|Origin||Huntington Park, California, U.S.|
Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and vocalist and bassist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.
In the original lineup, King, Hanneman and Araya contributed to the band's lyrics, and all of the band's music was written by King and Hanneman. The band's lyrics and album art, which cover topics such as murder, serial killers, necrophilia, torture, genocide, human experimentation, Satanism, hate crimes, terrorism, religion, antireligion, Nazism and war, have generated album bans, delays, lawsuits and criticism from religious groups and factions of the general public. However, its music has been highly influential, often being cited by many bands as an influence musically, visually and lyrically; the band's third album, Reign in Blood (1986), was described as one of the heaviest and most influential thrash metal albums.
Slayer has released twelve studio albums, two live albums, a box set, six music videos, two extended plays and a cover album. Four of the band's studio albums have received gold certification in the United States. The band has received five Grammy Award nominations, winning one in 2007 for the song "Eyes of the Insane" and one in 2008 for the song "Final Six", both of which were from the album Christ Illusion (2006). Between 1991 and 2013, the band sold five million albums in the United States. After 37 years of recording and performing, Slayer announced in January 2018 that they would embark on their final world tour, which began that May and is estimated to wrap up in 2019 or 2020.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early years (1981–1983)
- 1.2 Show No Mercy, Haunting the Chapel and Hell Awaits (1983–1986)
- 1.3 Reign in Blood (1986–1987)
- 1.4 South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss (1988–1993)
- 1.5 Divine Intervention and Undisputed Attitude (1994–1997)
- 1.6 Diabolus in Musica (1998–2000)
- 1.7 God Hates Us All (2001–2005)
- 1.8 Christ Illusion (2006–2008)
- 1.9 World Painted Blood (2009–2011)
- 1.10 Death of Jeff Hanneman, departure of Dave Lombardo, and Repentless (2011–2016)
- 1.11 Cancelled thirteenth studio album and farewell tour (2016–present)
- 2 Writing and style
- 3 Legacy
- 4 Controversy
- 5 Band members
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 Discography
- 8 Tours and performances
- 9 Footnotes
- 10 Citations
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Early years (1981–1983)
Slayer was formed in 1981 by Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman, Dave Lombardo, and Tom Araya. The group started out playing covers of songs by bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest at parties and clubs in Southern California. The band's early image relied heavily on Satanic themes that featured pentagrams, make-up, spikes, and inverted crosses. Rumors that the band was originally known as Dragonslayer, after the 1981 movie of the same name, were denied by King, as he later stated: "We never were; it's a myth to this day."
In 1983, Slayer was invited to open for the band Bitch at the Woodstock Club in Anaheim, California to perform eight songs, six of which were covers. The band was spotted by Brian Slagel, a former music journalist who had recently founded Metal Blade Records. Impressed with Slayer, he met with the band backstage and asked them to record an original song for his upcoming Metal Massacre III compilation album. The band agreed and their song "Aggressive Perfector" created an underground buzz upon its release in mid 1983, which led to Slagel offering the band a recording contract with Metal Blade.
Show No Mercy, Haunting the Chapel and Hell Awaits (1983–1986)
Without any recording budget, the band had to self-finance its debut album. Combining the savings of Araya, who was employed as a respiratory therapist, and money borrowed from King's father, the band entered the studio in November 1983. The album was rushed into release, stocking shelves three weeks after tracks were completed. Show No Mercy, released in December 1983 by Metal Blade Records, generated by underground popularity for the band. The group began a club tour of California to promote the album. The tour gave the band additional popularity and sales of Show No Mercy eventually reached more than 20,000 in the US and another 20,000 worldwide.
In February 1984, King briefly joined Dave Mustaine's new band Megadeth. Hanneman was worried about King's decision, stating in an interview, "I guess we're gonna get a new guitar player." While Mustaine wanted King to stay on a permanent basis, King left after five shows, stating Mustaine's band was "taking too much of my time." The split caused a rift between King and Mustaine, which evolved into a long running feud between the two bands.
In June 1984, Slayer released a three-track EP called Haunting the Chapel. The EP featured a darker, more thrash-oriented style than Show No Mercy, and laid the groundwork for the future direction of the band. The opening track, "Chemical Warfare", has become a live staple, played at nearly every show since 1984.
Later that year, Slayer began their first national club tour, traveling in Tom Araya's Camaro towing a U-Haul trailer. The band recorded the live album Live Undead in November 1984 while in New York City.
In March 1985, Slayer began a national tour with Venom and Exodus, resulting in their first live home video dubbed Combat Tour: The Ultimate Revenge. The video featured live footage filmed at the Studio 54 club. The band then made its live European debut at the Heavy Sound Festival in Belgium opening for UFO,
By 1985, Show No Mercy had sold over 40,000 copies, which led to the band returning to the studio to record their second full-length album. Metal Blade financed a recording budget, which allowed the band to hire producer Ron Fair. Released in September 1985, Slayer's second full-length album, Hell Awaits, expanded on the darkness of Haunting the Chapel, with hell and Satan as common song subjects. The album was the band's most progressive offering, featuring longer and more complex song structures. The intro of the title track is a backwards recording of a demonic-sounding voice repeating "Join us", ending with "Welcome back" before the track begins. The album was a hit, with fans choosing Slayer for best band, best live band, Hell Awaits, as 1985's best album, and Dave Lombardo as best drummer in the British magazine Metal Forces' 1985 Readers Poll.
Reign in Blood (1986–1987)
Following the success of Hell Awaits, Slayer was offered a recording contract with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin's newly founded Def Jam Records, a largely hip hop-based label. The band accepted, and with an experienced producer and major label recording budget, the band underwent a sonic makeover for their third album Reign in Blood, resulting in shorter, faster songs with clearer production. Gone were the complex arrangements and long songs featured on Hell Awaits, ditched in favor of stripped down, hardcore punk influenced song structures.
Def Jam's distributor, Columbia Records, refused to release the album due to the song “Angel of Death” which detailed Holocaust concentration camps and the human experiments conducted by Nazi physician Josef Mengele. The album was distributed by Geffen Records on October 7, 1986. However, due to the controversy, Reign in Blood did not appear on Geffen Records' release schedule. Although the album received virtually no radio airplay, it became the band's first to enter the Billboard 200, debuting at number 94, and the band's first album certified gold in the United States.
In October 1986, Slayer embarked on the Reign in Pain world tour, with Overkill in the US, and Malice in Europe. The band was added as the opening act on W.A.S.P.'s US tour, but just one month into it, drummer Lombardo left the band: "I wasn't making any money. I figured if we were gonna be doing this professionally, on a major label, I wanted my rent and utilities paid." To continue with the tour, Slayer enlisted Tony Scaglione of Whiplash. However, Lombardo was convinced by his wife to return in 1987. At the insistence of Rubin, Slayer recorded a cover version of Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" for the film Less Than Zero. Although the band was not happy with the final product, Hanneman deeming it "a poor representation of Slayer" and King labeling it "a hunk of shit", it was one of their first songs to garner radio airplay.
South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss (1988–1993)
In late 1987, Slayer returned to the studio to record their fourth studio album. To contrast the speed of Reign in Blood, the band consciously decided to slow down the tempos, and incorporate more melodic singing. According to Hanneman, "We knew we couldn't top Reign in Blood, so we had to slow down. We knew whatever we did was gonna be compared to that album, and I remember we actually discussed slowing down. It was weird—we've never done that on an album, before or since."
Released in July 1988, South of Heaven received mixed responses from both fans and critics, although it was Slayer's most commercially successful release at the time, debuting at number 57 on the Billboard 200, and their second album to receive gold certification in the United States. Press response to the album was mixed, with AllMusic citing the album as "disturbing and powerful", and Kim Nelly of Rolling Stone calling it "genuinely offensive satanic drivel". King said "that album was my most lackluster performance", although Araya called it a "late bloomer" which eventually grew on people.
