Slayer - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
'Final World Tour' is a common phrase in the music industry these days, from all genres of music, bands and artists are falling (...apart) by the wayside after years of touring the world. Elton John from the world of pop, KISS from the world of Rock and now the all mighty Slayer from the world of Heavy Metal. A band who first graced the scene way back in 1983 alongside the other 'Big 4' bands, Anthrax, Megadeth and Metallica. Along for the ride at tonight's beer soaked venue are Anthrax, Lamb of God and Obituary. A top range and value for money tour to grace these shores for many years.
First up are Floridian Death Metal legends Obituary, who start things off with an instrumental groove based number that sets the scene for tonight's gig. With hair down to their hips blurring their faces the band power through a short set of classics spanning from their debut album right up to their latest self titled release. By the time their set really starts to cook, they depart the stage having gained a few additional fans ignorant to the Death Metal tag which the band transcend.
Next up are perennial underdogs Anthrax, the 'bottom rung' if you will, of the Big 4. Underdogs are just what Anthrax like to be called and they destroy that term like a rabid dog to a bone with the crowd going nuts for their brand of New York punk metal. Songs like 'Anti-Social', 'Indians' and 'I Am The Law' display why and how the band have endured over their 30+ year career.
If Anthrax are one of the old school Big 4 then Virginia's Lamb Of God have stolen their crown this evening and run with it. Having been around themselves for the best part of 20 years, Randy Blythe and his own band of 'Rednecks' bulldoze the welsh crowd tonight. Sounding absolutely monstrous tonight, their backline crushes all before it, with a particularly ferocious 'Redneck' ending their set, Lamb of God could quite frankly headline this place and rightly should be.
So onto Slayer, at their peak no other band could touch them. As a support band they would blow the headliners off stage and as headliners the support would have constant calls of "SLLLLLAAAYYYYYERRR,SSSSSLLLLAAAYYYER" from the crowd, showing them who they were really there to see. Tonight, give or take a few vocal blip from bassist/vocalist Tom Araya the band as a collective are on top form. Having been there and done that for over 30 years the band have nothing left to prove and simply revel in the art they produce. The shit eating grin plastered on Araya's face says it all. Newer songs stand shoulder to shoulder with older tracks and the walls of flames spewing from the stage add a touch of theatricality to proceedings. A band like Slayer will stand the test of time and seeing them here for the very last time in an arena (I'm sure they'll be back in the UK for a festival date next summer) is a triumph. Going out at the top of their game, on their own terms is exactly what Slayer do tonight. My eyebrows (after they felt like being burnt) will hopefully grow back.