Slayer Overview

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California, formed in 1981. The band was founded by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. The band is credited as one of the "Big Four" of thrash metal, along with Metallica, Anthrax Anthrax (band) and Megadeth.

Slayer's musical traits involve fast tremolo picking, atonal guitar solos, double bass drumming, and shouting vocals. The band's lyrics and album art, which cover topics such as serial killers, Satanism, religion and warfare have generated album bans, delays, lawsuits and strong criticism from religious groups and the public.

Since their debut record Show No Mercy in 1983, the band has released two live albums, one box set, four videos music video , two extended plays, and eleven studio albums, four of which have received gold certification RIAA certification in the United States. The band has received three Grammy nominations, winning one in 2007 for the song "Eyes of the Insane", and one in 2008 for the song "Final Six". They have headlined music festivals worldwide, including Unholy Alliance The Unholy Alliance Tour , Download Download festival and Ozzfest.


 
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Early days (1981–1982)

Slayer was formed in 1981, when guitarist Kerry King met Jeff Hanneman while auditioning for a band.

The album was the band's first to primarily feature dropped tuning, as featured on the lead track, "Bitter Peace,"( ) making use of the musical interval referred to in the Middle Ages as the tritone or Devil's scale. Slayer teamed up with digital hardcore group Atari Teenage Riot to record a song for the Spawn Spawn (film) soundtrack titled "No Remorse (I Wanna Die)." The band later paid tribute to Black Sabbath by recording a cover of "Hand of Doom" for the second of two tribute albums, entitled Nativity in Black II. A world tour followed to support the new album, with Slayer making an appearance at the United Kingdom Ozzfest 1998 Ozzfest#Ozzfest 1998 alongside Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Foo Fighters, Pantera, Soulfly, Fear Factory, and Therapy?.


God Hates Us All (2001–2005)

After delays regarding remixing and artwork, including slip covers created to cover the original artwork as it was deemed "too graphic," God Hates Us All was released on September 11, 2001 September 11, 2001 attacks . The band received its first Grammy nomination for the lead track "Disciple," although the Grammy was awarded to Tool Tool (band) , for "Schism."
The September 11th attack on America jeopardized the 2001 European tour Tattoo the Planet originally set to feature Pantera, Static X, Biohazard Biohazard (band) and Vision of Disorder. Dates were canceled or postponed due to flight restrictions, with a majority of bands deciding to withdraw, leaving Slayer and Static X remaining for the European leg of the tour.
Pantera, Vision of Disorder and Biohazard were replaced by Cradle of Filth and other bands dependent on location; Amorphis, In Flames, Moonspell, Children of Bodom, and Necrodeath. The Birmingham, England date on the tour though only featured Slayer, Biohazard, Cradle of Filth and Raging Speedhorn due to Static X pulling out over previous commitments, instead playing their scheduled dates in Germany. Drummer Bostaph left Slayer before Christmas in 2001, due to a chronic elbow injury which would hinder his ability to play. Slayer's "God Hates Us All" tour was unfinished so King contacted original drummer Lombardo, and asked if he would like to finish the remainder of the tour. Lombardo accepted the offer, and stayed as a permanent member.


Christ Illusion (2006–2008)

The album Christ Illusion was originally scheduled for release on June 6, 2006, and would be the first album with original drummer Lombardo since 1990's Seasons in the Abyss. However, the band decided to delay the release of the record as they did not want to be among the many, according to King, "half-ass, stupid *** loser bands" releasing records on June 6, although USA Today reported the idea was thwarted because the band failed to secure sufficient studio recording time. Instead, Slayer released Eternal Pyre on June 6 as a limited-edition EP extended play . Eternal Pyre featured the song "Cult," a live performance of "War Ensemble" in Germany, video footage of the band recording "Cult," and a five minute video of a Slayer fan carving the band's name onto his forearm. Five thousand copies were released and sold exclusively through Hot Topic chain stores, and sold out within hours of release. On June 30, Nuclear Blast Records released a 7" vinyl picture disc version limited to a thousand copies.

Christ Illusion was released on August 8, 2006, and debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 Billboard 200 , selling over 62,000 copies in its first week. The album became Slayer's highest charting, improving on its previous highest charting album, Divine Intervention, which had debuted at #8. However, despite its high positioning, the album dropped to #44 in the following week. Three weeks after the album's release Slayer were inducted into the Kerrang! Hall of Fame for their influence to the heavy metal scene.

in October 2006
A worldwide tour dubbed The Unholy Alliance Tour, was undertaken to support the new record. The tour was originally set to launch on June 6, but was postponed to June 10, as Araya had to undergo gall bladder surgery. In Flames, Mastodon Mastodon (band) , Children of Bodom, Lamb of God Lamb of God (band) , and Thine Eyes Bleed (featuring Araya's brother, Johnny Johnny Araya ) were supporting Slayer. The tour made its way through America and Europe and the bands who participated, apart from Thine Eyes Bleed, reunited to perform at Japan's Japan Loudpark Festival on October 15, 2006.

