Thursday, May 02, 2013

RIP Jeff Hanneman, respect to Slayer: "fuck earplugs, I need body armour"

The odd bit of sludge, doom and stoner metal aside, I have not been listening to metal so much lately, but I'm glad that for awhile, while I was catching up with the metal I ignored in the 1990's, I got to appreciate the intensity of Slayer. Reign in Blood truly is a magnificent piece of thrash, surely one of the most essential albums in metal history. I even got to see them live a couple of years ago at Rogers Arena; alas, Jeff Hanneman - who died today of liver failure - was absent from the band even then, sidelined with flesh eating disease. They sounded great, but, with Tom Araya being prevented from headbanging (or even moving around much) due to a recent surgery, Dave Lombardo pretty much out of sight behind his drumkit, and a replacement guitarist filling in for Hanneman, it was really down to Kerry King to make the energy of the band manifest - though he delivered in spades. And the show sounded great, even if the low-frequency assault from the amps actually made me kind of queasy...

Anyhow, RIP Jeff Hanneman! 49 is way too young to go. Out of respect for Slayer, here are a few (slightly tidied) text messages I sent myself during the show, as notes for a piece I never ended up writing, along with some bad cellphone photos!
Pit 90 percent male, 90 percent in black, half of which are slayer shirts. Random chants of slayer, fuckin slayer erupt. One big orange mohawk, a few people male & female covered in ink... I mistake a piece of glittery confetti on concrete floor for a razor.
Slayer open with world painted blood, bass attack, body doesnt want this. Fuck earplugs, i need body armour, thank god im not trying to mosh to this. Magnificent solo by kerry for 2nd song (731?). Very stripped down stage compared to (opener rob) zombie, just nazi-ish eagles w slayer logo. Tom surveys audience before 3rd song, lights go up... Slayer chant rises, tom gives polite thanks -"are you guys ready? You know what, you think yr ready... War ensemble, amazing drum onslaught...
No sex, no humour, no variety: attack upon attack, relentless, only tom's sincere thanks between songs punctuate assault... War cry - Long feedback lights... Then pummeling back w. Sacrifice. Guy in front of me airdrums thru each song... My whole body feels an achy oscillation when song ends... Epic slow ominous gt intro, shades of sabbath, kerry w. long blues notes... Undersea mood solo as song slowly builds..
Some light fx, no video... Kerry most demonstrative... Too bad im scaird to get close, but i can feel the intestinal massage from back here, like involuntary rolfing...
Blood red... Lights up, tom surveys, dedicates song to "all the frredom fighters, people dying to be free... This is mandatory suicide." sound actually great... chugging heavy riffage, red lit stage flashing white punctuations @ "chorus," actually more a repeat lick, newguy takes 1st solo, tom screams "suicide" on false ending... Angry ranted lyrics, the world from pure aggression pov...
Attack on xianity as attack on taboos, an escape from values of world, politeness... It has own codes, but the assault on xianity helps liberate. Where else do you get to whoop, chant, mosh? Try it on the skytrain... A tremendous release, some people in the pit must feel immense catharsis. Im enjoying listening w eyes closed, actually a joyous music for those it unlocks, the forbidden recesses of the dionysian, locked away by social taboos, limiting us... close your eyes and let yrself go

(Yeah, well - I wouldn't have used the phrase "the forbidden recesses of the Dionysian" in the final piece; these WERE notes meant only for myself, after all, that I just stumbled across now, looking for these photos. Plus, um, I'd probably had a little to smoke that night...).

My respects again to Jeff Hanneman!

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