Slayer

support Fear Factory
author PP date 06/08/13 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

Metal fans in Denmark have been in for a treat this summer; Metallica played an unforgettable show at Roskilde Festival about a month ago, Anthrax just played in Århus a couple of days ago, and now the almighty Slayer had scheduled a rare club show at Store Vega. That's three bands out of the classic Big Four lineup, with only Megadeth missing out from a group of bands who are arguably the biggest metal bands on the planet in terms of fan base. Tonight, we're lucky to have a double-header lineup, as Fear Factory cancelled their headlining show in Århus for an opportunity to open for Slayer in what could be one of the last times the band is on tour together, if we are to believe Tom Araya's recent ramblings in various interviews to both national and international media. That's sad news, especially after the demonstration of power that Slayer give us tonight.

Fear Factory

Fear Factory

But first, let's discuss Fear Factory. The band open with "Shock", which features an absolutely punishing bass drum that sends shock waves across bodies up front, sure to cause rhythmic failures in many a weak heart, if any of those were ever caught attending a Slayer show in the first place. Their light show consist of flashing lights, that have the added effect of creating seizure patients out of the crowd, and worse, make it impossible to see their banner, that I notice first after 35 minutes have passed in their set. And this is standing relatively close, because not that many people had arrived at this point. Now, I've heard legends and tall tales about Fear Factory live versus Fear Factory on record, and boy, are those evil tongues right for once. The fact of the matter is: Burton C. Bell is a terrible singer. Atrocious even. Those pitch-perfect, albeit electronically infused cleans you hear on record during songs like "Powershifter"? Forget about it. Bell is forced to hang onto the mic stand as if his life depended on it, as he desperately tries to hit a note, a tone, bloody anything that resembles being in tune. I'm pretty sure I could do a better job at those cleans, and I'm the worst singer out of anyone I've ever heard. I mean Jesus Christ, how can you be a frontman for 24 years and not take some singing lessons, or hire someone else to do the cleans for you so you can focus on the grunts and harsh vocals only?

Fear Factory

At the same time, their live performance itself is extremely static. I've seldom seen a band so glued to their positions; aside from switching sides in a leisurely pace every once in a while, Fear Factory members are squarely nailed to their own personal spaces, displaying light headbanging when it suits them. All of this is a recipe for a disastrous show, but luckily Bell's mid-song "Oi! Oi! Oi!" / "Hey... Hey...Hey" shouts and their excellent back catalogue provide some relief from Bell's absolutely horrendous singing. So despite a few reasonably loud sing alongs are heard within the crowd, this isn't much to hoorah for.

Setlist:

  • 1. Shock
  • 2. Edgecrusher
  • 3. Demanufacture
  • 4. Self Bias Resistor
  • 5. The Industrialist
  • 6. Powershifter
  • 7. What Will Become?
  • 8. Replica
  • 9. Martyr

Slayer

Slayer's set, on the other hand, can only be described as incredible. Despite the tragic death of Jeff Hanneman recently, the band look as good as ever as they enter the stage to echoing chants of SLAYER, SLAYER, SLAYER from the crowd. These guys live and breathe thrash, from Kerry King's devil horn-shaped guitar that supplements his funky beard in an eerily evil image to Araya's insane yell. They might not have Lombardo or Hanneman in their ranks anymore, but god damn Slayer can still put on an incredible thrash show, which is why they are one of the only bands in the world who constantly hear chants of "SLAYER.... SLAYER" in between their songs, to which Araya, with a smug look of satisfaction on his face, responds with approving silence until it's time to deliver yet a few more timeless classics within the genre. Where King and touring member Gary Holt headbang like there's no tomorrow, Araya himself delivers his back-chilling yells by casually observing the balcony seats from left to right, this all the while screaming "GOD HATES US ALL" to a thunderous crowd response. Man, those yells, they are super evil and far-reaching when they explode out of Araya at the end of key moments in songs, one of the reasons why Slayer are so universally revered as a band.

Slayer

Then there are the solos. The light show during pretty much the whole show is ominously red and dark, except during the countless solo duels between King and Holt, where a strong spotlight is sent towards whoever is currently playing a solo with impossibly precise timing to highlight some of the insane techniques it takes to play a Slayer solo. What's better, especially Holt looks like the guitar is an extension of his soul while soloing, if you are to trust his facial expressions. Kerry, too, sports a massive smile on his face pretty much continuously throughout the set. When it's time to just thrash, the band make every effort to use the entirety of the stage, sometimes thrashing by the speakers, switching positions, or pacing across the stage in what is a stark contrast to the static Fear Factory performance just before.

Slayer

After the epic riffs of "Raining Blood" make me jot down the notes in the vein of "no question about it, Slayer have written some of the best thrash riffs known to man..." on my phone, the encore arrives and the Slayer logo drops down to reveal a giant Heineken-style backdrop. Except instead of Heineken, it says Hanneman across the middle, with the top part of the logo saying "Angel Of Death" and the bottom part showing "1964 to 2013, Still Reigning". And almost symbolically, the band glimpse towards the logo as they play "South of Heaven" and finally "Angel Of Death" to pay their tribute to a fallen comrade. What a way to say goodbye to an old friend and a legend amongst guitarists.

Basically, the show can be summarized like this: I'm sorry I can't hear you over the sound of how SLAYER that was.

Setlist:

  • 1. World Painted Blood
  • 2. Disciple
  • 3. War Ensemble
  • 4. Hallowed Point
  • 5. At Dawn They Sleep
  • 6. Mandatory Suicide
  • 7. Chemical Warfare
  • 8. Altar of Sacrifice
  • 9. Jesus Saves
  • 10. Postmortem
  • 11. Snuff
  • 12. Hate Worldwide
  • 13. Seasons in the Abyss
  • 14. Hell Awaits
  • 15. Dead Skin Mask
  • 16. Raining Blood
  • --Encore:--
  • 17. South of Heaven
  • 18. Angel of Death

Photos by: Marika Hyldmar

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.