The video for the album's first single, "Eyes of the Insane," was released on October 30, 2006. The track was featured on the Saw III soundtrack, and won a Grammy-award for "Best Metal Performance" at the 49th Grammy Awards, although the band were unable to attend due to touring obligations. A week later, the band visited the 52nd Services Squadron located on the Spangdahlem U.S. Air Force Base in Germany to meet and play a show. This was the first visit ever to a military base for the band. The band made its first network TV appearance on the show Jimmy Kimmel Live! on January 19, playing the song "Eyes of the Insane," and four additional songs for fans after the show (although footage from "Jihad Jihad (song) " was cut due to its controversial lyrical themes). Slayer toured Australia and New Zealand in April with Mastodon, and appeared at the Download Festival, Rock Am Ring, and a Summer tour with Marilyn Manson Marilyn Manson (band) and Bleeding Through.

The band released a special edition of Christ Illusion, which featured new cover art and bonus track, "Final Six," which was given a Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance." This is the band's second consecutive award in that category.


World Painted Blood (2009–present)

In interviews with Thrash Hits and Worcester magazine, Araya states uncertainty with the future of the band, and that he could not see himself continuing the career at a later age. Once the band finished World Painted Blood, which was the final record in their contract, the band would sit down and discuss its future. King was optimistic that the band would produce at least another two records before considering a split: "We're talking of going in the studio next February [2009] and getting the next record out so if we do things in a timely manner I don't see there's any reason why we can't have more than one album out... I think the time's gonna come when somebody just says: 'I'm done. I don't wanna do this any more.' But I'm having a blast."

Slayer, along with Trivium Trivium (band) , Mastodon Mastodon (band) , and Amon Amarth, teamed up for a European tour titled 'The Unholy Alliance: Chapter III', throughout October and November 2008. On January 27, it was confirmed that Slayer will be headlining the second Mayhem Festival in the summer of 2009 Slayer along with Megadeth will also co-headline Canadian Carnage, this will be first time they will perform together in more than 15 years when they co-headline four shows in Canada in late June with openers Machine Head Machine Head (band) and Suicide Silence.
The band's tenth studio album World Painted Blood has been released on American Recordings. It was available on November 3 in North America and November 2 for the rest of the world.

After the release of their new album Slayer has confirmed a North American and Europe Tour with including artists Megadeth and Testament Testament (band) . Other support acts will consist of Meldrum, DEATHBEAT and Amon Amarth The American Carnage tour will kick off in Quebec City, QC Canada on July 23.

Slayer in early 2010 announced that they will be part of the Wacken Open Air tour held in Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. This is one of the biggest summer heavy metal festivals, including more than 60 bands.Early works were praised for their "breakneck speed and instrumental prowess," combining the structure of hardcore hardcore punk tempos and speed metal the band released fast, aggressive material. The album Diabolus in Musica was the band's first with drop D tuning, God Hates Us All the first with C# tuning. Allmusic cited the album as "abandoning the extravagances and accessibility of their late-'80s/early-'90s work and returning to perfect the raw approach", with some fans labeling it nu metal.

Hanneman and King’s dual guitar solos have been called "wildly chaotic," Drummer Lombardo uses two bass drums, instead of the double kick Double-bass drum#Double bass which is used on a single bass drum. Lombardo's speed and aggression earned him the title of the “godfather of double bass” by Drummerworld. Lombardo states his reasons for using two bass drums: "When you hit the bass drum the head is still resonating. When you hit it in the same place right after that you kinda get a 'slapback' from the bass drum head hitting the other pedal. You're not letting them breathe." When playing the double bass Lombardo uses the "heel-up" technique Bass drum#Techniques .

Hanneman, King and Araya contribute to the band's lyrics, and Lombardo, King and Hanneman create the music, with assistance from Araya.

When writing new material, the band writes the music before incorporating lyrics. King or Hanneman will use a 24-track Multitrack recording and drum machine to show band members the riff they have created, and to get their opinion. Either King, Hanneman or Lombardo will mention if any alterations can be made. The band will play the riff to get the basic song structure, and figure out where the lyrics and solos will be placed. Hanneman, King and Araya tend to have different lyrical influences. Hanneman's lyrics deal with Nazis and similar topics. King's lyrics are generally just very anti-religious. Araya's lyrics usually deal with less controversial topics than Hanneman and King such as serial killers and warfare.
Grammy Awards
Steve Huey of allmusic believes the musical style of Slayer makes the band stronger than the other members of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax Anthrax (band) , all of which rose to fame during the 1980s. also ranking number 50 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
Hanneman and King ranked number 10 in Guitar World's "100 greatest metal guitarists of all time" in 2004, and were voted "Best Guitarist/Guitar Team" in Revolver's Revolver (magazine) reader's poll. Lombardo was also voted "Best Drummer" and the band entered the top five in the categories "Best Band Ever," "Best Live Band," "Album of the Year" (for Christ Illusion), and "Band of the Year."

