Live Reviews

Slayer – The Unholy Alliance Tour

Chapter III w/ Trivium, Mastodon & Amon Amarth
The Hammersmith Apollo, London

I had never seen Slayer before. As somebody who claims to be a huge Slayer fan this is not a fact that I let slip very often around my metal brethren. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to see them it’s just I have always been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I nearly got arrested at the Reading Festival once trying to break into to see them. My past failures didn’t matter anymore because on this cold, London night……my time had finally come.

Unfortunately I got there too late to see Mastodon (I’d like to say a massive fuck you to the staff of Cha Cha Moon in Soho for being so shit and slow. Pull you fucking finger out!!). Anyways, after dragging my gutted carcass from the bar to the main arena I had the misfortune of seeing Trivium. A band who seem to be more concerned with telling you to “get up!” and “come on!” than singing their own songs. Granted they were fucking loud and fast but not a band to be supporting Slayer on any day. Fact.

Then finally after all my years of waiting, Slayer took to the stage to unleashing a wall of sound on the leather clad, metal heads in attendance destroying them all. Opening with ‘Flesh Storm‘ from recent album ‘Christ Illusion’ followed by a half set full of ear bleeding, death metal, gems featuring ‘Chemical Warfare’, ‘Disciple’ and the astonishing ‘South Of Heaven’.

The main selling point of the night was that the band would be playing 1986’s ‘Reign in Blood’ in its entirety. Exploding back on to the stage with ‘Angel Of Death’ I just couldn’t resist but to jump in the pit along with every other intoxicated psycho. After almost dying trying to retrieve the phone that fell out of my pocket I decided against lowering my head below waist height again and enjoy Tom Aray’s blood curdling screams.

The band were as into it as the raging crowd as Slayer shred through classics ‘Piece By Piece’ and ‘Necrophobic’. Jeff Hanneman shred like a manic whilst Dave Lombardo pounded his drum kit harder than your average Kerrang! reader pounds his pre-pubescent wang.

Kerry King’s punishing licks on ‘Altar Of Sacrifice’ are a work of genius live. It just goes to show after all these years on the road that Slayer can still keep their sound fresh. All that combined with the fact that are such a tight band, prove they can still lay all competition to waste. Every track tonight was pulled off with ease and excellence. ‘Criminally Insane’ and ‘Epidemic’ were huge highlights and kept the crowd, now running on pure adrenaline, thrashing.

Slayer plow through the album at break-neck speed with absolutely no let up. Tonight it’s kill or be killed. The band finish their relentless set with the now iconic ‘Raining Blood’ leaving every single sweat coated, blood dripping, Slayer fan totally gob smacked.

So, I’m a mobile phone light, my ears were ringing so loudly after the gig it kept me awake half the night and I’m still convinced I have broken ribs but to see Slayer this good after such a long wait, it was more than worth it.

Oh yeah, and one more thing…………..FUCKIN’ SLAAAAYYYYEEEEEER!!!!!!

Tom Lindsey