Slayer returned to the studio in spring 1990 with co-producer Andy Wallace to record its fifth studio album. Following the backlash created by South of Heaven, Slayer returned to the "pounding speed of Reign in Blood, while retaining their newfound melodic sense." Seasons in the Abyss, released on October 25, 1990, was the first Slayer album to be released under Rubin's new Def American label, as he had parted ways with Def Jam owner Russell Simmons over creative differences. The album debuted at number 44 on the Billboard 200, and was certified gold in 1992. The album spawned Slayer's first music video for the album's title track, which was filmed in front of the Giza pyramids in Egypt.
Slayer returned as a live act in September 1990 to co-headline the European Clash of the Titans tour with Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, and Testament. During the sold out European leg of this tour, tickets had prices skyrocket to 1,000 Deutschmark ($680 USD) on the black market. With the popularity of American thrash at its peak, the tour was extended to the US beginning in May 1991, with Megadeth, Anthrax, and opening act Alice in Chains. The band released a double live album, Decade of Aggression in 1991, to celebrate ten years since their formation. The compilation debuted at number 55 on the Billboard 200.
In May 1992, Lombardo left the band due to conflicts with the other members, as well as his desire to be off tour for the birth of his first child. Lombardo formed his own band Grip Inc., with Voodoocult guitarist Waldemar Sorychta, and Slayer recruited former Forbidden drummer Paul Bostaph to fill in the drummer position. Slayer made its debut appearance with Bostaph at the 1992 Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington. Bostaph's first studio effort was a medley of three Exploited songs, "War", "UK '82", and "Disorder", with rapper Ice-T, for the Judgment Night movie soundtrack in 1993.
Divine Intervention and Undisputed Attitude (1994–1997)
In 1994, Slayer released Divine Intervention, the band's first album with Bostaph on the drums. The album featured songs about Reinhard Heydrich, an architect of the Holocaust, and Jeffrey Dahmer, an American serial killer and sex offender. Other themes included murder, the evils of church, and the lengths to which governments went to wield power, Araya's interest in serial killers inspired much of the content of the lyrics.
Slayer geared up for a world tour in 1995, with openers Biohazard and Machine Head. A video of concert footage, Live Intrusion was released, featuring a joint cover of Venom's "Witching Hour" with Machine Head. Following the tour, Slayer was billed third at the 1995 Monsters of Rock festival, headlined by Metallica. In 1996, Undisputed Attitude, an album of punk covers, was released. The band covered songs by Minor Threat, T.S.O.L., Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, D.I., Verbal Abuse, Dr. Know, and The Stooges. The album featured three original tracks, "Gemini", "Can't Stand You", "Ddamm"; the latter two were written by Hanneman in 1984–1985 for a side project entitled Pap Smear. Bostaph left Slayer shortly after the album's recording to work on his own project, Truth About Seafood. With Bostaph's departure, Slayer recruited Testament drummer Jon Dette, and headlined the 1996 Ozzfest alongside with Ozzy Osbourne, Danzig, Biohazard, Sepultura, and Fear Factory. Dette was fired after a year, due to a fallout with band members. After that, Bostaph returned to continue the tour.
Diabolus in Musica (1998–2000)
Diabolus in Musica (Latin for "The Devil in Music") was released in 1998, and debuted at number 31 on the Billboard 200, selling over 46,000 copies in its first week. The album received a mixed critical reception, and was criticized for adopting characteristics of nu metal music such as tuned down guitars, murky chord structures, and churning beats. Blabbermouth.net reviewer Borijov Krgin described the album as "a feeble attempt at incorporating updated elements into the group's sound, the presence of which elevated the band's efforts somewhat and offered hope that Slayer could refrain from endlessly rehashing their previous material for their future output", while Ben Ratliff of The New York Times had similar sentiments, writing on June 22, 1998 that: "Eight of the 11 songs on Diabolus in Musica, a few of which were played at the show, are in the same gray key, and the band's rhythmic ideas have a wearying sameness too."
The album was the band's first to primarily feature dropped tuning, as featured on the lead track, "Bitter Peace", making use of the tritone interval referred to in the Middle Ages as the Devil's interval. Slayer teamed up with digital hardcore group Atari Teenage Riot to record a song for the Spawn soundtrack titled "No Remorse (I Wanna Die)". The band paid tribute to Black Sabbath by recording a cover of "Hand of Doom" for the second of two tribute albums, titled Nativity in Black II. A world tour followed to support the new album, with Slayer making an appearance at the United Kingdom Ozzfest 1998 alongside Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Foo Fighters, Pantera, Soulfly, Fear Factory, and Therapy?.
God Hates Us All (2001–2005)
After delays regarding remixing and artwork, including slip covers created to cover the original artwork as it was deemed "too graphic", Slayer's next album, God Hates Us All, was released on September 11, 2001. The band received its first Grammy nomination for the lead track "Disciple", although the Grammy was awarded to Tool, for "Schism". The September 11 attacks on America jeopardized the 2001 European tour Tattoo the Planet originally set to feature Pantera, Static-X, Cradle of Filth, Biohazard and Vision of Disorder. The dates in the United Kingdom were postponed due to flight restrictions, with a majority of bands deciding to withdraw, leaving Slayer and Cradle of Filth remaining for the European leg of the tour.
Pantera, Static-X, Vision of Disorder and Biohazard were replaced by other bands depending on location; Amorphis, In Flames, Moonspell, Children of Bodom, and Necrodeath. Biohazard eventually decided to rejoin the tour later on, and booked new gigs in the countries, where they missed a few dates. Drummer Bostaph left Slayer before Christmas in 2001, due to a chronic elbow injury, which would hinder his ability to play. Slayer's "God Hates Us All" tour was unfinished so Manager, Rick Sales, contacted original drummer Lombardo, and asked if he would like to finish the remainder of the tour. Lombardo accepted the offer, and stayed as a permanent member.
Slayer toured playing Reign in Blood in its entirety throughout the fall of 2003, under the tour banner "Still Reigning". Their playing of the final song, "Raining Blood", culminated with the band drenched in a rain of stage blood. Live footage of this was recorded at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, Maine, on July 11, 2004 and released on the 2004 DVD Still Reigning. The band also released War at the Warfield and a box set, Soundtrack to the Apocalypse featuring rarities, live CD and DVD performances and various Slayer merchandise. From 2002 to 2004, the band performed over 250 tour dates, headlining major music festivals including H82k2, Summer tour, Ozzfest 2004 and a European tour with Slipknot. While preparing for the Download Festival in England, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was taken to a hospital with an unknown and mysterious illness, and was unable to perform. Metallica vocalist James Hetfield searched for volunteers at the very last minute to replace Ulrich; Lombardo and Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison volunteered, with Lombardo performing the songs "Battery" and "The Four Horsemen".
Christ Illusion (2006–2008)
The next studio album, Christ Illusion, was originally scheduled for release on June 6, 2006, and would be the first album with original drummer Lombardo since 1990's Seasons in the Abyss. However, the band decided to delay the release of the record, as they did not want to be among the many, according to King, "half-ass, stupid fucking loser bands" releasing records on June 6, although USA Today reported the idea was thwarted because the band failed to secure sufficient studio recording time. Slayer released Eternal Pyre on June 6 as a limited-edition EP. Eternal Pyre featured the song "Cult", a live performance of "War Ensemble" in Germany and video footage of the band recording "Cult". Five thousand copies were released and sold exclusively through Hot Topic chain stores, and sold out within hours of release. On June 30, Nuclear Blast Records released a 7" vinyl picture disc version limited to a thousand copies.
