TAMPA — They say the end is near for the mighty trash metal gods Slayer.
The band, currently on the road for their final world tour, will perform Friday, May 10, 6 p.m., at Mid Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. For ticket information, call 813-740-2446 or visit www.livenation.com.
Maintaining the band’s ethos of “play as many places as possible to make it easier for everyone to see the band one last time,” the fifth leg of the tour will see the band performing 16 shows across the Southern United States and then up the east coast. Lamb of God, Amon Amarth and Cannibal Corpse will support Slayer on all dates on this leg of the tour.
In 1981 when Slayer first formed in Huntington Park, California, bassist/vocalist Tom Araya was 20 years old and worked as a respiratory therapist. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a rehearsal studio employee at the time, was 17. Drummer Dave Lombardo was 16 and delivered pizza. Kerry King, age 17, was working as a full-time guitarist.
At that time, there were no blueprints, no set paths, no boundaries or steps to follow. Slayer forged a new hybrid of metal and punk: heavier, faster and darker than the rest. Their sound assaulted the world and set a new standard, defining not only a genre, but an attitude.
Fast forward nearly 37 years and Slayer remains the preeminent punk-thrash-metal band that other heavy acts are measured against and aspire to, and up-and-coming metal heads continue to revere and emulate. Slayer is a metal juggernaut, with songs that are dark, aggressive and without mercy, mirroring the turmoil and aberrations of our society.
Their membership in The Big Four — Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, the four bands that define the thrash-metal genre — secures the band’s place in music history. The five-time nominated, two-time Grammy-winners have also accumulated an abundance of certified gold albums along with awards from media outlets all over the world, including Kerrang!, SPIN, Metal Hammer, Revolver, and Esquire. Slayer even has its own exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution.
Throughout Slayer’s history, the band has never faltered in unleashing its extreme and focused sonic assault, and repudiating temptations, Slayer has chosen to remain crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream. Jeff Hanneman passed in 2013, and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has been filling in for him since. Paul Bostaph, Slayer’s drummer from 1992-1996, then 1997-2001, rejoined Araya and King in 2013 and remains behind the kit.
In September 2015, Slayer released “Repentless,” the band’s 12th studio album. It was their first album without Hanneman, the first with Holt on guitar, the first with producer Terry Date, and the first on Nuclear Blast Records. “Repentless” was met with widespread rave reviews and the highest chart debut of the band’s career.
The band also teamed up with director BJ McDonnell for three high-concept and brutal music videos for the album’s title track, then for “You Against You,” and the most recent, “Pride in Prejudice,” racking up a combined 28-million views. Dark Horse Comics published a three-issue comic book series in 2016 based on McDonnell’s original story concept for the videos and written by “Metalocalypse” director Jon Schnepp.
In January 2018, after a remarkable three-and-a-half decades, Slayer announced its decision to do one last world tour and then move on.