Slayer members play mean tune for 'grandfathers'

By Jason Fierstein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

With their first North American tour in four years, Slayer has slithered back out of its hibernating cave to once again prove its royalty status as a godfather of thrash metal.

The speed metal entourage plows through Tucson tonight at the Tucson Convention Center. Selling out virtually all of their recent shows on their global tour, which kicked off in Dublin on Nov. 6, and enjoying increased airplay on hard rock and metal radio stations across the U.S., Slayer has nudged back into the metal arena with their latest release, Divine Intervention.

With the release of Intervention late last September came a rejuvenated Slayer frenzy. Nervous about the reintroduction of the band to a finicky thrash listening public, American Recordings has given Slayer a marketing boost with in-store concert appearances in over 20 cities where crowds have exceeded 1,800.

Intervention was an instant success. The album, their first in four years since Seasons in the Abyss, shows rejuvenation of the Slayer-quality punch. Its brute strength has not been seen by fans of the cult act since their 1988 release of Reign in Blood, the legendary and prototypical thrash album referred to by many as the most intense 28 minutes of thrash ever recorded.

Slayer guitarist Kerry King was asked what he thought of the skyrocketing Intervention, which entered the Billboard album charts at a whopping No. 8 directly following its release: "We beat Streisand." Commented King to "Mean Street" magazine, "I actually thought it would be in the top 5, but you can't compete with Clapton or REM."

Slayer is harder than hard. To prove their Viking-like dispositions, take King's opinion on Megadeth's latest album, Youthanasia: "I was driving around and Z-Rock was on and it was coming on but I couldn't be bothered to stay in the car to listen to that crap. What a dumb fuckhead (speaking of Megadeth's frontman Dave Mustaine). That cocksucker lost his edge years ago." Slayer's machismo and industrial-strength stomp leave no room for poseurs and frauds. Live in concert, their bite definitely parallels their bark.

Slayer appears in Tucson at the Tucson Convention Center tonight, Wednesday, Jan. 18. Doors open at 6 p.m. and Biohazard and Machine Head open the show. For more information, call TCC at 791-4266.

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