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Band Photo: Slayer (?)

Formed: 1982
From: Huntington Beach, CA, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Background

The thrash metal sound of Slayer was formed in Huntington Beach, CA in 1982. Comprising Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitar), Jeff Hanneman (guitar) and Dave Lombardo (drums), they made their debut in 1983, with a track on the compilation Metal Massacre III. After that the rest has been history. The band played at breakneck speed with amazing technical precision, but the intricacies of detail were lost in a muddy production. Araya's lyrics dealt with death, carnage, Satanism and torture, but were reduced to an indecipherable guttural howl. But this chaos called music is what set the ways for Slayer and many bands to follow.

Through the years, Slayer has been hit with much controversy over their lyrics, including lawsuits. But through the years Slayer has managed to build a following from coast to coast. Slayer has played such tours as Monsters of Rock, Ozzfest, and recently toured the U.S. co-headling with Pantera.

Now almost 20 years later, Slayer is still playing just as hard as ever. Will Slayer ever stop? Not likely, considering they are keeping up with thrash bands half their age, after all they did start it!

Latest Slayer News

Below is our complete Slayer news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Heavy Metal Documentary To Premiere In March

Sam Dunn is a 30-year old anthropologist. He's also a lifelong metal fan. After years of studying diverse cultures Sam turns his academic eye a little closer to home and embarks on an epic journey into the heart of heavy metal. His mission: to try and figure out why metal music is consistently stereotyped, dismissed and condemned, even while the tribe that loves it stubbornly holds its ground - spreading the word, keeping the faith, and adopting the styles and attitudes that go way beyond the music.

Sam visits heavy metal landmarks as far flung as L.A.'s Sunset Strip, the dirty streets of Birmingham and the dark forests of Norway. Along the way, the two sides of Sam Dunn - curious anthropologist and rabid fan - collide, as Sam explores metal's obsession with sexuality, religion, violence and death, meets his heroes and discovers some things about the culture that even he can't defend. Part social document, part celebration of a misunderstood art form, this documentary is the first of its kind: a chance for metal fans to speak out and a window into a culture that's far more complex than it appears.

The film stars Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Arch Enemy, Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Geddy Lee (Rush), Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead) and others.

The film is written and directed by Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen and is distributed by Seville Pictures.

The film opened in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Quebec City yesterday (Feb. 24) and will open in the U.S., UK, Germany, Australia, Scandinavia, Brazil, Japan, Poland and Belgium in early March.

For more information, visit www.metalhistory.com.

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Kerry King Jamming With Pantera Video Clips Posted

Three video clips of Slayer guitarist Kerry King jamming with Pantera in their rehearsal space in 1989 have been posted on YouTube.com. Check them out:

Video #1 ("Dimebag" and Kerry practicing)
Video #2 (band practice, part 1)
Video #3 (band practice, part 2)

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Kerry King Talks About New Slayer Album

Slayer guitarist Kerry King has recently been talking about the follow-up to 2001's "God Hates Us All," due by the end of the year.

"[It doesn't have a name yet] because every time you give one of those out, it always changes anyway.

"I think the idea is to get eleven [songs] on there. We have the music for ten and I have lyrics for four of those, so we're in the home stretch.

The upcoming CD will be the group's first studio recording since drummer Dave Lombardo rejoined the band back in December 2001.

King has previously said he wants Dave Sardy to produce Slayer's next album, but now there is rumour that the band may collaborate with "Reign in Blood" producer Rick Rubin. "I don't know if he's heard what we've been doing lately, so we'll probably have to go do a demo in Dave's garage again, like the old days, get it to Rubin and see what he thinks."

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Headline News

Metalunderground.com's Best of 2005 Awards

Having just wrapped up another year, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on what made this year a great year in metal.

Like last year, I've polled the entire staff here at metalunderground.com about their favorite albums of 2005. This year we've also added a few more categories as well. At the end of announcing the winners of all of the categories, the entire ordered list of nominees will be presented, because there was simply so much good metal to check out.

