Sunday, 14 July 2013

Slayer - Brixton Academy 9 November 1994

I can't claim to have ever been a huge fan of Slayer. I own several albums, all early ones, but I have to be in a particular mood to listen to their music. And even then, I really only like the hits: Dead Skin Mask; Seasons in The Abyss; South of Heaven; War Ensemble etc. There is however no denying their place in rock history as one of The Big Four of thrash metal and the influence they have had on those who followed.

When we were running Lard Records, Slayer were a big seller. Partly because they were enormously popular amongst metalheads around the world - oh yeah, we were international baby! - but also because they put out some fantastic limited edition releases of their singles and albums. The blood pack version of the Seasons in the Abyss cd; the red vinyl 7" in the cut out cross with chains version of Criminally Insane. The blood splattered white vinyl version of Live Undead. All highly collectable.

Toby had always been more of a fan than me but I was interested enough to tag along for this. It definitely helped that Machine Head were supporting as I was really enjoying their first album Burn My Eyes. A shame then, that we arrived too late to see Machine Head. Slayer, however were brutal. I cannot remember much about what they played, but from the information on the ticket we can assume they were promoting the Divine Intervention album, but I do remember the crushing intensity with which they played. I remember wondering how the hell they could play so fast and so not miss a note. Paul Bostaph's double bass drums hit with the ferocity and accuracy of a heavyweight boxer working the speed ball. Tom Araya must gargle bleach and have slinkys where his neck muscles should be. Kerry King stalked the stage covered in studs and tattoos looking like the meanest mofo in the room, his fingers a blur. Jeff Hanneman looked like a tougher David St Hubbins but played like a demon. They were immense.

Of course it occurred to me to write this when it was announced that Hanneman had died. Of course I didn't get round to it. Kind of sobering though when musicians your age start dying. Both Hanneman and Adam Yauch were the same age as me.

No comments: