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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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Gary Holt To Stick With Slayer On European Tour

Exodus guitarist Gary Holt, who has been performing with fellow American thrash metal legends Slayer on their recent Australian shows, has confirmed that he will be performing as a guest member of the band on their forthcoming European Carnage tour, which will kick off this weekend in Ukraine.

Gary Holt has been filling in for Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who is currently recovering from surgery after an arm infection due to a spider bite. Reports suggest that he is recovering well.

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Bejelit Announces Metal Camp Appearance

Italy's Bejelit has checked in with the following update about playing Metal Camp 2011:

"Bejelit are pleased to announce that they will be one of the few bands to hold high the banner of the Italian Metal at Metal Camp 2011, the prestigious Festival which will take place from the 11th to the 17th July in Tolmin, Slovenia, for its eighth edition.

"This year Metalcamp will host names such as Airborne, Blind Guardian, In Extremo, Slayer, Moonspell, and many many others. Bejelit already participated to the festival in 2008. The precise date and all the information about the gig will be announced shortly."

You can find more information on Metal Camp through the festival's website at this location.

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Vader Announces Show With Slayer

The official Vader MySpace page has been updated with the following message about the band supporting Slayer and Megadeth at an upcoming live show:

"Massive Music and Live Nation are glad to inform that during the Polish concert within 'European Carnage Tour 2011' Slayer and Megadeth will be supported by...Vader! The show will be held on April 11 in Atlas Arena in Lodz. After the outstanding success of Slayer and Megadeth on Sonisphere Festival 2010 in Warsaw they decided to go on a tour together!

"Slayer and Megadeth smashed the Warsaw audience in 2010 giving the show for over 80,000 people. Their fans left the concert with a hunger for more. So what is the best news for them? Slayer and Megadeth will play together in April in Atlas Arena (Lodz)!

"We will be represented by our native Vader. Get a move on and buy the tickets - they're going to go like hot cakes! Tickets at the cost of 154, 176 and 209 PLN available on LiveNation.pl and in shops."

Vader also recently announced the departure of bassist Tomasz "Reyash" Rejek. A statement from Rejek can be found here.

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Big Four Of Thrash Headed To Sweden

Metallica has issued the following announcement about an upcoming "Big Four" show in Gothenburg, Sweden:

"One more show... The final announcement in our recent series of European adventures finds us in Gothenburg, Sweden on July 3, 2011. Of course Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer will all be there for our first Big 4 show in Scandinavia!

"Tickets go on sale Monday, March 7 at 9:00 AM local time. Met Club members should check here for more details about a special pre-sale this week. That’s it with announcements . . . for now!"

The Big Four also recently announced gigs in Germany and Italy.

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Eight More Bands Confirmed For Sonisphere UK

The organisers of the British leg of the Sonisphere festival has announced eight more bands for this year's event. Amongst the new confirmations are rap legends House Of Pain, Swedish metal outfit Arch Enemy and Fozzy, the band fronted by wrestling superstar Chris Jericho and featuring members of Stuck Mojo. Also newly confirmed for the bill are Youmeatsix, Sum 41, All Time Low, Periphery and Grinspoon. The festival will be held at Knebworth from July 8th-10th and features the following lineup:

Metallica
Slipknot
Megadeth
Slayer
Anthrax
Diamond Head
Biffy Clyro
Airbourne
All Time Low
Arch Enemy
Architects
Fozzy
Gallows
Gojira
Grinspoon
House Of Pain
In Flames
Inme
Kids In Glass Houses
Limp Bizkit
Mastodon
Motorhead
One Minute Silence
Parkway Drive
Periphery
Protest The Hero
Sum 41
Sisters Of Mercy
Volbeat
Weezer
Youmeatsix

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Slayer Frontman On The Mend

According to his wife Sandra, Slayer frontman Tom Araya is feeling much better after he was hospitalized following the band's performance in Brisbane, Australia, forcing the band to cancel the next show in Sydney as a result. Araya is expected to be well enough to perform at the next Soundwave show in Melbourne, which will take place on March 4th. Sandra Araya's message reads as follows:

"SPOKE WITH TOM =) He's feeling much better! it will be a few days before test results come back... That's all I can say for now! whoo hoo!

"Tom does not have a ear infection! Not sure who came up with this, but it is not true... They are waiting on test results... If [the ear-infection explanation] is coming from the promoter, I am sure he is only saying what he was told!"

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Slayer Frontman Hospitalised

According to Slayerized.com, Slayer frontman Tom Araya has been taken into hospital, which means the band's schedueled performance in Sydney, Australia has been cancelled. An excerpt from Slayerized.com reads as follows:

"Tom Araya has been hospitalized after yesterdays show in Brisbane, Australia. Reports say that the hospital is keeping him in over the night. As a result of this Slayer's appearance today at the Soundwave Festival has been cancelled. Why this has happened is not clear so far, rumors say it has to do with his surgery early last year, but these are only rumors. Keep checking back here!"