Christ Illusion was released on August 8, 2006, and debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, selling over 62,000 copies in its first week. The album became Slayer's highest charting, improving on its previous highest charting album, Divine Intervention, which had debuted at number 8. However, despite its high positioning, the album dropped to number 44 in the following week. Three weeks after the album's release Slayer were inducted into the Kerrang! Hall of Fame for their influence to the heavy metal scene.
A worldwide tour dubbed The Unholy Alliance Tour, was undertaken to support the new record. The tour was originally set to launch on June 6, but was postponed to June 10, as Araya had to undergo gall bladder surgery. In Flames, Mastodon, Children of Bodom, Lamb of God, and Thine Eyes Bleed (featuring Araya's brother, Johnny) and Ted Maul (London Hammersmith Apollo) were supporting Slayer. The tour made its way through America and Europe and the bands who participated, apart from Thine Eyes Bleed, reunited to perform at Japan's Loudpark Festival on October 15, 2006.
The video for the album's first single, "Eyes of the Insane", was released on October 30, 2006. The track was featured on the Saw III soundtrack, and won a Grammy-award for "Best Metal Performance" at the 49th Grammy Awards, although the band was unable to attend due to touring obligations. A week later, the band visited the 52nd Services Squadron located on the Spangdahlem U.S. Air Force Base in Germany to meet and play a show. This was the first visit ever to a military base for the band. The band made its first network TV appearance on the show Jimmy Kimmel Live! on January 19, playing the song "Eyes of the Insane", and four additional songs for fans after the show (although footage from "Jihad" was cut due to its controversial lyrical themes).
Slayer toured Australia and New Zealand in April with Mastodon, and appeared at the Download Festival, Rock Am Ring, and a Summer tour with Marilyn Manson and Bleeding Through. The band released a special edition of Christ Illusion, which featured new cover art and bonus track, "Final Six", which was given a Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance". This is the band's second consecutive award in that category.
World Painted Blood (2009–2011)
In 2008, Araya stated uncertainty about the future of the band, and that he could not see himself continuing the career at a later age. He said that once the band finished its upcoming album, which was the final record in their contract, the band would sit down and discuss its future. King was optimistic that the band would produce at least another two albums before considering to disband: "We're talking of going in the studio next February  and getting the next record out so if we do things in a timely manner I don't see there's any reason why we can't have more than one album out." Slayer, along with Trivium, Mastodon, and Amon Amarth, teamed up for a European tour titled 'The Unholy Alliance: Chapter III', throughout October and November 2008. Slayer headlined the second Mayhem Festival in the summer of 2009. Slayer, along with Megadeth, also co-headlined Canadian Carnage, the first time they performed together in more than 15 years when they co-headlined four shows in Canada in late June 2009 with openers Machine Head and Suicide Silence.
The band's tenth studio album, World Painted Blood, was released by American Recordings. It was available on November 3 in North America and November 2 for the rest of the world. The band stated that the album takes elements of all their previous works including Seasons in the Abyss, South of Heaven, and Reign in Blood. Slayer, along with Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax performed on the same bill for the first time on June 16, 2010 at Bemowo Airport, near Warsaw, Poland. One of the following Big 4 performances in (Sofia, Bulgaria, June 22, 2010) was sent via satellite in HD to cinemas. They also went on to play several other dates as part of the Sonisphere Festival. Megadeth and Slayer joined forces once again for the American Carnage Tour from July to October 2010 with opening acts Anthrax and Testament, and European Carnage Tour in March and April 2011. The "Big Four" played more dates at Sonisphere in England and France for the first time ever. Slayer returned to Australia in February and March 2011 as part of the Soundwave Festival and also played in California with the other members of the "Big Four".
In early 2011, Hanneman was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis. According to the band, doctors said that it likely originated from a spider bite. Araya said of Hanneman's condition: "Jeff was seriously ill. Jeff ended up contracting a bacteria that ate away his flesh on his arm, so they cut open his arm, from his wrist to his shoulder, and they did a skin graft on him, they cleaned up ... It was a flesh-eating virus, so he was really, really bad. So we'll wait for him to get better, and when he's a hundred percent, he's gonna come out and join us." The band decided to play their upcoming tour dates without Hanneman. Gary Holt of Exodus was announced as Hanneman's temporary replacement. Cannibal Corpse guitarist Pat O'Brien filled in for Holt during a tour in Europe. On April 23, 2011, at the American Big 4 show in Indio, California, Hanneman rejoined his bandmates to play the final two songs of their set, "South of Heaven" and "Angel of Death". This turned out to be Hanneman's final live performance with the band.
Death of Jeff Hanneman, departure of Dave Lombardo, and Repentless (2011–2016)
When asked if Slayer would make another album, Lombardo replied "Yes absolutely; Although there's nothing written, there are definitely plans." However, Araya said Slayer would not begin writing a new album until Hanneman's condition improved. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Reign In Blood, the band performed all of the album's tracks at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival at the Alexandra Palace in London.
In November 2011, Lombardo posted a tweet that the band had started to write new music. This presumably meant that Hanneman's condition improved, and it was believed he was ready to enter the studio. King had worked with Lombardo that year and they completed three songs. The band planned on entering the studio in either March or April 2012 and were hoping to have the album recorded before the group's US tour in late May and release it by the summer of that year. However, King said the upcoming album would not be finished until September and October of that year, making a 2013 release likely. In July 2012, Kerry King revealed two song titles for the upcoming album, "Chasing Death" and "Implode".
In February 2013, Lombardo was fired right before Slayer was to play at Australia's Soundwave festival due to an argument with band members over a pay dispute. Slayer and American Recordings released a statement, saying "Mr. Lombardo came to the band less than a week before their scheduled departure for Australia to present an entirely new set of terms for his engagement that were contrary to those that had been previously agreed upon", although Lombardo claimed there was a gag order in place. Jon Dette returned to fill in for Lombardo for the Soundwave dates. It was confirmed that Lombardo was officially out of Slayer for the third time, and, when in May, Paul Bostaph rejoined the band.
On May 2, 2013, Jeff Hanneman died due to liver failure in a local hospital near his home in Southern California's Inland Empire; the cause of death was later determined to be alcohol-related cirrhosis. King confirmed that the band would continue, saying "Jeff is going to be in everybody's thoughts for a long time. It's unfortunate you can't keep unfortunate things from happening. But we're going to carry on – and he'll be there in spirit." However, Araya felt more uncertain about the band's future, expressing his belief that "After 30 years [with Hanneman active in the band], it would literally be like starting over", and doubting that Slayer's fanbase would approve such a change. Despite the uncertainty regarding the band's future, Slayer still worked on a followup to World Painted Blood. Additionally, it was reported that the new album would still feature material written by Hanneman.
At the 2014 Revolver's Golden Gods Awards ceremony, Slayer debuted "Implode", its first new song in five years. The group announced that they have signed with Nuclear Blast, and planned to release a new album in 2015. It was reported that Holt would take over Hanneman's guitar duties full-time, although Holt did not participate in the songwriting. In February, Slayer announced a seventeen date American tour to start in June featuring Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus. In 2015, Slayer headlined the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival for the second time. Repentless, the band's twelfth studio album, was released on September 11, 2015. Slayer toured for two-and-a-half years in support of Repentless. The band toured Europe with Anthrax and Kvelertak in October and November 2015, and embarked on three North American tours: one with Testament and Carcass in February and March 2016, then with Anthrax and Death Angel in September and October 2016, and with Lamb of God and Behemoth in July and August 2017. A lone date in Southeast Asia in 2017 was held in the Philippines.
