Slayer strips the sold-out Orange Peel to its core with thrash metal performance for the ages
Photos and writing courtesy of AskAsheville Music Correspondent Robert Forte.
Godfathers to virtually every relevant metal band to come into existence after 1984, southern California legendary thrash icons Slayer mercilessly delivered a bombastic musical sermon to throngs of head banging disciples at the sold out Orange Peel this past Tuesday.
Slayer arrived in the mountains of North Carolina for an intimate club performance on a day off from their current outdoor amphitheater gig headlining the Rockstar Mayhem Festival.
While Mayhem has suffered from numerous issues that Slayer co-founder and lead guitarist Kerry King has been vocal about in the press of late, none of these bad vibes were remotely evident as the band took to the stage with the instrumental track, “Delusions of Saviour” serving as the backdrop.
Opening up the night with “Replentless”, the title track from their forthcoming eleventh studio release of the same name, the band immediately whipped the crowd into a frenzy of sweat, moshing and fist clenching that lasted from first note to last.
Despite their advancing age and the fact that the band is down to half of its original lineup, Slayer delivered a performance more reminiscent of their early 90’s heyday than that of an outfit whose founding members are north of 50 years old.
Exodus lead guitar player Gary Holt shredded with a ferocity the late Jeff Hanneman most assuredly would have approved of. Holt was clearly having a blast as he flashed smiles and engaged with individual crowd members numerous times throughout the evening.
Drummer Paul Bostaph, who recently returned to the band for a third stint behind the kit, put on a display that more than cemented the fact he is but one of a handful of humans on this planet capable of sitting on the throne of departed original drummer Dave Lombardo.
The first half of Tuesday night’s set leaned more heavily on a selection of current generation Slayer favorites such as “Hate World Wide”, “Disciple” and “Jihad”.
Conversely the second half of Slayer’s set list played more to long time fans as the band ripped through old school classics such as “Die By the Sword” and “Necrophiliac” while also closing with the four-headed monster of “Hell Awaits”, “South of Heaven”, “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death”
Fifty-one-year-old ball of hate Kerry King showed no signs of decline as he masterfully blistered through his many trademark solos while also bouncing from stage end to stage end throughout the duration of the night.
Not to be outdone front man and bassist Tom Araya more than delivered both musically and vocally, sounding as if his long chronicled history of medical aliments were albeit distant memories.
Per usual Araya’s interaction with the audience was limited however he still took the time to lead the crowd in a few intro sing-a-longs to “Die By The Sword” and “Dead Skin Mask”, while also pausing towards the end of their set to thank the crowd one last time.
Slayer appears to be firing on all cylinders right now. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact they are on the eve of releasing their first record in over six years or maybe it’s tied to the energy that Paul Bostaph and Gary Holt have clearly breathed back into the band.
Regardless, if Tuesday’s night performance at The Orange Peel in Asheville should be harbinger of things to come, I’d have to surmise fans of Slayer can look forward to thrashing, crashing and banging into each other in the mosh pit for years to come.
Intro (Delusions of Saviour)
When The Stillness Comes
Ghosts of War
Die by the Sword
Seasons of the Abyss
Dead Skin Mask
South of Heaven
Angel of Death