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Metal legends Slayer to rock Big Sandy Arena one last time

May 4, 2019

HUNTINGTON — Huntington has long been a heavy rock city and this spring has a steady shower of heavy metal shows to prove it.

In addition to a string of incoming hardcore and heavy metal shows on the near horizon at the V Club, the Big Sandy Superstore Arena is also getting in on the act in two weeks with a final tour stop by the legendary metal band Slayer, with special guests Lamb of God, Amon Amarth and Cannibal Corpse.

The end is near for mighty thrash metal gods Slayer, continuing their Final World Tour with Leg Five that kicks off Thursday in Phoenix and winds its way through the U.S. and Canada for 16 dates hitting a stack of major U.S. cities and somehow, thank the metal gods of your choice later, Huntington.

Slayer will be here Monday, May 13, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena with Lamb of God, Amon Amarth and Cannibal Corpse.

Tickets are $89.50, $79.50 (GA — PIT standing only) $59.50, $49.50 and $39.50. Additional fees may apply. Get tickets at ticketmaster.com or stop by the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Box Office. Special Slayer VIP Packages will be available; those details are accessible here: http://bit.ly/slayervip

In 1981 when Slayer first formed in Huntington Park, California, bassist/vocalist Tom Araya was 20 years old and worked as a respiratory therapist, guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a rehearsal studio employee at the time, was 17, drummer Dave Lombardo was 16 and delivered pizza, and 17-year-old Kerry King was a full-time guitarist.

At that time, there were no blueprints, no set paths, no boundaries or steps to follow.

Slayer’s new hybrid of metal and punk, heavier, faster and darker than the rest, assaulted the world and set a new standard, defining not only a genre, but an attitude. Fast forward nearly 37 years and Slayer remains the preeminent punk-thrash-metal band that other heavy acts are measured against and aspire to, and up-and-coming metal heads continue to revere and emulate.

Slayer is a metal juggernaut, with songs that are dark, aggressive and without mercy, mirroring the turmoil and aberrations of our society.

Their membership in “The Big Four” — Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax — the four bands that defined the thrash/metal genre — secures the band’s place in music history.

The five-time nominated, two-time Grammy-winners have also accumulated an abundance of certified Gold Albums along with “Best” awards from media outlets all over the world, including Kerrang!, SPIN, Metal Hammer, Revolver, and Esquire. Slayer even has its own exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute.

Throughout Slayer’s history, the band has never faltered in unleashing its extreme and focused sonic assault, and repudiating temptations, Slayer has chosen to remain crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream. Jeff Hanneman passed in 2013, and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has been filling in for him since.

Paul Bostaph, Slayer’s drummer

from 1992 until 1996, then from 1997-2001, rejoined Araya and King in 2013 and remains behind the kit.

In September 2015, Slayer released Repentless, the band’s 12th studio album, the first without Hanneman, first with Holt on guitar, first with producer Terry Date, and first on Nuclear Blast Records, to widespread rave reviews and the highest chart debut of the band’s career.

The band also teamed up with director BJ McDonnell for three high-concept and brutal music videos for the album’s title track, then for “You Against You,” and the most recent, “Pride in Prejudice,” racking up a combined 28-plus-million views.

Dark Horse Comics published a three-issue comic book series in 2016, based on McDonnell’s original story concept for the videos and written by “Metalocalypse” director Jon Schnepp. On Jan. 22, 2018, after a remarkable three-and-a-half decades, Slayer announced its decision to do one last world tour and then move on.

The tour has gotten some incredible reviews. The Times of London gave it “5 Stars ... an extraordinary farewell gig from the kings of thrash metal — they totally slayed it. If Slayer do retire, replacing them may prove impossible.”