So without further ado, I'll present Metalunderground.com's staff picks for the following categories: Best Metal Album of 2005, Best Metal Newcomer of 2005, Best Live Act of 2005, and Most Anticipated Release for 2006.


Best Metal Album of 2005

There were some great metal albums released in 2005, although dare I say not many landmark albums. Still, a few great releases rise to the top of 2005 and the nod for Best Metal of 2005 goes to:

Nevermore's "This Godless Endeavor"

Runners-up:
Chimaira's "Chimaira"
Behemoth's "Demigod"
Dark Tranquillity's "Character"
Strapping Young Lad's "Alien"
Rammstein's "Rosenrot"


Best Metal Newcomer of 2005

Bands eligible for "Best Metal Newcomer of 2005" included bands who have released their first full length album or released their first album on a somewhat major metal label, or even have no formal release at all. This is a tough category to get consensus on, since we all have different tastes in metal and will hear of only a relatively few new bands each year. The band who rose to the top should be no surprise, however, as they've made waves and generated loads of press for being such a young band. Metalunderground.com's Best Metal Newcomer of 2005 is:

Trivium

Despite there being many great new bands coming out in 2005, only one other band got multiple nominations from the staff at metalunderground.com in this category.

Runner-up:
3 Inches of Blood


Best Live Act of 2005

Best Live Act was by far the most competitive category we voted on, since it was not restricted to releases from this year. The winner may not be expected by many metal heads, but at the same time may come as no surprise to those who have seen them live. Metalunderground.com's Best Live Act of 2005 is:

Apocalyptica

Apocalyptica embarked on their first full-fledged headlining US tour in 2005, and won the top votes from two of our staff (including myself) - enough to ensure victory. While the band plays cellos, their performance is as heavy and intense as any true metal band's you'll ever see.

As I mentioned, the competition was tight in this category, and we had seven more bands get multiple nominations and were right on the heels of Apocalyptica when the votes were counted.

Runners-up:
Megadeth
Anthrax
Mudvayne
Children of Bodom
Therion
Amon Amarth
Killswitch Engage


Most Anticipated Release for 2006

Most Anticipated release for 2006 as a category also generated a wide range of nominations due to the complete difference in people's tastes in metal. However, the few bands that got multiple nominations were really no surprise. The Most Anticipated Release for 2006 is:

Slayer

Slayer is well overdue for an album. Between their parent label being bought up and touring heavily, Slayer has delayed putting out an album since 2001's "God Hates Us All." Still, several other bands are garnering a lot of anticipation for new releases, including these:

Runners-up:
In Flames - Come Clarity
Metallica
Vader


Looking back, 2005 was a great year in metal despite there being few or no landmark releases. Nu-metal was all but nonexistent with the exception of its few top remaining bands such as Disturbed, Korn (who have moved away from metal once again) and System of a Down. Metalcore seemed less of a huge trend than the previous year, as the good bands have risen above the label and hardcore/metalcore elements have found their way into other styles of metal.

Last year was a huge year for many newer and up and coming bands putting out albums. But it was an even bigger year for many seasoned bands and old school metal bands - some recently reunited - on the tour circuit. 2006 looks to be even bigger with a slew of big releases by big name bands slated for release and more headlining tours by many of last year's up and comers as well as those bands reunited in 2005.

Finally, here is the entire list of nominations for the 2005 categories voted on, because all of these bands are worth looking into: More...