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Italian Big Four Of Thrash Tour Date Added

After previously announcing a German show with the "Big Four" of thrash, Megadeth's David Ellefson has issued the following update about adding on an Italian date:

"Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax — the 'Big Four' of 1980s thrash metal — are heading to Milan, Italy to play what will be an epic performance at the Fiera Open Air Arena on July 6, 2011.

"Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 25 at 9:00 a.m. local time at this location. Presale for Megadeth fan club members will take place starting Wednesday, February 23 from 9:00 a.m. to Thursday, February 24 9:00 p.m. local time at the Cyber Army."

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German Big Four Show Added

Megadeth's David Ellefson has checked in with the following announcement about a new "Big Four" show in Germany:

"If you've been following along, you know that the 'Big Four' of Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica already have two shows scheduled in Europe in July... well, the party is expanding! We're here today to tell you about an addition to the European vacation with a show in Gelsenkirchen, Germany at the Veltins Arena on July 2, 2011.

"Tickets go on sale on Saturday, February 19 at 9:00 a.m. local time at this location. Presale for Megadethfan club members takes place Friday, February 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time at theCyber Army. Not a member yet? No problem! Enlist today!"

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Exodus Guitarist Comments On Slayer Gig

As previously reported, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman will be unable to tour with the band, on a number of tour dates this year as a result of an arm infection. Taking his place on the tour will be Exodus guitarist Gary Holt, who had this to say regarding the guest position:

"How can I put into words how excited I am to have been asked to play with Slayer? Hard to describe for sure. Legendary band, check. Old friends since the birth of thrash metal. Check. Get to play ‘Angel Of Death’ live, priceless! I'll do my best to live up to the standard they've set for so many years, while we all wish Jeff a speedy return to health and his rightful place in Slayer."

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Gary Holt Joins Slayer As New Guitarist

Thrash metal veterans Slayer have announced that Exodus' Gary Holt will be joining the band as its new temporary replacement for a hospitalized Jeff Hanneman. The band commented on Jeff Hanneman's condition by saying:

"Jeff is our brother, we've all been friends and together as a band for almost 30 years so we just want him to completely recover as soon as possible. After everything that happened last year we all agreed that we just can't let our fans down again. Jeff is totally on board with this decision, so we will tour as planned. At this point, we can't pinpoint exactly what day he'll be back, but he'll be back as soon as he possibly can. And we can't wait for Jeff to get better and get his ass back on the road."

Hanneman underwent emergency surgery on his right arm late last month after contracting a serious infection. He is now recuperating at home and is expected to make a full recovery. He will return to the Slayer line-up as soon as he has fully recovered.

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Nine More Bands Confirmed For Sonisphere U.K.

The organizers of the British leg of the Sonisphere Festival have confirmed a further nine bands for the event, which include Limp Bizkit, Gojira, Volbeat, Protest The Hero, Kids In Glass Houses, Gallows, One Minute Silence, Inme, and The Sisters Of Mercy. The event will be held at Knebworth from July 8th - 10th and will feature the following lineup:

Metallica
Megadeth
Anthrax
Slayer
Slipknot
Diamond Head
Biffy Clyro
Weezer
Airbourne
Limp Bizkit
Motorhead
Mastodon
Inme
The Sisters Of Mercy
Gallows
In Flames
Gojira
Volbeat
Architects
Kids In Glass Houses
Protest The Hero
One Minute Silence
Parkway Drive

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Headline News

Iron Maiden Wins Grammy Award

British heavy metal legends Iron Maiden have picked up the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance this year with their song, "El Dorado," which comes from their latest studio album, "The Final Frontier." The band won the award despite competition from Slayer, Korn, Megadeth and Lamb Of God. Also bringing home an award was supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, who won the prize for Best Hard Rock Performance with their song, "New Fang," Canadian rock legend Neil Young won claimed the Best Rock Song title with, "Angry World" and Jeff Beck, who won the award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance with "Hammerhead."

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Slayer Guitarist To Miss Upcoming Tour Dates

American thrash metal legends Slayer have announced that guitarist Jeff Hanneman will be unable to participate in the band's forthcoming tour, as he is currently at home recovering from arm surgery, after he contracted a serious infection, most likely from a spider bite.

He is expected to make a full recovery but will still need several skin grafts. As a result of this, the band has decided to bring in a guest guitarist for the tour, to avoid cancelling any more tour dates, though who the guitarist is has yet to be revealed.

