Tag Archives: Slayer

Jeff Hanneman – Slayer’s Shred Lord – 1964 to 2013

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Jeff Hanneman of Slayer, who died on May 2nd 2013 at 49 years old.

Sad news this morning – Slayer’s long-time guitar player and songwriter Jeff Hanneman has passed away at the age of 49.  The cause of death has been listed as liver failure, with many speculating that the guitarist’s brush with necrotizing fasciitis (following a spider bite) and the subsequent medication required to combat it will have played their part in his early passing.  So serious was this injury that it essentially sidelined Hanneman, compelling him to withdraw from Slayer’s regular touring schedule, with Exodus’ Gary Holt substituting for him from 2011 on.

Though the band’s Kerry King has long been the visual lynch pin of the band, Hanneman’s writing and – crucially – face-melting riffs are a large part of what made the band one of the Thrash Metal scene’s Big Four.   If you’re humming the rampaging chords from “Raining Blood” now, I can’t say as I blame you.

As my cable company have currently provided the 2010 Sofia Bulgaria show from the Big Four tour, replete with Slayer, I can think of no better way to remember the great guitarist’s blistering riffs and headbanging tunes.

RIP, Sir, RIP.

\M/ 

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October Thrashing Mad

In a move which can only confirm their reputation as the nicest Thrash-inspired UK outfit on the block, Yorkshire’s own Evile have confirmed a UK tour for October 2012, with a Sheffield show scheduled in positively indecent proximity to my birthday.  You might say utter coincidence – I’d like to think otherwise, obviously…

Evile lead guitarist Ol Drake

Ol Drake of Evile – fast fingers flying ferociously, don’t you know?

Nonetheless, what absolute legends.

If you’re unfamiliar with Evile – I can see that you might be – let’s do our best to remedy that by directing you to the video for their delightful track “Thrasher”.  Isn’t that just the most face-meltingly quick and bracing slice of Thrashy Metal goodness that you’ve heard all day?  It’s like the mid-eighties never went away and Metallica never made a duff record.  Ahem…

Like an oddly metallic, quite heavy comfort blanket – Evile!

It’s a weird thing to feel oddly comforted by music which is, on the face of it, quite abrasive and the proverbial middle-finger to provincial notions of safety and familiarity but Thrash/Neo-Thrash/Thrash Revival stuff is still as vital and exciting (and quite absurdly soothing) to me as it was back in the eighties when Slayer had dodgy mullets and the mighty Anthrax (always my favourite of the Big Four) were penning glorious odes to Judge Dredd.

I never quite got into Black Metal – the Cookie Monster vocals have been something of a sticking point for me – so Thrash is probably as musically extreme as I go.  Punky energy and occasionally politicised lyrics with the aural comfort blanket of 900 MPH guitar solos and Metal double-bass drums – what’s not to like?

To convince you further as to Evile’s status as princes amongst men and women, have a gander at guitarist Ol Drake fearlessly mashing up Judas Priest and Lady Gaga on YouTube with a version of “Born This Way”.  I’m sure that Mother Monster would approve…

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Everyone’s Favourite Woolly liberals – Slayer!

Of all the places on the internet that I expected to see Slayer turning up on today, the Guardian’s website wasn’t one of them.

Never knowingly confused with Reckless Love – Los Angeles, California’s finest architects of aural hate, Slayer.

They have – shall we say – opposite views on things.  Kerry King doesn’t strike me as the world’s most liberal and progressive fellow and The Guardian isn’t where I would go to find out Metal news (snarky bobbins from people with several-barrelled names and nice jumpers, yes – metal, no).

That said, you can grab an MP3 mixtape from the Grauniad’s website to promote the Slayer-headlined “I’ll Be Your Mirror” festival and if you’ve never heard Raining Blood before, go nuts.  There’s also the mind-meltingly heavy likes of Wolves in the Throne Room, Melvins, Sleep and Mogwai to enjoy amidst a healthy selection of what can only be described as yawn-inducing indie cruft.  Still, it’s free…

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Jim Marshall – A Life Lived Loud…

The immortal Stackfather - Jim Marshall OBE with Slayer guitarist Kerry King.

This is sad news – Jim Marshall OBE, father of the modern amplifier, has died at the age of 88.  If you’ve listened to a noisy, obnoxious rock record made in the last fifty or so years, the chances are that it was made by some bunch of rampaging miscreants armed with one of the good Doctor’s cabs and stacks.

Oh look, poetry.

He leaves behind him a legacy of rocking sonic innovation which includes the iconic Marshall amplifier and a dedication to making even the most rudimentary of bedroom guitarists feel like stadium-headlining rock gods whenever they plugged in.

Why not have a look at Slayer’s Kerry King demoing his signature Marshall amp via the Tubes (warning: features awesome riffing and scary tatts).

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The stupidity – it burns!

Plays music, does not induce middle-aged dudes to run wildly amok in NYC...

Are we still doing this? Really?

New York businessmen in the Bronx are apparently utterly terrified that next month’s Big Four show in NYC will, by process of osmosis, induce any concert-goer attending to rape, pillage and generally behave like a disgruntled sports fan after a lost championship game. Blabbermouth has more.

Firstly, as pointed out by numerous blogs in the last few days, Thrash’s Big Four (Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth) hardly pull the kind of crowds who are likely to break shizz. Getting ticked off about not being able to park the Minivan – yes. Breaking stuff, a-la The Durst? Nah.

Secondly, the examples of fans rioting in Chile and Columbia are hardly the stuff of indicative comparison. Metalheads are generally peaceable folk – suburban American metalheads are more likely to be more worried about ringing the babysitter to let them know that they’ll be back a little later than planned than they are about pitching bricks through a small businessperson’s front window. Hell, these guys are likely to be the owners of small businesses. We’re talking taxpayers, here, not fricking vikings.

Thirdly, if you’ve spent the best part of a hundred dollars for the cheapest seats in Yankee stadium, I don’t imagine that you’re going to want to spend your evening in the cells after kicking off in the streets afterwards.

I say again – it’s 2011 – are we still abiding by these cretinous stereotypes about music fans?

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