Cancelled thirteenth studio album and farewell tour (2016–present)
In August 2016, guitarist Kerry King was asked if Slayer would release a follow-up to Repentless. He replied, "We've got lots of leftover material from the last album, 'cause we wrote so much stuff, and we recorded a bunch of it too. If the lyrics don't change the song musically, those songs are done. So we are way ahead of the ballgame without even doing anything for the next record. And I've been working on stuff on my downtime. Like, I'll warm up and a riff will come to mind and I'll record it. I've gotten a handful of those on this run. So wheels are still turning. I haven't worked on anything lyrically yet except for what was done on the last record, so that's something I've gotta get on. But, yeah, Repentless isn't quite a year old yet." King also stated that Slayer was not expected to enter the studio until at least 2018. In an October interview on Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta's podcast, King stated that he was "completely open" to having guitarist Gary Holt (who had no songwriting contributions on Repentless) involved in the songwriting process of the next Slayer album. He explained, "I'm entirely open to having Gary work on something. I know he's gotta work on an Exodus record and I've got tons already for this one. But, you know, if he's gonna stick around... I didn't want it on the last one, and I knew that. I'm completely open to having that conversation. I haven't talked to Tom about it, I haven't talked to Gary open about it, but I'm open. That's not saying it is or isn't gonna happen. But my ears are open."
In a June 2017 interview with the Ultimate Guitar Archive, Holt said that he was ready to contribute with the songwriting for the next album. When speaking to Revolver, King was asked if there were any plans in place for the band to begin working on the album, he said, "Funny thing is, Repentless isn't even two years old yet, though it seems like it is. But from that session, there are six or eight songs that are recorded—some with vocals, some with leads, but all with keeper guitar, drums and bass. So when those songs get finished lyrically, if the lyrics don't change the songs, they'll be ready to be on the next record. So we already have more than half a record complete, if those songs make it." He also gave conceivable consideration that it could be released next year, "I'm certainly not gonna promise it, because every time I do, I make a liar of myself! [Laughs]" When asked about any plans or the timeline the band would like to release the album, King said, "It depends on touring—getting time to rehearse, getting time to make up new stuff. We haven't even done Australia on this run yet at all. We're hitting Japan finally later this year. But if things go well, I'd like to record next year. But timelines change all the time." In an October 2017 interview, Holt once again expressed his desire to contribute to the songwriting for the next Slayer album, saying, "When that time comes and we are ready for the next album, if Kerry wants me to contribute, I've got riffs. I've got stuff right now that I've written that I am not using for Exodus, because it was kind of maybe just unintentional subconscious thing, like, 'It sounds a little too Slayer.'"
On January 22, 2018, Slayer announced their farewell world tour, which began with a North American trek in May and June, supported by Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth and Testament. The second leg of the North American tour took place in July and August, with Napalm Death replacing Behemoth, followed in November and December by a European tour with Lamb of God, Anthrax and Obituary. The farewell tour will continue into 2019, with plans to visit places such as South America, Australia and Japan; in addition to European festivals such as Hellfest, the band will tour the United States in May 2019 with Lamb of God, Amon Amarth and Cannibal Corpse. Slayer also played one show in Mexico at Force Fest in October 2018. There has been reported talk of the band participating in a rebooted Clash of the Titans tour with Megadeth, Sepultura and Testament, as part of the farewell tour, as well as at least one more Big Four show with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Holt has stated that Slayer will not release a new album before the group's disbandment. On how long the farewell tour will last, Holt's Exodus bandmate Steve "Zetro" Souza commented, "I'm speculating it's gonna take a year and a half or two years to do the one final thing, but I believe it's finished. Everybody knows what I know; just because I'm on the outside, I have no insight on that." According to musicfestnews.com, the tour is expected to wrap up in early 2020.
On December 2, 2018, Holt announced that he would not perform the remainder of the band's European tour to be with his dying father. Vio-lence and former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel would fill in for him as a result.
Writing and style
Slayer is considered a thrash metal band. In an article from December 1986 by the Washington Post, writer Joe Brown described Slayer as speed metal, a genre he defined as "an unholy hybrid of punk rock thrash and heavy metal that attracts an almost all-male teen-age following". Describing Slayer's music, Brown wrote: "Over a jackhammer beat, Slayer's stun guitars created scraping sheets of corrosive metal noise, with occasional solos that sounded like squealing brakes, over which the singer-bassist emitted a larynx-lacerating growl-yowl." In an article from September 1988 by the New York Times, writer Jon Pareles also described Slayer as speed metal, additionally writing that the band "brings the sensational imagery of tabloids and horror movies" and has lyrics that "revel in death, gore and allusions to Satanism and Nazism." Pareles also described other "Big Four" thrash metal bands Metallica and Megadeth as speed metal bands. Slayer's early works were praised for their "breakneck speed and instrumental prowess", combining the structure of hardcore punk tempos and speed metal. The band released fast, aggressive material. The album Reign in Blood is the band's fastest, performed at an average of 220 beats per minute; the album Diabolus in Musica was the band's first to feature C♯ tuning; God Hates Us All was the first to feature drop B tuning and seven-string guitars tuned to B♭. AllMusic cited the album as "abandoning the extravagances and accessibility of their late-'80s/early-'90s work and returning to perfect the raw approach", with some fans labeling it as nu metal.
King and Hanneman's dual guitar solos have been referred to as "wildly chaotic", and "twisted genius". Original drummer Lombardo would use two bass drums (instead of a double pedal, which is used on a single bass drum). Lombardo's speed and aggression earned him the title of the "godfather of double bass" by Drummerworld. Lombardo stated his reasons for using two bass drums: "When you hit the bass drum, the head is still resonating. When you hit it in the same place right after that, you kinda get a 'slapback' from the bass drum head hitting the other pedal. You're not letting them breathe." When playing the two bass drums, Lombardo would use the "heel-up" technique.
In the original lineup, King, Hanneman and Araya contributed to the band's lyrics, and King and Hanneman wrote the music with additional arrangement from Lombardo, and sometimes Araya. It is unclear why Lombardo has never received any writing credits in Slayer's history. Araya formed a lyric writing partnership with Hanneman, which sometimes overshadowed the creative input of King. Hanneman stated that writing lyrics and music was a "free-for-all": "It's all just whoever comes up with what. Sometimes I'll be more on a roll and I'll have more stuff, same with Kerry – it's whoever's hot, really. Anybody can write anything; if it's good, we use it; if not, we don't."
When writing material, the band would write the music first before incorporating lyrics. King or Hanneman used a 24-track and drum machine to show band members the riff that they created, and to get their opinion. Either King, Hanneman or Lombardo would mention if any alterations could be made. The band played the riff to get the basic song structure, and figured out where the lyrics and solos would be placed. King, Hanneman, and Araya tended to have different lyrical influences. King's lyrics are generally anti-religious; Hanneman's lyrics dealt with Nazis, religion, warfare and similar topics; Araya's lyrics usually dealt with topics that could be considered less controversial than King and Hanneman's, such as serial killers and warfare.
Slayer is one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history. Steve Huey of AllMusic believes the musical style of Slayer makes the band stronger than the other members of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, all of which rose to fame during the 1980s. Slayer's "downtuned rhythms, infectious guitar licks, graphically violent lyrics and grisly artwork set the standard for dozens of emerging thrash bands" and their "music was directly responsible for the rise of death metal" states MTV, ranking Slayer as the sixth "greatest metal band of all time", ranking number 50 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Hanneman and King ranked number 10 in Guitar World's "100 greatest metal guitarists of all time" in 2004, and were voted "Best Guitarist/Guitar Team" in Revolver's reader's poll. Original drummer Lombardo was also voted "Best Drummer" and the band entered the top five in the categories "Best Band Ever", "Best Live Band", "Album of the Year" (for Christ Illusion) and "Band of the Year".