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Hard Rock/Metal Musicians Remember Dimebag Darrell

MTV News spoke with members of some 30 hard rock and metal bands about the Dimebag they remember. They told MTV how much he'd meant to them, they shared fond memories and spoke of the impact he made on their lives and their music. Here are several excerpts from the article:

David Draiman - frontman, Disturbed: "During our second Ozzfest, we were holed up in Dallas for about two or three days ... hanging out at Dime's place — it was an eclectic house. There's all kinds of Pantera memorabilia and Dimebag memorabilia all over the place. But you could never make the mistake of falling asleep at Dime's. He'd wake you up the way he always did: with firecrackers. He'd always set off an entire chain of firecrackers not two inches from my head. One time ... Dime took us to a strip club where we all judged a bikini contest. There was never a wrong time in the day for Dime to hit a strip club. ... Dime was just this character who was very easy to love. He didn't have a bad bone in his body, and was ready to give you the shirt off his back at all times. It was his mission in life to make sure every single moment you spent with him was the best moment of your life. He was selfless."

Zakk Wylde - frontman, Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society: "Whenever you were around Dime, there was never a boring moment. He was the coolest guy on the planet. He was an even better person than he was a guitar player, if that's even possible. Whenever me and him would hook up, forget about it, bro. We'd always have to have a spare kidney, liver and pancreas on ice."

Brian Fair - frontman, Shadows Fall: "Dime seemed to have a real problem with the clock on our tour bus. It all started with his tour manager trying to tell him it was time to leave. ... We were having a good old time and Dime didn't want to go to bed. So, as soon as he was told it was time to leave, he grabbed the clock off of the wall and screams at the top of his lungs, 'There is no time!' and he smashed his hand right through it. The clock was made of glass and metal, and shrapnel flew everywhere. He went through three clocks on our bus like that. Anytime anyone tried to tell him it was time to go, he'd destroy the clock. He didn't want to end the party — he wanted it to keep going. We kept replacing the clock because we wanted to see what happened next."

Read the full article at MTV.com.

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Fear Factory To Tour With Slayer?

Fear Factory are looking at possibly touring Europe with Slayer in March 2006, the group's drummer Raymond Herrera revealed in a brand-new interview conducted by HeavyMetalSource.com. During the interview, Raymond also spoke about the group's songwriting process for their last two albums, his gaming business and his drumming influences. Raymond also said that Fear Factory will be taking a couple of months off following the completion of their current North American headlining tour so that vocalist Burton C. Bell can be around for the birth of his first child. Check out the 14-minute interview in both audio and video formats at this location.

In other news, Fear Factory have been confirmed for next year's edition of the Atarfe Vega Rock festival, set to take place March 10-11, 2006 at Nave Medina Elvira in Atarfe, Granada, Spain. Other bands scheduled to appear at the festival include Twisted Sister, Gamma Ray, Testament, Nuclear Assault, Masterplan, Behemoth, In Extremo, Monsorrow and To/Die/For. More confirmations will be announced soon.

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Slayer Recruiting For Next Album

According to a recent interview with "Metal Hammer", Slayer are hoping to have Dave Sardy (Marilyn Manson, System Of A Down) produce their next album which they expect to be record this fall. A release next year via American/Warner is being planned.

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K. King Says Slayer Never Got Sided Like Megadeth

U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine recently conducted an interview with SLAYER guitarist Kerry King. Several excerpts from the chat follow:

Metal Hammer: Shouldn't you be releasing a record soon? It's been four years since "God Hates Us All".

Kerry King: "It seems like everybody under the sun says, 'We want a new record,' but at the same time, they keep saying, 'We'd really like you to come back on tour.' That shit bumps everything on the backburner. The funny this is Dave [Lombardo, drums] and me have had a 10-song demo we did up at his house that's been lying around since March 2004. I know Jeff [Hanneman, guitar] has written a couple , and I've written a couple more since then, so this week we're going to start the process of getting back together and nailing this thing. With luck, we'll start recording by September. I'm hoping to work with Dave Sardy, who was with us for 'Undisputed Attitude'. Lombardo wants Rick Rubin for drums, and I've no problems with that because, in my opinion, it's what he's best at. But I think we're all pretty much agreed that the overall producer will be Sardy."

Metal Hammer: Is Lombardo back for keeps now?

