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Longtime thrash-metal favorite Slayer to play one of their last shows in Billings

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 20:15:01-04

BILLINGS – Souther California thrash-metal staple Slayer is slated to play one of their last shows ever in Billings later this year.

Slayer will headline the concert, which will also include Primus, Ministry and Phil Anselmo of Pantera.

The concert is scheduled for Nov. 22 at the First Interstate Arena at MetraPark.

Formed in 1981 by co-founders Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, both guitarists and co-songwriters, the band added Dave Lombardo on drums and Tom Araya on bass and lead vocals. They spent two years in the trenches before releasing their self-financed debut album, Show No Mercy in December of 1983.

One year later they released the EP Haunting the Chapel, which set the tone for the future direction of the band. Their second full-length album, Hell Awaits featured longer and more complex structures that seemed to expand on the Haunting the Chapel theme, and with its demonic-sounding voices and hellish type chants, became a catalyst for not only Slayer but the anti-metal music movement that was rising up in full swing during this time.

Reign in Blood, released in 1986, saw a much leaner, stripped down hardcore sound, though because of controversial lyrics, saw virtually no airplay. However, it still became the band’s first album to enter the Billboard 200, debuting at 94. Reign in Blood also became Slayer’s first gold-certified album in the U.S.

South of Heaven, released in 1988 debuted at 57 and gave the band another gold certified, but responses were mixed. The 1990 release of Seasons in the Abyss saw the band get back to the speed of Reign in Blood, but with a more mature, melodic presence.

The band held steady, even after the departure of Lombardo in 1992, though he came back in 2001 for twelve years. Araya, King, and Hanneman rounded out the original lineup until Hanneman’s unfortunate death in 2013.

In 2006, Reign in Blood was named the best metal album of the last 20 years by UK magazine Metal Hammer.

The group has been playing for over three decades and is calling this tour their last.

Tickets for “Slayer: The Final Campaign” go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.