Emerging in the early eighties as a visceral reaction to New Wave Punk and earlier heavy metal influences such as Iron Maiden, Slayer's unique sound of dark aggression came to define the movement labeled 'thrash metal.'
An intimidating aesthetic of death, violence and religious imagery is matched in intensity only by the haunting lyrical quality of songs such as 'Raining Blood' and 'Mandatory Suicide.' However, with sounds ranging from heavy drummed beats to choral harmonies, a trip to a Slayer concert holds more than standard metal fare.
Shrouded in rock folklore and rumors of Satanism, the origins of Slayer are traceable to Huntington Park, California in 1982. Formed by Tom Araya (bass/vocals), Jeff Hanneman (guitars), Dave Lombardo (drums) and Kerry King (guitars), Slayer quickly earned a cult following and a 1983 release on Metal Blade Records, Show No Mercy. The dramatic imagery of Araya and Hanneman's songwriting and theatrical live performances ensured the commercial success of nine albums up to 2001.
Mainstream critical acclaim has been hard to come by for many heavy metal acts. Indeed, the very fact that Slayer's 1994 effort Divine Intervention debuted at Number 8 on the Billboard chart is testament to their importance within their genre. Regarded by many as the most exciting of live musical acts around today, Slayer earned a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance in 2002.
True to die-hard metal form, Slayer continues to unsettle and inspire the musical establishment with their latest album Christ Illusion, released in August 2006. The usual inferno of rock and religion abound. Punctuated by eerie chanting, emotional screaming and wailing guitar epics, the involving theatre of this live performance ensures that Slayer tickets are a pass to heavy metal heaven.
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