Slayer, Gojira, 4Arm | Aragon Ballroom | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Fri., Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $45, $36.50 in advance
Not only are Slayer the fastest, heaviest, most evil band on the planet, they’re also the only members of the Big Four—the group of American bands that defined and refined thrash metal in the 80s—who haven’t spent most of the past 30 years making fools of themselves. The band’s strength comes from consistency: Slayer have always sounded like Slayer, and even during their rare moments of weakness they never came close to making a Load, Lulu, or Risk. They’ve also worked with the same lineup for almost their entire career, with the only notable exception being the absence of drummer Dave “the Godfather of Double Bass” Lombardo for most of the 90s—a blip on the turnover meter compared to the dozens of members Big Four peers Megadeth and Anthrax have cycled through over the decades. That is, until this year, when Slayer suffered not only Lombardo’s second departure but also the tragic death of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman. The new lineup features 90s Lombardo replacement Paul Bostaph on drums and longtime Exodus guitarist Gary Holt (who’d been filling in for Hanneman) alongside original members Tom Araya and Kerry King, and on this tour they’re playing an “old-school” set consisting mostly of material from 1990 and earlier. (Reportedly they’re also trying to wrap up an album that’s been a couple years in the making.) In the absence of Lombardo’s unhinged, thunderous drumming and Hanneman’s signature riffage, Slayer might finally have some trouble sounding like the band we all know and love—but same old Slayer or not, you’ll never ever see any of these guys in an overblown documentary sobbing to Lars Ulrich. —Luca Cimarusti Gojira and 4Arm open.

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