prove and more venues to reduce to rubble.
Slayer’s summer tour closes out in two weeks in Phoenix, Arizona.
Slayer @ Pier Six Concert Pavilion in Baltimore, Md
Lamb Of God @ Pier Six Concert Pavilion in Baltimore, Md
Behemoth @ Pier Six Concert Pavilion in Baltimore, Md