Kerry King: "As far as I know, Dave is back in the band. It was 12 years we were apart, and that's 12 years of growing up for everybody. Actually, I think we're probably a better band because of it. It seems to me like Dave's having a great time, and I know he gets up in front of some of those 30,000 crowds and thinks, 'Man, this rocks!' he's playing better than he's ever played."

Metal Hammer: It's every metal geek's dream. The original, class-of-1982 SLAYER lineup reunited.

Kerry King: "Exactly. Having Dave back in the band is one of the highlights of my whole time in SLAYER. There are kids that could've been into us for over 10 years that never got to see us the way we are meant to be. I just saw ANTHRAX at one of those Euro festivals with Joey [Belladonna] — and I liked John Bush to death, y'know, he was a great singer — but something just happens when Joey plays. As for [JUDAS] PRIEST, when Ripper joined, I didn't see 'em once."

Metal Hammer: Having been around for almost a quarter of a century, what do you think SLAYER did right that the other pioneers of the thrash movement did wrong?

Kerry King: "Well, we never took time off from the thrash movement like METALLICA did. We didn't get sidetracked by pop music like MEGADETH did. We didn't lose our frontman like ANTHRAX did. I probably felt competition with those bands at the time thrash was taking off, but we always knew that none of those bands were better than us. We just went out and kept doing our thing."

Metal Hammer: What do you think went wrong for METALLICA?

Kerry King: "One word: 'Load'. But also, whenever you think enough of yourself to play with an orchestra, that's when you're too big. People say to us, 'When are you guys going to do that?' And I'm like, 'Never.'"

Metal Hammer: You've had your fair share of run-ins with MEGADETH over the years.

Kerry King: "People say, 'What's your problem with [Dave] Mustaine?' To which I say, 'Well, he's a cocksucker, for one thing.' But my problem with MEGADETH is, I don't know who that band is anymore. It's like the METALLICA thing. Who's METALLICA? Is METALLICA the band that did 'Master of Puppets' and 'Ride the Lightning', or is METALLICA the band who got to the point where they felt they could put out 'Load' and 'Reload'? It's lie, 'Who are you?'"

Metal Hammer: How long can you keep this up? It's hard to imagine SLAYER not being around.

Kerry King: "It's hard to put a time scale on it. I do know I can't do this for another 25 years. We're more of a physical band than a band like [BLACK] SABBATH, who can keep coming back. Tony [Iommi] is a great guitar player, but if you put a time-lapse camera on him, he'd probably move 10 feet the whole show. We can't be like that. If we had to come and do a show when I was 60, I'd probably bust a vertebra."

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Mediaskare Records Plans Slayer Tribute

Mediaskare Records is looking to Slayer's fans to name our upcoming tribute compilation to Slayer. A MySpace page has been set up here where fans are encouraged to send their album title suggestions. In addition, video clips of New Dead Radio recording "South Of Heaven" and The Burning Room recording "Mandatory Suicide" have been posted on the MySpace page. Videos are set to be added weekly to the page to document the making of this unique compilation.

Set for an early 2006 release, the compilation is set to have song contributions from the following artists: Death By Stereo, On Broken Wings, Asesino, Scars Of Tomorrow, The Esoteric, Cold War, The Taste Of Blood, New Dead Radio, Silent Civilian, Contra, The Human Abstract, The Burning Room, In This Moment, Suicide Silence, A Different Self, plus more T.B.A.

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Vote For Bands To Perform At Sweden Rock Fest

Sweden Rock Festival is asking fans to vote for 30 bands they want to see at the festival. To vote, visit www.swedenrock.com and click on "Vi frågar er." Click on up to 30 of the bands you want to see, then click the "Skicka" button.

Some of the bands you can vote for: More...

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Mediaskare To Release Hardcore Tribute To Slayer

According to Punknews.org, Mediaskare has announced plans for a hardcore tribute to influential metal act Slayer. The tentative list of participants includes The Warriors, On Broken Wings, Dino Cazares (ex-Fear Factory), New Dead Radio, Silent Civilian, The Taste Of Blood, Cold War, Contra, and The Burning Room.

