In a Youtube video that came without any notice, Slayer announces their final world tour
30 seconds encapsulating 35 years of Slayer
Driven by the instrumental track from “Raining Blood,” the short video is a rapid fire collection of Slayer shots, going all the way back to the beginning, up thru recent photos including Gary Hold and Paul Bostaph. Splattered in blood red, across the video, “THE END OF DAYS IS NEAR… SLAYER… TO MAKE ITS EXIT… WITH ONE FINAL… WORLD TOUR” It ends with a shot of the Slayer eagle, followed by “SLAYER’S FINAL NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES COMING…”
I woke up on a day off today, flipped on Youtube on my Amazon Fire Stick, and under my subscriptions I came across this video. And let me be brutally honest, my heart sank.
Tom Araya has been discussing ending touring for years now. No one would ever guess being at a show, because Araya is still a powerful force as a frontman and throws himself into his performance every time he’s onstage. But Araya and Kerry King are in their 50s now, and the blitzkrieg assault they pour into ever show has to take a toll on them. Hell, I’m only 45 and I feel like I just got crushed when I’m in the audience. With Araya’s neck issues, Jeff Hanneman dead and Dave Lombardo out of the band, plus all the legal issues I’ve heard Araya reference since Jeff died, it sadly figures they’d call it a night in Hell after 35 years on the road. Unlike Ozzy Osbourne and his 37 retirement tours, I really believe Slayer will stick to retirement, and that makes this a sad day this far South of Heaven.
This video shocked me this morning. Kerry King has been talking about how much material was left over from the Repentless sessions, and how they almost had enough for a full album. They signed Bostaph to a contract so he’s officially a part of Slayer, and King was chatting in a bunch of videos about signing Holt to make him an official band member. Hell, King just a few weeks ago said he’d written a Trump song for the new album. And just last week, Metal Injection announced Slayer going on a mega-tour with Testament and Lamb of God. So all the inverted crosses were pointing toward Slayer being around for a long time to come.
But this is even more shocking personally, because Slayer is a huge part of who I am. After I watched the video, I went to change my shirt and realized I was wearing one with that same Slayer eagle that appeared toward the end of the video. Listening to Slayer is a part of my daily routine, and helps me put any anger into a controlled place in which Tom Araya is the master. I’ve been going to Slayer shows since 2007, and stood right on the barrier directly in front of Jeff Hanneman my first show. I made my first trip out of the country see them live in Toronto in September of 2016, and that gave me a great life experience. Thrash metal is now my favorite music because of Slayer. Reign in Blood is in the Hell of Fame, and I’ve written a piece for one song from almost every album in their catalogue for the Dead Man’s Party section of Death Ensemble, my horror blog which I named after a line from their song “War Ensemble.” There’s a little bit of Slayer in everything that’s important to my life.
It’s my mom’s birthday today. She’s been dead for 8 and a half years, and I made the conscious decision I’m not going to cry today, but to celebrate her. I made the same decision about Slayer once the announcement video sank in. I’m already plotting where to see them once dates arrive. Hell Awaits me one last time on the road, and I plan to make it a glorious trip, no matter where I arrive.
Cause of death– It can’t rain all the time, and all the blood clouds are ready to part ways. As for Slayer, they are Still Reigning, and always will, even if they’re no longer on the road.
Interment instructions– Millions lay out in the crowded tombs… and thousands across North America will come out one final time to see Slayer.
View the body