Image Credit: Scott Legato/FilmMagic.com; Steve Thorne/Redferns/Getty ImagesLast night in New Jersey, a few association in atramentous t-shirts got calm and affected like grunge never happened. The American Carnage tour, which brings calm Slayer, Megadeth, and Testament to bethink the celebrity of old-school acceleration metal, came through the New York breadth aftermost night. Slayer played their 1990 archetypal Seasons of the Abyss and Megadeth ran through 1990’s Rust in Peace, both in their entirety.
Sort of a added advancing of ceremony band’s aftermost acclamation afore alt-rock swept in and afflicted the hard-rock landscape. Metallica, who absolutely abutting Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax for a appearance in Bulgaria beforehand this year, would accept fit appropriate in on American Carnage if 1988’s …And Justice For All were alone recorded two years later. The aberration amid Metallica and Slayer (and to a bottom admeasurement Megadeth), of course, is that while Metallica cut off their hair, slapped on eyeliner, and recorded Bob Seger covers in acknowledgment to alt-rock, Slayer is, and consistently has been effing SLAYER. No apologies, no compromise, no mercy.
That’s absolutely what the freakishly committed admirers at the Izod Center came to see. Is there such a affair as an ex-Slayer fan? You may accept never admired Slayer. But anyone who anytime did actual acceptable did a lot, and about absolutely still does today. It’s a (Reign in) blood-in, (World Painted) blood-out fandom that aftermost night admiring anybody from the boyish outcast who wasn’t alike built-in back Seasons was appear to the 50-year-old baldheaded dude who threw on burden shorts and a decrepit Hell Awaits bodice and ran out of the appointment so quick he didn’t alike accept time to change out of his atramentous dress socks.
Singer-bassist Tom Araya, bagman Dave Lombardo, and guitar players Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman accept been accomplishing this for three decades now, but those added years didn’t anticipate them from calmly award the canal on Seasons in songs like “Expendable Youth” and “Dead Skin Mask,” alike in a huge, echoey amphitheater like the Izod Center. And if there’s one Slayer almanac to apprehend all the way through, it’s Seasons: Along with South of Heaven and Reign in Blood, actually apocalyptic of the band’s heyday, but the added assorted and (dare I say) adapted of that base triumvirate, it’s the best absorbing to see performed as a distinct assignment of art.
After the 45-minute smoke-filled run through Seasons, the catechism as to what abroad we would apprehend was answered by Hanneman plinking the cryptic riff to “South of Heaven.” And then—as it should be—the set bankrupt with a Reign in Blood bacchanal of “Raining Blood,” followed by “Angel of Death.” No chit-chat. No encore. Acceptable night, New Jersey. As one testosterone-flooded fan said in the alley afterward: “Who does encores? F*** encores. Encores are for p***ies. SLAYERRRRRRR!”
For a metal fan, all is appropriate in the apple back you see Araya, now a affiliated ancestor of two, calmly banging abroad on his bass while agreeable blood-soaked annihilation aloof as horrifically as he did 30 years ago. In the above-mentioned Megadeth set, frontman Dave Mustaine had a harder time recreating the vocals from 1990’s Rust in Peace, however. The bandage was tight, and the set provided a acceptable befalling to apprehend alive performances of some of the added cuts on that accomplished record. But Mustaine acutely struggled to hit some of the aerial notes, opting for a flat, apple-pie accent instead of the ataxia that tore through the aboriginal record.
Fortunately, that blemish was a abroad anamnesis afterwards the baking end of the set, which included “Symphony of Destruction,” a new thrasher “Head Crusher” (from aftermost year’s Endgame), and, of course, “Peace Sells.” The added activity akin during those closing numbers apparent the arch blemish of the anthology in its absoluteness concept: abridgement of spontaneity. The identical arrangement of “Holy Wars”sprung aloft you in the average of a set elicits a blitz that you aloof don’t get audition it as the agreed aperture song to a full-album performance. Mustaine himself accustomed the attached agency of the format, anecdotic the action of chief what added songs to add as such: “They alone gave us 70 account to comedy and we accept 13 f***ing albums. It’s like the ship’s activity bottomward and we accept to adjudge which of our accouchement to put in the activity boat.”
A accessory gripe, though, as the fans, pummeled into a calm, believing acquiescence afterwards about four hours of best metal, seemed to appetite the adventitious to bless the 20-year ceremony of those two archetypal albums and the constant bands abaft them.
As openers for this leg of American Carnage, Testament abundantly got the army afflicted up with old Headbanger’s Ball favorites like “Trial By Fire.” The band’s accelerated riffing skittered beyond accompanist Chuck Billy’s memorable melodies, and reminded us that this bandage too was already a titan of late-’80s metal. Guitarist Alex Skolnick is an amazing virtuoso (he additionally plays first-rate applesauce guitar) and admitting his blatant between-verse fills acquainted mired in the Reagan-era, that doesn’t beggarly they weren’t appreciated.
In case the aboriginal few songs of their (way too short) set didn’t do trick, aloof afore closing with “Into the Pit,” Billy breach the lunatics moshing on the GA attic bottomward the average for a little lawsuit-waiting-to-happen insanity. “Okay, I appetite all of you on this side, to annihilate the motherf***ers on that side,” he directed from the stage, “and all of you motherf***ers to annihilate the f***ers on that side. Ready? One, two, three GOOOOO!” And go they did. But the adulthood didn’t accommodate itself to angry or injury. Aloof a blissed out accumulation of metalheads basking the afterglow that can alone appear from a acceptable thrashing.