Music author Joel McIver considers Slayer very influential in the extreme metal scene, especially in the development of the death metal and black metal subgenres. According to John Consterdine of Terrorizer, without "Slayer's influence, extreme metal as we know it wouldn't exist." Kam Lee of Massacre and former member of Death stated: "there wouldn't be death metal or black metal or even extreme metal (the likes of what it is today) if not for Slayer." Johan Reinholdz of Andromeda said that Slayer "were crucial in the development of thrash metal which then became the foundation for a lot of different subgenres. They inspired generations of metal bands." Alex Skolnick of Testament declared: "Before Slayer, metal had never had such razor-sharp articulation, tightness, and balance between sound and stops. This all-out sonic assault was about the shock, the screams, the drums, and [...] most importantly the riffs."
Groups who cited Slayer among their major influences include Bullet for My Valentine, Slipknot, Gojira, Hatebreed, Cannibal Corpse, Pantera, Kreator, Mayhem, Darkthrone, System of a Down, Lamb of God, Behemoth, Evile and Lacuna Coil. Steve Asheim, drummer for Deicide, declared that "there obviously would not have been a Deicide as we know it without the existence of Slayer." Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser affirmed that "without Slayer, Sepultura would never be possible." Weezer mentions them in the song "Heart Songs" from their 2008 self-titled "Red" album. The verse goes: "Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Slayer taught me how to shred..." Dave Grohl recalled, "Me and my friends, we just wanted to listen to fucking Slayer and take acid and smash stuff."
The band's 1986 release Reign in Blood has been an influence to extreme and thrash metal bands since its release and is considered the record which set the bar for death metal. It had a significant influence on the genre leaders such as Death, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and Napalm Death. The album was hailed the "heaviest album of all time" by Kerrang!, a "genre-definer" by Stylus, and a "stone-cold classic upon its release" by AllMusic. In 2006, Reign in Blood was named the best metal album of the last 20 years by Metal Hammer. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Slayer sold 4,900,000 copies in the United States from 1991 to 2013.
A lawsuit was brought against the band in 1996, by the parents of Elyse Pahler, who accused the band of encouraging their daughter's murderers through their lyrics. Pahler was drugged, strangled, stabbed, trampled on, and raped as a sacrifice to the devil by three fans of the band. The case was unsealed by the court on May 19, 2000, stating Slayer and related business markets distribute harmful products to teens, encouraging violent acts through their lyrics, and "none of the vicious crimes committed against Elyse Marie Pahler would have occurred without the intentional marketing strategy of the death-metal band Slayer." The lawsuit was dismissed in 2001, for multiple reasons including "principles of free speech, lack of a duty and lack of foreseeability." A second lawsuit was filed by the parents, an amended complaint for damages against Slayer, their label, and other industry and label entities. The lawsuit was again dismissed. Judge E. Jeffrey Burke stated, "I do not consider Slayer's music obscene, indecent or harmful to minors."
Slayer has been accused of holding Nazi sympathies, due to the band's eagle logo bearing resemblance to the Eagle atop swastika and the lyrics of "Angel of Death". "Angel of Death" was inspired by the acts of Josef Mengele, the doctor who conducted human experiments on prisoners during World War II at the Auschwitz concentration camp, and was dubbed the "Angel of Death" by inmates. Throughout their career, the band members were asked about these accusations, and have stated numerous times they do not condone Nazism and are merely interested in the subject.
Slayer's cover of Minor Threat's "Guilty of Being White" raised questions about a possible message of white supremacy in the band's music. The controversy surrounding the cover involved the changing of the refrain "guilty of being white" to "guilty of being right", at the song's ending. This incensed Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye, who stated "that is so offensive to me." King said it was changed for "tongue-in-cheek" humor as he thought the allegation of racism at the time was "ridiculous".
In a 2004 interview with Araya, when asked, "Did critics realize you were wallowing in parody?" Araya replied, "No. People thought we were serious!...back then you had that PMRC, who literally took everything to heart, when in actuality you're trying to create an image. You're trying to scare people on purpose." Araya also denied rumors that Slayer members are Satanists, but they find the subject of Satanism interesting and "we are all on this planet to learn and experience."
The song "Jihad" of the album Christ Illusion sparked controversy among families of the September 11 victims. The song deals with the attack from the perspective of a religious terrorist. The band stated the song is spoken through perspective without being sympathetic to the cause, and supports neither side.
Seventeen bus benches promoting the same album in Fullerton, California were deemed offensive by city officials. City officials contacted the band's record label and demanded that the ads be removed. All benches were eliminated.
In India, Christ Illusion was recalled by EMI India after protests with Christian religious groups due to the nature of the graphic artwork. The album cover was designed by Slayer's longtime collaborator Larry Carroll and features Christ in a "sea of despair", with amputated arms, missing an eye, while standing in a sea of blood with severed heads. Joseph Dias of the Mumbai Christian group Catholic Secular Forum in India took "strong exception" to the original album artwork, and issued a memorandum to Mumbai's police commissioner in protest. On October 11, 2006, EMI announced that all stocks had been destroyed, noting it had no plans to re-release the record in India in the future. However, the album has since been imported and made available in India.
Awards and nominations
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2002||"Disciple"||Best Metal Performance||Nominated|
|2007||"Eyes of the Insane"||Best Metal Performance||Won|
|2008||"Final Six"||Best Metal Performance||Won|
|2010||"Hate Worldwide"||Best Metal Performance||Nominated|
|2011||"World Painted Blood"||Best Metal Performance||Nominated|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2006||Slayer||Kerrang! Hall of Fame||Won|
Metal Edge Readers' Choice Awards
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2003||War at the Warfield||DVD of the Year ||Won|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2004||Slayer||Best Live Act||Won|
|2006||Reign in Blood||Best Album of the Last 20 Years||Won|
Metal Storm Awards
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2006||Christ Illusion||Best Thrash Metal Album ||Won|
|2015||Repentless||Best Video ||Won|
- Show No Mercy (1983)
- Hell Awaits (1985)
- Reign in Blood (1986)
- South of Heaven (1988)
- Seasons in the Abyss (1990)
- Divine Intervention (1994)
- Undisputed Attitude (1996)
- Diabolus in Musica (1998)
- God Hates Us All (2001)
- Christ Illusion (2006)
- World Painted Blood (2009)
- Repentless (2015)
Tours and performances
- Early Shows (1982–1983)
- Show No Mercy/Haunting the Chapel Tour (1984)
- Hell Awaits Tour (1985)
- Reign in Blood Tour (1986–1987)
- Reign in Pain European Tour (1987)
- World Sacrifice Tour (1988–1989)
- A Week in the Abyss (1990)
- Clash of the Titans Tour (1990–1991)
- Touring the Abyss (1990–1991)
- European Tour (1992)
- European Intourvention (1994)
- Divine Intourvention Tour (1995)
- Undisputed Attitude (1996)
- Diabolus on Tour (1998–2000)
- God Hates the World Tour (2001–2002)
- European Summer Festival Tour (2003)
- Jägermeister Music Tour (Fall 2003)
- Jägermeister Music Tour (Fall 2004)
- The Unholy Alliance Tour (2004)
- European Summer Festival Tour (2005)
- Unholy Alliance Chapter II (2006)
- Christ Illusion Tour (2006–2007)
- Rape of the World Tour (2007)
- European Summer Festival Tour (2008)
- Mayhem Festival (2009)
- Jägermeister Music Tour (2010)
- American Carnage Tour (2010)
- The Big Four with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax (2010–2011)
- European Carnage Tour (2011)
- World Painted Blood Tour (2011)
- European Summer Festival Tour (2012)
- U.S. Tour with Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus (2014)
- Repentless Tour (2015–2017)
- Farewell Tour (2018–2019)
- ^ From late 2010 until his death in May 2013, Jeff Hanneman's participation in Slayer was minimal. In January 2011, he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, which severely restricted his ability to perform. He appeared publicly with the band on only one known occasion, playing two songs during an encore at one of Slayer's Big 4 performances in April 2011; he also attended rehearsals for Fun Fun Fun Fest in November 2011, but did not end up performing at this show. By July 2012, Hanneman had not written or recorded any new material for the band's follow up to 2009's World Painted Blood. In February 2013, Kerry King stated he was planning on recording all of the guitar parts for the upcoming album himself, but was open to Hanneman's return if he was willing and able. King also denied that Gary Holt, member of Exodus and Hanneman's live fill-in, would write or record anything for the upcoming album. Hanneman died on May 2, 2013 at the age of 49 due to liver failure.