In 2003, a similarly themed tribute was released by Spook City. The compilation, titled "Cover in Blood" included performances by Most Precious Blood and Sworn Vengeance but tracks were confined to the material from Slayer's classic "Reign in Blood" album.

The label is aiming for a November 8th release and expects to confirm more artists shortly.

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Dave Lombardo Back Touring With Fantomas

Dave Lombardo will be back with Fantomas for their tour of Japan and Australia, which happens from September 5-13. His commitments with Slayer prevented him from touring the UK and Europe with the band recently.

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Slayer's New Album To Be Released Via Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Records has announced that American Recordings — headed by legendary hip-hop and rock producer Rick Rubin — has joined the Warner Bros. family of labels.

The partnership entails that American Recordings will sign and provide creative services for artists, while Warner Bros. will handle promotion, publicity, sales, marketing, and distribution. Current American Recordings artists who will make the transition include Swedish political punk rock band INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONSPIRACY, singer-songwriter DAN WILSON, and extreme metal pioneers SLAYER. American will be based out of Warner Bros.' Burbank, California, headquarters where Rubin will maintain an office.

In 2007, Warner Bros. will also acquire the rights to the extensive American Recordings catalog, which includes JOHNNY CASH, THE BLACK CROWES, the JAYHAWKS, SLAYER, and DANZIG. Warner Bros. was American's home from 1992 through 1997.

Now Rubin is excited to be back with Warner Bros., citing the stewardship of CEO Tom Whalley as his primary reason for returning. "Tom Whalley grew up in the record business in the same way that I did," Rubin says. "He understands the grass roots development of artists and the importance of growing real careers in a time when most executives are looking for short-term success, which ultimately yields short-sighted goals. Tom understands that if artists are developed and nurtured the right way from the beginning, they'll stick around for a long time.

"Of all the labels," Rubin adds, "Warner Bros. is the rock label. All the biggest acts on it are rock artists. The company has a better understanding of rock and eclectic music than any other in the industry. It's a perfect fit."

Whalley is equally excited about the deal with Rubin. "Rick has been a driving creative force in popular music for two decades, discovering new artists, nurturing established ones, and bringing about their success time and again," he says. "We are thrilled to have him back in the fold."

Rubin has produced such landmark hip-hop albums as RUN DMC's "Raisin' Hell", BEASTIE BOYS' "Licensed to Ill", and LL COOL J's "Radio", as well as best-selling music by such diverse artists as RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, JAY-Z, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, TOM PETTY, WEEZER, AUDIOSLAVE, DIXIE CHICKS, and JOHNNY CASH. The co-founder of classic hip-hop label, Def Jam, with Russell Simmons, Rubin struck out on his own in 1988 and formed American Recordings. The label built its reputation with chart-topping hits by such artists as SYSTEM OF A DOWN, BLACK CROWES, and SIR MIX-A-LOT.

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France's Fury Fest in Danger of Being Cancelled

France's Fury Fest is in danger of being cancelled after the festival's organizers failed to provide "any guarantees concerning the security of the public and other people present," according to a local media report. In addition, there weren't any guarantees about hygienic conditions for campers and the festival is said to be not fully insured. Maurice Nakache, the organizer of the Fury Fest, announced that the missing paperwork will be delivered to the appropriate authorities by Friday (June 10).

Fury Fest is scheduled to take place June 24-26 in Le Mans, France. Acts confirmed to appear at the festival include MEGADETH, ANTHRAX, KREATOR, SLAYER and MOTÖRHEAD.

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Sanctuary Talks Included Warner, EMI

Reuters is reporting that Sanctuary Group's discussions with potential investors included meetings with larger rivals EMI and Warner Music, a person familiar with the situation said on Sunday.

The talks have been preliminary, no firm offer has been submitted and a deal is not imminent, the source added.

