Slayer live in Dublin

review by Anna

Several weeks ago I found myself at one of Dublin’s largest venues, surrounded by thousands of long-greasey-haired, skinny, sickly-looking, hopelessly drunk guys with acne; a lesser number of over-weight, shaven headed, agressive-looking types with facial hair; and the odd darkly made-up girl. The T-shirt tally I observed was as follows: 576 Pantera, 987 Sepultura, 29 Black Sabbath, 14 Marilyn Manson, 57 bare chests (male – not particularly attractive), 13 Slip Knot, one Van Halen, 1521 Slayer.

Of course I was at the Dublin leg of Slayer’s Diabolus in Musica tour, a double bill with Sepultura (who had pulled out at the last minute). The gig had originally been scheduled for September 13, a date that had been pushed forward, for obvious reasons. Tom Araya, the singer and bass player – in true metal white supremacist style – was not very happy about current world events, and was obviously bursting to make some dodgy, racially-intolerant remarks.

Fortunately, his Dublin minions did not react strongly to his several loaded leading remarks, and so they were not followed to their logical conclusion. Comments like ‘We didn’t start it, but we sure are going to finish it,’ did not elicit much of a crowd response, neither did the ponderous build-up to the song ‘Bloodline’ – ‘it’s what unites you and me, and everyone in this room tonight.’

But was it a good gig? The sound wasn’t great, and it has to be said, the “theatre of hate that is Slayer” did not play a particularly tight set. Standing near the front, I thought I had already heard ‘Angel of Death’ (although admittedly, the dominant sound was the booming double-kick drum and associated digga-digga-digga click), until I went back to my seat, and heard it ‘again’ during the encore. Not that I’m saying that their songs all sound the same… well, maybe to the untrained ear.

One of the guys I went with (a non-metal-head) was (rather pretentiously) extolling the virtues of metal as a ‘dirty art’ prior to the gig. Afterwards, he had dismissed it all as ‘silly noise’. Then again, another of my co-gig attenders thought it was one of the high-points of his life, and hasn’t taken off his black Slayer tour-hoody since. Despite all else, you have to admire their high-speed choreographed head-banging, satanic lighting-show, and that rigid determination to stay true to their pure metal roots – we can remain confident that they will never stoop to release a 12″ dance mix of ‘South of Heaven’.

One thought on “Slayer live in Dublin

  1. Not to interject here, but Tom Araya is hispanic… I doubt he’s into white supremacy at all.

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