The band's 1986 release, Reign in Blood has been an influence to extreme and thrash metal bands since its release. The album was hailed the "heaviest album of all time" by Kerrang! Magazine, and a "stone-cold classic upon its release" by Allmusic. In 2006 it was named the best metal album of the last 20 years by Metal Hammer. Richard Christy, former member of Death Death (metal band) was blown away by Dave's performance on the album Reign in Blood, as was Cannibal Corpse drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz.

Drummer Lombardo has been an influence on many modern metal drummers including Ray Herrera Raymond Herrera of Fear Factory, Pete Sandoval of Morbid Angel, former Cradle of Filth drummer Adrian Erlandsson, and Krisiun drummer Max Kolesne. Patrick Grün of Caliban Caliban (band) 's inspiration to play drums came from Lombardo, with Jason Bittner of Shadows Fall inspired by Lombardo's double bass, utilizing double bass when starting his own music career.Slayer has been accused of holding Nazi Nazism sympathies, due to the band's eagle logo bearing resemblance to the Eagle atop swastika, and the lyrics of "Angel of Death Angel of Death (song) ." The lyrics of "Angel of Death" were inspired by the acts of Josef Mengele, the doctor who conducted human experiments on Jewish and Gypsy prisoners during World War II at the Auschwitz concentration camp, and was dubbed the "Angel of Death" by inmates. Throughout their career, the band members were asked about these accusations, and have stated numerous times they do not condone Nazism and are merely interested in the subject.

Slayer's cover of Minor Threat's Minor Threat "Guilty of Being White" raised questions about a possible message of white supremacy in the band's music. The controversy surrounding the cover involved the changing of the refrain "guilty of being white" to "guilty of being right," at the song's ending. This incensed Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye, who stated "that is so offensive to me." King said it was changed for "tongue-in-cheek" humor as he thought the allegation of racism at the time was "ridiculous."

In a 2004 interview with Araya, when asked, "Did critics realize you were wallowing in parody?", Araya replied, "No. People thought we were serious!...back then you had that PMRC, who literally took everything to heart, when in actuality you're trying to create an image. You're trying to scare people on purpose." Araya also denied rumors that Slayer members are Satanists, but they find the subject of Satanism interesting and "we are all on this planet to learn and experience."
(pictured in background) were recalled and destroyed

The song "Jihad Jihad (song) " of the album Christ Illusion sparked controversy among families of the September 11 victims. The song deals with the attack from the perspective of a religious terrorist. The band stated the song is spoken through perspective without being sympathetic to the cause, and supports neither side. All seventeen benches were removed.

In India, the album was recalled by EMI India after protests with Christian religious groups due to the nature of the graphic artwork. The album cover was designed by Slayer's longtime collaborator Larry Carroll Larry Carroll (artist) and features Christ in a "sea of despair", while having amputated arms, missing an eye, while standing in a sea of blood with severed heads. Joseph Dias of the Mumbai Christian group Catholic Secular Forum in India took "strong exception" to the original album artwork, and issued a memorandum to Mumbai's police commissioner in protest. On October 11, 2006, EMI announced that all stocks had been destroyed, noting it had no plans to re-release the record in India in the future.;Current
*Tom Araya – lead vocals Lead vocalist , bass bass guitar (1981–present)
*Jeff Hanneman – guitar Electric guitar (1981–present)
*Kerry King – guitar (1981–present)
*Dave Lombardo – drums Drum kit (1981–1986, 1987–1992, 2002–present)


;Former
*Tony Scaglione – drums (1986–1987)
*Paul Bostaph – drums (1992–1996, 1997–2001)
*Jon Dette – drums (1996–1997);Studio albums
*Show No Mercy (1983)
*Hell Awaits (1985)
*Reign in Blood (1986)
*South of Heaven (1988)
*Seasons in the Abyss (1990)
*Divine Intervention Divine Intervention (album) (1994)
*Undisputed Attitude (1996)
*Diabolus in Musica (1998)
*God Hates Us All (2001)
*Christ Illusion (2006)
*World Painted Blood (2009)

;Videography
*Live Intrusion (1995)
*War at the Warfield (2003)
*Still Reigning (2004)
 

 

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