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Saturday, November 29, 2014

The return of Hell

Slayer has had a few trips to Austin, Texas. With Fun Fun Fun Fest on a couple of trips and then going back more than a decade for their previous indoor exorcism of Austin.

The ACL Moody Theatre ( was the lucky spot to host the hell on earth that was EXODUS, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, and SLAYER. I am unsure if there could have been a more acoustically perfect setting for this thrash fest.

The Moody Theater is, by far, one of the most gorgeous venues in Austin. It houses an astounding collection of music memorabilia from many different decades and genres. There is something to impress and WOW everyone. The greatest thing is there doesn't seem to be a bad seat in the house. I should know, I have been at the top, on the left, the right, and on the floor.

EXODUS ( was the first onstage. Currently on tour supporting their newest release, 'Blood In, Blood Out', EXODUS mounted the stage with a vengeance. With Gary Holt doing double duty on this tour (playing with Slayer as well) it was a stunning performance. Steve Souza had the fans on the rail going nuts with his vocal antics and constant banter to have the audience get louder. Louder we did.

Although Exodus only had a small section of stage to work with, they masterfully did their set and played to the audience like the thrash masters they are. The sad side for me and you is this; I was there specifically to shoot photos of Exodus. Due to a camera malfunction, I got dick. Super pissed, shocked, and embarrassed this happened.

Suicidal Tendencies ( came up next. With what I thought seemed like the odd duck on this tour because of their California skater style of metal, turned out to be a thrill to watch. Suicidal Tendencies jumped into their performance with every single member of the bands revving up the audience every step of the way. The lead singer making sure to give the audience what they wanted by talking about their Texas connection in one of the bands guitarists.

The drummer couldn't even contain his enthusiasm. Coming out from behind his showpiece of a drum kit on several occasions. He would wind the crowd up even more with his chants of "S.T., S.T., S.T." The peak of the performance was splitting the crowd in half, down the middle, and having a 'death wall' collapse in on itself into a giant mosh pit. Thrilling, thrilling, thrilling. The whole performance was summed up by the guy in the seat next to me - "Holy Shit! How the fuck is Slayer gonna top that! "

I will admit my thoughts echoed my neighbors sentiment... What a dumb ass I am!

With the curtain up and spinning logos of Hell, this shit was on. Slayer ( exploded onto the stage with the drop off the curtain and the flash of the lights. Upside down crosses hanging and the metal mulisha back drop in its glory, this is the pinnacle of thrash metal. The screaming vocals of Tom Araya, are distinct, unique, and unequivocally, chillingly beautiful to hear.

The technical expertise that Slayer had onstage blasting through their set was only matched by the sonic intensity that is Slayer music. Thrash at thrashes best. The floor was a constant, writhing mass of chaos. The visual effects where definitively seizure inducing. Between Kerry King and Gary Holt, it is no wonder my ears rang for 2 days.

The only pause in the hellish Chaos would be the very few times when Tom would step up to the mic to thank us for being there. This would only be the gasoline on the hellish fire that burned in every single one of us in the crowd. The roar of the crowd and insanity of the show peeked with the final song. With the drop of the final banner and exposing the most fitting tribute to former guitarist Jeff Hanneman - 'Angel of Death'! Slayer killed it.