- Hill, John (January 22, 2018). "BREAKING NEWS: Slayer Announce Farewell Tour". Loudwire. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- "Thrash-Metal Greats Bring Farewell Tour To San Jose". sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com. August 19, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "SLAYER's Final World Tour Will Extend Into 2019". Blabbermouth.net. August 27, 2018. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- "No New EXODUS Album Until End Of 2019 At The Earliest". Blabbermouth.net. February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
- "Slayer's Final World Tour Hits North America in May". musicfestnews.com. April 17, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
- Huey, Steve. "Slayer | Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- "Kerry King about the Dragonslayer myth, Christ Illusion, previous albums and experimenting". www.faceculture.nl. October 20, 2006. Archived from the original on January 4, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2007.
- German, Eric. "Interview with Brian Slagel". Metalupdate.com. Retrieved December 4, 2006.
- "Live Chat with Tom Araya of Slayer". ESPguitars.com. Archived from the original on November 12, 2006. Retrieved December 10, 2006.
- "An exclusive oral history of Slayer". Decibel Magazine. No. 22. August 2006. Archived from the original on August 13, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
- "Megadeth History". Megadeth.com. Archived from the original on November 19, 2006. Retrieved December 10, 2006.
- "Slayer's Kerry King Says Dave Mustaine is 'A Cocksucker'". Blabbermouth.net. February 12, 2005. Archived from the original on March 18, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2006.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Slayer:Haunting the Chapel". AllMusic. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
- "Dark Angel". Voicesfromthedarkside.com. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
- Lahtinen, Lexi (December 18, 2006). "Slayer – Jeff Hanneman". Metal-rules.com. Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2006.
- Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Rockdetector Biography – Years 85 to 86". Rockdetector.com. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2006.
- "Artist Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
- "Recording Industry Association of America Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". RIAA. Archived from the original on June 26, 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- Henderson, Alex. "South ofs Heaven". AllMusicguide.com. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
- Neely, Kim (2002). "Slayer: Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
- Huey, Steve. "Season in the Abyss AMG album review". AllMusic. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
- Diamond Oz (July 22, 2012). "Sunday Old School: Slayer". Metal Underground. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- Patrizio, Andy (August 14, 2006). "Meet the new Slayer, same as the old Slayer". IGN. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
- "Waldemar Sorychta interview". antenna.nu. Archived from the original on October 11, 2004. Retrieved January 10, 2006.
- Bennett, J. "Legendary rapper and longtime metal advocate moves on with the Body Count". Decibelmagazine.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2006. Retrieved March 27, 2007.
- Henderson, Alex. "Divine Intervention – Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved June 21, 2007.
- Hellqvist, Janek (January 27, 1997). "Jon Dette has left Slayer and is being replaced by Paul Bostaph!". Slaytanic.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2006. Retrieved December 10, 2006.
- "Slayer: 'Christ Illusion' lands at No. 5 on Billboard chart!". Blabbermouth.net. August 16, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2006.
- Krgin, Borivoj. "Slayer God Hates Us All (American)". Blabbermouth.net. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2007.
- Ratliff, Ben (June 22, 1998). "It's a Major Metal Band, and Even the Furniture Isn't Safe". The New York Times.
- Rohrer, Finlo (May 28, 2006). "The Devil's Music". BBC News. Retrieved January 22, 2006.
- "44th Grammy Awards – 2002". Rockonthenet.com. February 27, 2002. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
- "Tattoo The Planet officially postponed". Kerrang!. October 13, 2001. Retrieved November 29, 2006.[dead link]
- "Slayer: Lombardo's back!". Kerrang!. January 3, 2002. Retrieved December 2, 2006.[dead link]
- Saulnier, Jason (February 25, 2014). "Dave Lombardo Interview". Music Legends. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- McIver, Joel (2004). Justice For All – The Truth About Metallica. Omnibus Press. pp. Chapter 25. ISBN 1-84772-797-2.
- Matera, Joe (August 4, 2006). "Slayer's Kerry King: The Art Of Writing Songs That Nobody Else Can Write". UltimateGuitar.com. Archived from the original on December 15, 2006. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
- "Slayer Recount Venom 'Pissing' incident". Blabbermouth.net. June 25, 2006. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2006.
- Petrecca, Laura (June 2, 2006). "Marketers hope 666 will be their lucky number". USAToday.com. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
- "Eternal Pyre". Blabbermouth.net. June 17, 2006. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
- "Slayer: 'Eternal Pyre' 7" Vinyl Picture-Disc Single To Be Released This Month". Blabbermouth.net. June 27, 2006. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
- "Slayer's "Christ Illusion" Is Band's Highest-Ever Billboard Chart Debut Entering at #5" (Press release). Warner Bros. Records. August 16, 2006. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- "Metal, Rock and Alternative Music Doing Well In Billboard". Metalunderground.com. August 23, 2006. Retrieved November 25, 2006.
- "Lostprophets scoop rock honours". BBC News. August 25, 2006. Retrieved December 10, 2006.
- "Slayer frontman undergoes gallbladder surgery, Band Reschedule Early 'Unholy Alliance' Dates". Blabbermouth.net. May 10, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
- Zahlaway, Jon (March 31, 2006). "Slayer's 'Unholy Alliance' tour grows". Livedaily.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2006. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
- "Loud Park 2006 Unholy Alliance Stage". Loudpark.com. September 4, 2006. Archived from the original on November 17, 2006. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
- "Slayer release video for "Eyes Of the Insane"". Punknews.org. October 30, 2006. Retrieved December 2, 2006.
- "Slayer wins Grammy in 'Best Metal Performance' Category". Blabbermouth.net. February 11, 2007. Archived from the original on February 22, 2007. Retrieved February 12, 2007.
- "Slayer To Visit U.S. Troops". Blabbermouth.net. October 31, 2006. Archived from the original on January 8, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
- "Slayer on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!': 'Eyes Of The Insane' performance posted online". Blabbermouth.net. January 20, 2007. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved February 28, 2007.
- "Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Killswitch Engage confirmed For UK's Download Festival". Blabbermouth.net. February 13, 2007. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007. Retrieved February 16, 2007.
- "Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, Slayer Confirmed For Switzerland's Greenfield Festival". Blabbermouth.net. February 6, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved February 16, 2007.
- McIver, Joel (July 18, 2008). "Slayer: Reign of Fear". Interview with Tom Araya. Thrash Hits. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved July 18, 2008.
- "End of Slayer?". ultimate-guitar. August 7, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
- Doran, John (November 5, 2008). "Slayer: We Could Thrash Out Two More Albums If We're Fast Enough". The Quietus. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "'The Unholy Alliance: Chapter III' UK Dates Added". Blabbermouth.net. June 11, 2008. Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
- "Slayer's Tom Araya Says The Three New Songs 'Kinda Came Together". Blabbermouth.net. November 22, 2008. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
- "Megadeth And Slayer To Co-Headline 'Canadian Carnage' Trek". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Archived from the original on September 14, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
- Carman, Keith Slayer Reign Supreme at Exclaim! December 2009.
