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Slayer
with Hatebreed
February 6, 2002
Verizon Theater - Houston, TX

Samuel Barker
Senior Editor
Tom Araya of Slayer (picture by Samuel Barker)

After nearly two decades of existence, Slayer remains on the cutting edge of aggressive metal. Besides having revolving members at the drummer position, Slayer has held the same musical nucleus and that razor sharp edge they have become legendary for.

For this tour, people were given the treat of a lifetime, Dave Lombardo had come back to play one more set of dates with Slayer. Dave’s drumming on such staples as Slayer’s Reign In Blood and Hell Awaits, made drummers throughout the world strive to become better, and fans at the concert scream with delight.

The audience, clad in Slayer shirts with metal fists in air, were greeted by the hardcore meets metal sound of Hatebreed. Being a young band that has found an impressive following on it’s own, it was a pleasure to see such an energetic band that complemented Slayer well.

The audience fed off of Hatebreed’s energy and really responded with a lot of action. For an opening act, Hatebreed went above and beyond what most people would expect from an opening band.

After a surprisingly short break, the lights dropped down, black lights displayed the graffiti of "God Hates Us All" written on the amps and backdrop, the band crept out of the shadows, then proceeded to tear through "Disciple." The audience took no time at all to get into the groove. People screamed along with Tom Araya, ran in circles beating each other, or, for the first timers, they stood in awe.

One of the treats that came with having Dave Lombardo back was that the band went into a lot of their older songs, which the audience ate up. "Raining Blood," "Hell Awaits," and "Mandatory Suicide" were amongst the songs that got the biggest response.

One of the highlights of the set was Tom Araya’s speeches between songs. As the rest of the band went to change guitars, Araya stood in a pale spotlight and spoke to everyone. He had a voice of an elder with something to say. Some of his talk was humorous and others serious. Either way, it added to the set.

Slayer never lets a fan down with their live shows. There is always an intense energy being given off throughout the set and the band never lets one get bored. When so many metal bands are changing their sounds to fit the trends, Slayer shows that what was once good can still be good today.


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