Review: Slayer, November 23/13

Review: Slayer, November 23/13

Ed. note – we realize this review is a little belated. Apologies!

Slayer. Live.

‘Nuff said.

For those of ye petty fools unaware of opening of the gates of hell this past Saturday, I pity thee. And bring thee tales of glory, glory of a sinister kind, of a grand design, of hours of endless neck-breaking power that cut you out, leaving only one name behind.

The show took place on the hills of Mont-Royal, at the CEPSUM venue of UdeM, where fans lined up early on, some even mildly sober. Battling cold harsh wind and drunken stupor, I arrived just as Gojira was taking to the stage. French heavy metal legend, Gojira, began a brilliant set that was both well practiced and well performed. They played an intense set of progressive death, each song a message, fingers fiercely flying through the fretboard. The lights on the show were also impressive and added to the force of Gojira.

After a quick break, the evil finally unleashed itself as Slayer took the stage with ‘Hell Awaits’.  Founder and long term guitarist of Slayer, Kerry King was undoubtedly the man of the night, his fingers probing away at his guitar faster and heavier than a charging ram. Tom Araya’s vocals were high, growls and pig-squeals he learned from eating piglets alive. Slayer mostly performed their old classics, each band member sticking a dark evil grin, even while blasting double pedals to the floor. As they began playing Seasons of Abyss, the inverted crosses on stage begun swaying, almost supernaturally, and the mosh pit got crazy, bodies shoving, slamming, and throwing each other in the air. The band took off the stage for a brief second, and returned, more heavy, more fierce, more aware of the power they beheld, and tore the place alive with Angel of Death. As people groaned, limped, and regained cognition back, the chamber was empty. The band was done, fulfilled their pact with the devil, and it had ensured the victory of evil over all that is holy.

It was the heaviest show that Montreal has seen in a long time and the crowd was large, strong, and eventually, satisfied. Slayer showed a performance and confidence unlike any I’ve even seen and it proved that they remain strong, 32 years long, despite the recent tragic death of founder Jeff Hanneman. The venue was a hockey stadium made into a concert venue, adding to the acoustics and kudos to evenko for organizing the show. As us meek humans must now return to the daily chores of assignments and exams, remember to occasionally put on your headphones and immerse yourself into Raining Blood.

– Bimochan Niraula