"Jeff is our brother, we've all been friends and together as a band for almost 30 years," said Araya, "so we're all just crushed by this."

"After everything that happened last year," King added, "we all agreed that we just can't let our fans down again," referring to Araya's severe back and neck pain that prompted his January 2010 surgery, unfortunately leading to the band's postponement or cancellation of numerous shows in 2009 and 2010. "So we will tour as planned. But I'll tell you, we can't wait for Jeff to get better and get his ass back on the road."

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More Bands Confirmed For Sonisphere U.K.

The organizers of the British leg of the Sonisphere festival have confirmed a number of new additions to the event. New Wave Of British Heavy Metal legends Diamond Head have been confirmed for the Friday date, which will also feature the "Big Four" of thrash metal. In addition to this, Weezer, Architects and Aussie rockers, Airbourne have also been confirmed. Speaking on the confirmation, Diamond Head guitarist Brian Tatler stated:

"Diamond Head have been given the fantastic opportunity of opening for the BIG 4 at this years Sonisphere festival, Knebworth Friday 8th July. This will be Diamond Head’s biggest ever show and myself and the other band members are very excited and looking forward to what will be an historic event. Knebworth is one of those venues you only dream of playing. I saw Led Zeppelin there in 1979 and never imagined that one day I would be on that stage, it proves the saying ‘anything is possible’! It also means I get to see my friends in Metallica and Megadeth once again which is always fun; I owe both Lars Ulrich and Dave Mustaine a beer."

The event will take place from July 8th - 10th at Knebworth and features the following confirmed bands:

Metallica
Megadeth
Slayer
Anthrax
Diamond Head
Motorhead
Slipknot
Weezer
Biffy Clyro
Mastodon
In Flames
Airbourne
Parkway Drive
Architects

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Metallica Drummer Speaks On Big Four U.S. Show

In an interview yesterday on the Kevin & Bean Show for KROQ-FM, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich explained why the "Big Four" (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer) have only scheduled one date in the United States so far. Speaking about the show, Ulrich said:

"Let's take baby steps here. We did seven or eight dates last year, we're doing one show in England and one show in France.

"Listen, we don't wanna cram this down people's throats., we don't wanna sort of overstay the welcome, and we don't know what kind of response there's gonna be to this in America, so we're starting, obviously, without being disrespectful to the rest of the wonderful country... More...

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The Big Four Announces Only U.S. Date

It has been announced that the U.S. version of the Big Four festival will be taking place on April 23 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California (the same spot where the Coachella Festival takes place the weekend before). According to postings made here on Facebook and on several other online media outlets the highly anticipated festival, which made numerous appearances throughout Europe, will be the one and only "Big Four" event held in the United States, contradicting earlier reports of a full U.S. "Big Four" tour. In the meantime, the following trailer has been posted online:

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The Big Four To Announce U.S. Dates Soon

The "Big Four" of thrash metal, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer, are expected to make an announcement shortly regarding tour dates in the United States of America. More information is expected to be made available tomorrow, but in the meantime, a Facebook page for the event has been set up here.

The four bands made history last year by performing several legs of the European festival, Sonisphere, which culminated in the DVD release, "The Big Four: Life From Sofia, Bulgaria," which featured footage of all four bands, along with the massive collaboration which saw members of Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer's Dave Lombardo perform a cover of the Diamond Head classic, "Am I Evil?" More...

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More Bands Confirmed For Knebworth Sonisphere

The organisers of the British leg of the Sonisphere Festival has confirmed that four more bands have been added to this year's edition of the event. Heavy rock icons Motorhead will be performing at the festival, as will the other new confirmations Mastodon, In Flames and Parkway Drive. The event takes place from July 8th -10th at Knebworth.

In Flames stated: "We have been in the studio since October recording our new album and we can't wait to come out and play the new song live. The UK has always been very good to us and we love coming back so this is something we really look forward to."

"Holy crap they're actually letting us play this thing!!!" commented Parkway Drive vocalist Winston McCall. "Sonisphere 2011!!! I don't think we can really describe how excited we are to play, and I think Jeff will probably die when Metallica play!"

The lineup is now as follows:

Metallica
Megadeth
Slayer
Anthrax
Slipknot
Motorhead
Biffy Clyro
In Flames
Mastodon
Parkway Drive

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Big Four DVD Officially Goes Double Platinum

On June 22nd, 2010 the "Big Four" of thrash metal - Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax - performed live in Sofia, Bulgaria for a cinecast. The recording of that show was released on DVD and Blu-Ray under the title "The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria."

Megadeth has now announced the DVD has been RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) certified Double Platinum in the U.S. for sales in excess of 200,000 copies. For more information on the DVD/Blue-Ray release check out this location.

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