Live Review: Slayer — The Big Four Indio, CA
Sun, 24 Apr 2011 11:06:16
Slayer doled out the sonic beatdown of the decade at "The Big Four" yesterday in Indio, CA.
After thirty years, the thrash titans remain tighter, tougher, and more threatening than any of their modern counterparts. Slayer's brutality bubbled up brilliantly during the band’s newest material. Set opener "World Painted Blood" started the death march as guitarist Kerry King ravaged his fret board along with Exodus axe-slinger Gary Holt—filling in for Jeff Hanneman. Frontman Tom Araya screamed with a ferocity that could wake the dead back in L.A. while Dave Lombardo’s drumming led the charge.
"War Ensemble" sounded like thrash's answer to Saving Private Ryan as each solo perfectly pummeled. Araya didn't have to say anything; the drumming on "Postmortem" did all the talking right before the immortal riffs of "Raining Blood" opened up the very sky itself. King, Araya, Holt, and Lombardo collectively pounced, headbanging endlessly as their classic anthem mushroomed into one of the day’s biggest mosh pits.
Holt added a trippy elegance to "Dead Skin Mask," as Araya’s voice might've even scared Ed Gein himself. King bolted down the dark, moody riff without missing a moment of madness during the chorus. Slayer functioned as the well-oiled power plant at the center of hell for "The Antichrist" and "Silent Scream."
The opening riff on "Americon" stands out as one of King’s most infectious and invasive. It stomped from a catchy groove into a thrash-fueled fire. "Payback" from God Hates Us All ripped through the throat of conformity as Araya screamed out the verses at light speed. "South of Heaven" heralded Slayer's supremacy as King slowly exorcised the song’s timeless opening riff from his guitar. Slayer shined most when they slowed it down on "Seasons in the Abyss", and the entire audience fell under their spell.
"Angel of Death" delivered one last ass-kicking assault as the bruised and battered crowd begged for more. Hanneman stood victorious officially returning to the stage for both "South of Heaven" and "Angel of Death", infusing each song with the raw darkness that made the originals so goddamn incredible...it was a moment in metal history that won't ever be forgotten.
Leaving without any words, the blood on the ground said everything that needed to be said.
Were you at "The Big Four"?
See our review of Metallica's performance here!
Check out this feature where Slash and members of Korn, Slayer, Anthrax, Slipknot, Godsmack, Stone Sour, Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, Alter Bridge, Five Finger Death Punch, and celebrities Michelle Rodriguez, Leigh Whannell and more share when they first found Metallica here!