Legendary Thrash Act Slayer Plays Its Final Show
The legendary thrash metal band Slayer played its final concert on Saturday night (November 30th) at the Forum in Los Angeles, capping a 38-year career in which the ferociously heavy group never had a single radio hit but was widely considered one of the best live acts and most influential metal groups of the past four decades. The band has said it's not officially breaking up, but will no longer tour.
Thousands of fans witnessed the band's last-ever concert, a 20-song set that included Slayer classics such as "South Of Heaven," "Post Mortem," "War Ensemble," "Dead Skin Mask," "Seasons In The Abyss," "Chemical Warfare," "Raining Blood" and the final song of the evening, the band's traditional show closer "Angel Of Death."
At the conclusion of Slayer's set, bassist/vocalist Tom Araya addressed the crowd, thanking the group's fans for supporting him and his bandmates for nearly four decades. Visibly moved, he said, "Thank you very much. I want to thank you for sharing your time with us. Time is precious. So I thank you for sharing that time with us. Thank you. I'm gonna miss you guys. But the most important thing I want to thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you. Good night. You guys be safe."
Slayer's final world tour began on May 10th, 2018 with the band's intention to play as many places as possible. By the time the 18-month trek wrapped at the Forum, the band had completed seven tour legs plus a series of one-off major summer festivals, performing more than 140 shows in 30 countries and 40 U.S. states.
The band was formed in Los Angeles in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, who later recruited Araya and original drummer Dave Lombardo. The group recorded a total of 12 studio albums, starting in 1983 with Show No Mercy and ending in 2015 with its most recent outing, Repentless. Lombardo was in and out of the group three times, while Hanneman died in 2013. The final lineup consisted of King, Araya , guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Paul Bostaph.
Slayer was considered one of the "Big Four" of the underground thrash and speed metal scene that took off in the early 1980s, alongside Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth. Unlike those acts, Slayer never wrote or recorded a song mainstream enough for commercial rock radio airplay, but instead thrived on its reputation as one of metal's most powerful live attractions. Slayer's sound, brutal riffing and macabre lyrics influenced countless metal acts that came in their wake.