We were gathered at The BB&T Pavilion to pay respects to the life and times of the almighty Slayer. Joining us here in the congregation is Cannibal Corpse who showered us in hymns new such as ‘Red Before Black’ and old, like ‘Hammer Smashed Face’. A funeral pyre of from Amon Amarth which included ‘Twilight of the Thunder God’, ‘As Loke Falls’ as well as Raise Your Horns’. A fitting tribute.
We were treated to a eulogy from Lamb of God with ‘Omerta’, ‘512’ and ‘Laid To Rest’, and ‘Redneck’. With drummer Art Cruz holding the beat down in place of Chris Adler, LoG readied the masses to be “born of fire”.
Over thirty-five years of history, with Slayer played a twenty-song setlist that felt like an episode of This Is Your Life. Going all the way back to their debut album, Show No Mercy (Metal Blade), we’re treated to one of my favorite songs, ‘Black Magic’. They belted out numerous longtime staples of their set type tracks: ‘Mandatory Suicide’, ‘Chemical Warfare’, ‘Raining Blood’, ‘Seasons In The Abyss’, and ‘Dead Skin Mask’. I was over the moon when I heard my all-time favorite, ‘Gemini’. I have not heard it since drummer Paul Bostaph left and I have not heard it since his return. I’m so glad I was able to hear and sing along to this no longer deep cut.
With a final thank you to the crowd and group photo with all of the previous bands. Tom Araya left us with a heartfelt “We’ll miss you guys”.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY OMAR CORDY