Gig review: Slayer and Anthrax at O2 Academy Leeds

Slayer at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Danny Gartside
Slayer at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Danny Gartside
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It’s been years since I’ve seen thrash veterans Slayer. In fact the last time I saw them it was their ‘Seasons In The Abyss’ tour some years ago at Leeds Town and Country Club.

The venue has since changed its name to the O2 Academy Leeds.

Things have changed for Slayer too. They are now without drummer Dave Lombardo, who was sacked back in 2013, and lead guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who sadly died of liver failure earlier the same year. In their place are Paul Bostaph, formerly of Testament, and Gary Holt of San Franscisco band Exodus.

Slayer have fellow thrash metal veterans Anthrax on tour supporting them. Anthrax have Joey Belladonna back on lead vocals and played both new and old songs to a very pleased, full to capacity audience.

Slayer hung a huge French flag on the stage in respect for the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. As the flag dropped to the floor Slayer emerged ripping straight into their new album’s title track ‘Repentless’.

Vocalist and bass player Tom Araya constantly thanked the crowd and seemed genuinely grateful that he was playing to a sell-out crowd, especially considering the recent events at the Eagles of Death Metal’s concert at the Bataclan in Paris.

Slayer at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Danny Gartside

Slayer at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Danny Gartside

Importantly, Slayer still sound like Slayer despite losing half of the original line-up. They finished their set with the songs that got them where they are today: ‘War Ensemble’, ‘Raining Blood’, ‘South Of Heaven’ and ‘Deadskin Mask’.

Gig date: November 28

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