- Metallica (September 14, 2009). "Metallica Heading To Cinemas". Billboard.com. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
- "Slayer, Megadeth To Perform Entire 'Seasons, 'Rust' Albums On 'Carnage' Tours". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
- "Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax To Join Forces For Leg Two Of 'American Carnage'". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
- "Slayer, Megadeth To Join Forces For 'European Carnage' Tour". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Archived from the original on September 15, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- "Soundwave Touring". Soundwave Touring. Archived from the original on April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- "Slayer Working On New Material". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Archived from the original on December 9, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- "Slayer's Hanneman Contracts Acute Infection; Band To Bring In Guest Guitarist". Blabbermouth. Archived from the original on February 16, 2011.
- "Slayer Recruits Exodus Guitarist Gary Holt For Upcoming Tour". February 15, 2011. Archived from the original on March 18, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "Cannibal Corpse'S Pat O'Brien Will Step In As Slayer'S Guest Guitarist | The Official Slayer Site". Slayer.net. May 19, 2011. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- Josh Hart (April 21, 2011). "Update: Gary Holt Will Join Slayer For Big Four Show". Revolver. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- "Slayer Drummer Says He 'Wasn't A Fan' Of Band's Albums He Didn't Play On". Blabbermouth.net. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011.
- Graff, Gary (May 21, 2011). "Slayer to 'Hold Off' on Recording While Ailing Bassist Recovers". Billboard. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
- "I'll Be Your Mirror London 2012 curated by Mogwai & ATP". All Tomorrow's Parties. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- "I'll Be Your Mirror London 2012 announced with co-curators Mogwai + Slayer". All Tomorrow's Parties. November 9, 2011.
- "Slayer's 'Reign In Blood' Came Out 25 Years Ago Today". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Archived from the original on December 9, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- Hart, Josh (2011-21-11). "Slayer Writing New Album". Guitar World.
- "Exclusive: Guitarist Kerry King Gives Update on New Slayer Album". Guitar World. February 20, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- "Slayer's Kerry King Says Two New Songs Are Fully Recorded". Blabbermouth.net. June 13, 2012. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- "Kerry King of Slayer Talks Mayhem Festival, New Music, and Looks Back on "Divine Intervention" @ARTISTdirect". Artistdirect.com. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
- "Dave Lombardo – Statement From Dave Lombardo Regarding..." Facebook. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
- "Slayer: We Do Not Agree With Dave Lombardo's Substance Or Timeline Of Events". Blabbermouth.net. February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Slayer to share drummer with Anthrax at Soundwave". musicfeeds.com.au. Musicfeeds. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "Slayer Welcomes Drummer Paul Bostaph Back To The Fold". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. May 30, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman dies". 3 News. May 3, 2013. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
- Graff, Gary (May 2, 2013). "Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman Dead at 49". Billboard magazine. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
- "Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman: Official Cause Of Death Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- Kielty, Martin. "Slayer will carry on for Hanneman". Classic Rock Magazine. Archived from the original on June 21, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
- "Slayer's King: 'I Don't Think We Should Throw In The Towel Just Because Jeff's Not Here'". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
- Hartmann, Graham "Gruhamed". "Exclusive: Slayer Hope to Unveil Never-Before-Heard Jeff Hanneman Material on Next Album". Loudwire.com. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
- Grow, Kory (April 24, 2014). "Slayer Debut New Song 'Implode' During Surprise Golden Gods Appearance". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "Pop and Jazz Listings and Albums for the Fall Season". New York Times, SEPT. 7, 2015
- Hartmann, Graham (October 31, 2013). "Slayer's Kerry King: Gary Holt Writing on Next Album Is 'Like Throwing Somebody to the Wolves'". Loudwire. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Sharp, Tyler (June 23, 2014). "Slayer announce fall U.S. headlining tour with Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "Mayhem Festival announces line-up for White River stop". April 16, 2015. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- "Slayer Announcement". YouTube. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
- "Slayer And Anthrax To Join Forces For European Tour". Blabbermouth.net. May 26, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Slayer, Testament, Carcass: North American Tour Dates Officially Announced". Blabbermouth.net. December 3, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Slayer To Tour North America With Anthrax, Death Angel". Blabbermouth.net. May 9, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- "Slayer, Lamb Of God And Behemoth: North American Tour Announced". Blabbermouth.net. February 28, 2017. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
- "Slayer 2017 Manila [DOLBY] – YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- "SLAYER Won't Record Follow-Up To 'Repentless' Before 2018". Blabbermouth.net. December 14, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- "KERRY KING Is 'Completely Open' To Having GARY HOLT Contribute Song Ideas To Next SLAYER Album". Blabbermouth.net. October 15, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
- "GARY HOLT Is 'Ready' To Write Music For SLAYER". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
- "KERRY KING Says It's 'Conceivable' That SLAYER Could Release New Album In 2018". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- "KERRY KING Would Like To Record Next SLAYER Album In 2018". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- "Gary Holt: What's the Difference Between Exodus & Slayer in Songwriting Terms". Ultimate-Guitar.com. October 12, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
- Hartmann, Graham (January 22, 2018). "Slayer Recruit Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth + Testament for Final Tour". Loudwire. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- "SLAYER Announces Second North American Leg Of 'Final' Tour". Blabbermouth.net. March 5, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- "SLAYER To Tour Europe With LAMB OF GOD, ANTHRAX And OBITUARY". Blabbermouth.net. May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- "SLAYER Announces Final European Tour With LAMB OF GOD, ANTHRAX And OBITUARY". Blabbermouth.net. May 11, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "SLAYER To Play 'Last French Show Ever' At Next Year's HELLFEST". Blabbermouth.net. June 25, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "SLAYER Announces North American Tour With LAMB OF GOD, AMON AMARTH, CANNIBAL CORPSE; BLABBERMOUTH.NET Presale". Blabbermouth.net. December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- "Slayer y su despedida en el Force Fest 2018". gritaradio.com. August 8, 2018. Archived from the original on August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "Slayer, System Of A Down, Alice In Chains, Lamb Of God, Anthrax, Testament, Exodus, Danzig, Etc. on the Bill for Mexico's ForceFest". Ultimate-Guitar.com. August 16, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "Rumor: Slayer, Megadeth, Sepultura and Testament to Embark on New Version of the 'Clash of the Titans' Tour". Ultimate-Guitar.com. December 9, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- "Is the Revamped 'Clash of the Titans' Tour (Megadeth, Slayer, Sepultura and Testament) Actually Happening? Facebook Page Weighs In". Ultimate-Guitar.com. December 28, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- "Slayer geben Auflösung bekannt, finale Tournee angekündigt". metal.de. January 31, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- "Slayer have announced their farewell UK arena tour". tickx.co.uk. May 13, 2018. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "Reviews – Slayer + Lamb Of God + Anthrax + Behemoth + Testament @ Pacific Coliseum – May 16th 2018". concertaddicts.com. May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- "METALLICA's KIRK HAMMETT Believes There Will Be More 'Big Four' Shows In The Future". Blabbermouth.net. February 10, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "ANTHRAX Is 'Ready' To Play More 'Big Four' Shows With METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER". Blabbermouth.net. April 4, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "DAVE MUSTAINE Hopes For One More 'Big Four' Show Before SLAYER Retires From Touring". Blabbermouth.net. January 23, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "MEGADETH's DAVE MUSTAINE Would Love To Play 'Big Four' Show Where All Bands 'Got Treated Fairly'". Blabbermouth.net. January 30, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "DAVID ELLEFSON: We Wouldn't Have MEGADETH If DAVE MUSTAINE Wasn't In METALLICA". Blabbermouth.net. May 4, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "Will There Be A New SLAYER Studio Album? 'I'd Say It's A No,' Says GARY HOLT". Blabbermouth.net. January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- "GARY HOLT To Miss Rest Of SLAYER European Tour; Ex-MACHINE HEAD Guitarist PHIL DEMMEL To Step In". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
- "Ex-MACHINE HEAD Guitarist PHIL DEMMEL: 'It's Beyond My Utmost Honor' To Fill In For GARY HOLT On SLAYER Tour". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
- "SLAYER Performs With Ex-MACHINE HEAD Guitarist PHIL DEMMEL For First Time (Video)". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
- Witter, Simon (May 8, 2013). "Slayer: 'We read a lot from the Satanic bible' – a classic interview from the vaults". The Guardian. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Porter, Christopher (February 21, 2007). "Slayer's Metal Conducts Heat – and a Little Warmth, Too". The Washington Post.
