Slayer's status in the metal community has long been cemented: they are legends. Throughout their three-decade-plus career, their focus, aggression, and dark lyrics have been unrelenting. Considered a paragon of integrity, with only the misstep of 1998's Diabolus in Musica to mar their legacy, Slayer as a band has maintained a high level of vitality despite being in their 50s, and have been touring almost constantly for decades. Slayer's live shows have also become legendary, with zealous fans getting violent in the pit, resisting being taken away despite injuries, and even carving the band's name into their own flesh.
So it was met with no small amount of sadness when Slayer recently announced that after this tour they would be calling it quits. Retirement is a relative term these days with many bands retiring only to reform years late, and Slayer hasn't gone so far as to put together a legal pact a la Motley Crue that would prevent them from ever playing again. However, with only two original members left (Tom Araya and Kerri King), and one who has long been hinting about being ready for retirement (Araya), chances are when Slayer calls it a day it will be for good. Here, then, are five reasons why you should catch Slayer on their farewell tour.
1. It's your last chance.
This one's a no-brainer. In all likelihood, this will be Slayer's last tour. Ever. If you're a fan who's never seen them before, it's your last chance to see them. If you've seen them thirty times, it's your last chance to see them. Once they're gone, they'll be gone forever. So if you ever wanted to see them, now is the time to do it. Get thee to a Slayer show.
2. The lineup is killer.
Fittingly, Slayer is going out with a bang. At approximately six hours long with five legendary bands, each concert is an epic evening of metal. Featuring fellow thrash brethren Anthrax and Testament, groove metal titans Lamb of God, and blackened death metal heavyweights Behemoth, the tour's lineup is packed to the rafters with primo metal. There's simply no other tour going that gets you more bang for your buck.
3. The stage show is awesome.
Slayer has long had a dark and haunting stage show. This time around is no exception. They have a lot of pyro that looks cool when silhouetting the band's vaunted eagle logo. And the backdrops change throughout the show, highlighting images from throughout the band's career, that ends on a nice tribute to fallen axeman Jeff Hanneman.
4. They don't just play the hits
Slayer's never really had what you might consider a hit single. But they have any number of songs that are popular among their fanbase. "Raining Blood." "War Ensemble." "South of Heaven." "Mandatory Suicide." At nearly two hours long, their set definitely includes the "hits," but they've also reached a little deeper into their discography to deliver songs that haven't gotten as much play live. "When the Stillness Comes" and "Payback?" Right on!
5. Saying goodbye.
Sure, Slayer and their fans aren't known for their sentimentality but darn it, they've become like family to millions of Americans who revere them. When Araya says his sincere thank yous at the end of the night, you can tell he truly means it. It's the end of an era. Who knows whether King or Araya will be seen much in public after the tour ends, but even if they are it won't be together as Slayer the band. All sentimentality aside, they will be missed.