Sanctuary, the music company which handles artists such as GUNS N' ROSES, IRON MAIDEN, SLIPKNOT and SLAYER, said on Friday it was in ongoing talks with several third parties that could lead to a partial or outright sale of the company.

In addition to EMI and Warner, several private equity firms also have held talks with the company.

Shares of Sanctuary, the world's biggest independent record label and a major player in artist management, touring and merchandising, are up more than 20 percent since May 31.

Sanctuary, EMI and Warner all declined to comment.

The company's shares closed at 43-1/2 pence on Friday, giving Sanctuary a market capitalization of 161 million pounds ($293 million).

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No Official Date For New Slayer Album

Contrary to various Internet reports, SLAYER have NOT set October 11, 2005 as the official release date for their follow-up to 2001's "God Hates Us All", a spokesperson at the group's management company said.

SLAYER kicked off a European tour on May 27 at the Festimad in Fuenlabrada, Spain. The band are expected to stay on the road in Europe until early July, after which they will presumably return to the studio to resume work on the new album, which will surface late 2005/early 2006 via American/Warner.

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New Slayer Cd To Be Released In October?

Slayer are rumored to be eyeing a tentative October 11th release date through American/Warner for their as-yet untitled new album.

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Slayer's Classic '88 Gig Up For Download

Slayer site SlayerSaves currently has audio available from the band’s September 19th, 1988 gig at The Playhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the group performed on their South Of Heaven tour.

Check it out at http://www.slayersaves.com/slayersounds.htm.

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Manson, Slayer, SoaD To Play Festimad 2005

Marilyn Manson, The Prodigy, Slayer and System of a Down are some of the music bands to perform in the festival Festimad 2005, to be held in Cantueña de Fuenlabrada (Madrid) on May 27 and 28. This edition will host the "heaviest" concerts it has ever sheltered.

The organisers expect this year near 60,000 people will attend the event, 20,000 more than in 2004. Furthermore, there will be many novelties in this edition, from a completely new headquarters to running-water WC's and hot-water showers.

Another of the novelties is that instead of a main stage and another smaller, both of them will have the same size one by the other. This nearness will allow a greater comfort for the audience to move from one stage to the other.

According to the organisers, the camping site will be much bigger and "closer from concerts, with a supermarket and food street stalls."

The Friday 27 programme will host Marilyn Manson's new show, as well as the bands Nightwish, The Hives, Wednesday 13 and Muletrain. The heavy metal Californian band Slayer will also perform on that day at the other stage, together with Turbonegro, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Skizoo and Legen Beltza.

The Prodigy will play on the first stage on Saturday 28 with Incubus, Hermano, Mondo Generator and The Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster. System of a Down, one of the most creative bands on the North-American hard rock scene will share the stage on Saturday with Fu Manchu, Clutch, Five Horse Johnson and Hamlet.

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Jag Panzer, Painmuseum Confirmed For Louder Harder

JAG PANZER and PAINMUSEUM have been confirmed for the Louder Harder Faster festival, set to take place June 3-5 at the Crocodile Rock Cafe in Allentown, PA. This will be a unique event for PAINMUSEUM: When drummer Bobby Jarzombek (ICED EARTH, HALFORD) was unable to cancel prior engagements for this particular performance, Paul Bostaph (TESTAMENT, ex-SLAYER, SYSTEMATIC, FORBIDDEN) was called upon to fill in for this one night only. Also performing with PAINMUSEUM will be Mike LePond (SYMPHONY X).

The highlight of the festival will be an extremely rare performance by the classic TESTAMENT lineup of Chuck Billy (vocals), Eric Peterson (guitar), Alex Skolnick (guitar), Greg Christian (bass) and Louie Clemente (drums). The weekend of metal mayhem will also include performances by the full original lineup of New York thrash titans NUCLEAR ASSAULT and SPEED\KILL/HATE, featuring members of OVERKILL.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows: More...

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