- Marsicano, Dan. "Best Slayer Albums". ThoughtCo. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Brown, Joe (December 6, 1986). "Slayer's Morbid Schlock". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Pareles, Jon (September 3, 1988). "For Slayer, the Mania Is the Message". The New York Times. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Birchmeier, Jason. "Slayer – God Hates us all". AllMusic. Retrieved January 18, 2006.
- Syrjälä, Marko (February 5, 2007). "Paul Bostaph of Exodus, ex-Slayer". Metal-Rules.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
- Horatio. "Slayer – Reign in Blood". Kickedintheface.com. Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved January 18, 2006.
- "Dave Lombardo". Drummerworld.com. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
- Dave Lombardo Modern Drummer Festival 2000
- Davis, Brian. "Knac.com interview with Jeff Hanneman". Knac.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
- Lee, Cosmo (May 7, 2007). "Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
- "Why They Rule – #6 Slayer". MTV. Archived from the original on July 18, 2006. Retrieved January 18, 2006.
- "The Greatest: 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". VH1.com. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
- "Guitar World's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists Of All Time". Blabbermouth.net. January 23, 2004. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2006.
- "The fans have spoken: Slayer comes out on top in readers' polls". Blabbermouth.net. March 1, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- Joel McIver, The Bloody Reign of Slayer, Omnibus Press, 2009
- "Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman dies aged 49". terrorizer.com. May 3, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "Tribute to Jeff Hanneman (1964–2013)". metalcrypt.com. June 8, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- "Remembering Jeff Hanneman: 1964–2013". premierguitar.com. May 6, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
- "Hatebreed Music Influences". MTV. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
- "Pantera Music Influences". MTV. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
- "Kreator – Mille Petrozza". metal-rules.com. October 4, 2006. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- Pure Fucking Mayhem, dir. Stefan Rydehed, Prophecy Productions, 2008
- Nalbandian, Bob. "Interview with System of a Down". Shockwaves Online. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
- "Lamb Of God Frontman: We Sound Like A Slayer Rip-Off". ultimate-guitar.com. September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "Behemoth Frontman Pays Tribute To Slayer's Jeff Hanneman". blabbermouth.net. June 3, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "Evile interview". lordsofmetal.nl. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
- "Lacuna Coil's Andrea Ferro Talks Influences, Skateboarding, Band Origins + More". loudwire.com. May 25, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "Andreas Kisser: 'Without Slayer, Sepultura Would Never Be Possible". blabbermouth.net. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
- Doyle, Tom: "I wanted to take acid and smash stuff," Q #253, August 2007, p.78
- D.X. Ferris, Slayer's Reign in Blood, Continuum, 2008, p.21
- Into The Lungs of Hell Metal Hammer magazine, Written by: Enrico de Paola, Translated by: Vincenzo Chioccarelli, March 2000 ""
- "Kerrang! Hall Of Fame". Kerrang!. August 24, 2006. Retrieved January 10, 2006.
- Jarvis, Clay (September 1, 2003). "Slayer". Stylus. Archived from the original on May 11, 2006. Retrieved January 19, 2006.
- Huey, Steve. "Reign in Blood". AllMusic. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
- "Golden Gods Awards Winners". Metal Hammer. June 13, 2006. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2007.
- "Slayer's Jeff Hanneman Dead at 49". Billboard. May 2, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
- "The Elyse Marie Pahler Foundation – In Memory of Our Loving Daughter". elysemarie.org. Archived from the original on January 20, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2006.
- "Slayer named in lawsuit". Guardian. January 24, 2001. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2006.
- "Slayer: Out Of The Dock". Metal Hammer. October 31, 2001. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2006.
- Hess, Mike (July 23, 2003). "Kerry King: Maniac. Guitar Legend. Botanist?". Nighttimes.com. Retrieved December 10, 2006.
- Steffens, Charlie (May 30, 2006). "Interview with Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman". Knac.com. Retrieved December 10, 2006.
- "moreorless: heroes & killers of the 20th century – Josef Mengele". Moreorless.com. April 30, 2001. Archived from the original on December 5, 2006. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
- Cummins, Johnson. "Slayers Tom Araya on Satanism, serial killers and his lovable kids". MontrealMirror.com. Retrieved December 2, 2006.
- Blush, Steven American Hardcore: A Tribal History by Steven Blush (New York: Feral House, 2001), "Guilty of Being White," in an interview with Ian MacKaye, 30–31.
- Alpha69 Productions, Perceptive Minds, SERANO. "Slayer interviews (audio, mp3, video)". Toazted.com. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2008.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- La Briola, John (July 22, 2004). "Westword interview with Tom Araya". Westword.com. Retrieved December 7, 2006.
- "Slayer spark 9/11 Controversy". Contactmusic.com. May 26, 2006. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
- "Exclusive: City Of Fullerton demands that Slayer bus benches be removed". Blabbermouth.net. August 1, 2006. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2006.
- "Slayer 'Christ Illusion' bus benches removed from Fullerton". Blabbermouth.net. August 8, 2006. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2006.
- "India bans 'offensive' rock album". BBC News. October 11, 2006. Retrieved October 11, 2006.
- "Slayer's Christ Illusion Album Recalled Following Christian Group Protests". Blabbermouth.net. October 6, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
- "Slayer Wins 'Best Metal' Grammy Award". Blabbermouth.net. February 10, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
- "Slayer Drummer Interviewed By Chicks With Guns Magazine". Blabbermouth.net. September 8, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
- "Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman Dies". Grammy Awards. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
- "Kerrang! Awards 2006 Blog: Kerrang! Hall Of Fame". Kerrang.typepad.com. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
- "Kerrang! Awards 2013: Kerrang! Legend". Kerrang!. Archived from the original on September 30, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
- Metal Edge, June 2004
- "Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maien Among Winners At Metal Hammer Awards". Blabbermouth.net. Metal Hammer. June 7, 2004. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards – antiMUSIC News". Antimusic.com. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- "BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE Booed At METAL HAMMER GOLDEN GODS AWARDS". Blabbermouth.net. June 12, 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- "Metal Storm Awards 2006 – Metal Storm". Metalstorm.net. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- "Metal Storm Awards 2015 – Metal Storm". Metalstorm.net. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- Appleford, Steve (July 6, 2012). "Slayer Ramp Up Work on New Album". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- "Slayer's Kerry King Talks Upcoming Album, Jeff Hanneman's Health In New Video Interview". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. July 5, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Ramirez, Carlos (May 1, 2012). "Slayer Release Statement Updating the Health Status of Jeff Hanneman". Noisecreep. AOL. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- "Kerry King Talks New Slayer Album, Jeff Hanneman's Health Status (Video)". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. February 1, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- Billboard Staff (May 2, 2013). "Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman Dead at 49". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
- McIver, Joel (2008). The Bloody Reign of Slayer. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-038-0.
- Ferris, D.X. (2008). Reign in Blood. 33⅓ Series. Continuum Books. ISBN 978-0-8264-2909-4.
- Szubrycht, Jarosław (2006). Bez litości. Prawdziwa historia zespołu Slayer (No mercy. The true history of Slayer). Kagra. ISBN 83-87598-48-8.