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Slayer

May 25, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm

$10 – $195
Slayer farewell tour with Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament

Rebel Show

Slayer, w/:

  • Lamb of God
  • Anthrax
  • Behemoth
  • Testament

@Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre (Tinley Park)
Friday, May 25
5:00 pm

Tickets =

  • Lawn = $10-$25
  • Seating = $30-$195

Slayer

SlayerSlayer were one of the most distinctive, influential, and extreme thrash metal bands of the 1980s. Their graphic lyrics dealt with everything from death and dismemberment to war and the horrors of hell. Their full-throttle velocity, wildly chaotic guitar solos, and powerful musical chops painted an effectively chilling sonic background for their obsessive chronicling of the dark side; this correspondence helped Slayer’s music hold up arguably better than the remaining Big Three ’80s thrash outfits (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax). Naturally, Slayer stirred up quite a bit of controversy over the years, with rumors flying about Satanism and Nazism that only added to their mystique. Over the years, Slayer put out some high-quality albums, including one undisputed classic (Reign in Blood), and saw the numbers of naysayers and detractors shrinking as their impact on the growing death metal movement was gradually and respectfully acknowledged. Slayer survived with arguably the most vitality and the least compromise of any pre-Nirvana metal band, and their intensity inspired similar responses from their devoted fans.

Slayer were formed in 1982 in Huntington Park, California, by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman; also recruited were bassist/vocalist Tom Araya and drummer Dave Lombardo. They started out playing covers of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden songs, but quickly discovered that they could get attention (and fans) by exploiting threatening, Satanic imagery. The band was invited by Metal Blade’s Brian Slagel to contribute a track to the Metal Massacre, Vol. 3 compilation (a series that also saw the vinyl debuts of Metallica and Voivod); a contract and debut album, Show No Mercy, followed shortly thereafter. While Slayer’s early approach was rather cartoonish, their breakneck speed and instrumental prowess were still highly evident. Two EPs, Haunting the Chapel and Live Undead, were released in 1984, but 1985’s Hell Awaits refined their lyrical obsessions into a sort of concept album about damnation and torture and made an immediate sensation in heavy metal circles, winning Slayer a rabid cult following.

Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin took a liking to the band, signed them to his label, and contributed the first clear-sounding production heard on any Slayer album for the stripped-down Reign in Blood. Due to the graphic nature of the material, CBS refused to distribute the album, which garnered a great deal of publicity for the band; eventually, Geffen Records stepped in. Combining Slayer’s trademark speed metal with the tempos and song lengths (if not structures) of hardcore, along with the band’s most disturbing lyrics yet, Reign in Blood was an instant classic, breaking the band through to a wider audience, and was hailed by some as the greatest speed metal album of all time (some give the nod to Metallica’s Master of Puppets).

South of Heaven disappointed some of the band’s hardcore followers, as Slayer successfully broke out of the potential stylistic straitjacket of their reputation as the world’s fastest, most extreme band. Drummer Lombardo took some time off and was briefly replaced by Whiplash drummer Tony Scaglione, but soon returned to the fold. Released in 1990, Seasons in the Abyss was well-received in all respects, incorporating more of the classic Slayer intensity into a more commercial — but no less uncompromising — sound. “War Ensemble” and the title track became favorites on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, and Slayer consolidated their position at the forefront of thrash, along with Metallica. Following the release of the double-live album Decade of Aggression, Lombardo left the band again and formed Grip Inc.

Slayer remained quiet for a few years; the only new material released after 1990 was a duet with Ice-T recorded for the Judgment Night soundtrack on a medley of songs by the Exploited. After leaving the Forbidden, Paul Bostaph signed on as the new drummer for 1994’s Divine Intervention, which was released to glowing reviews; thanks to the new death metal movement, which drew upon Slayer and particularly Reign in Blood for its inspiration, Slayer were hailed as metal innovators. The album was a massive success, debuting at number eight on the Billboard album charts.

Bostaph left the band to concentrate on a side project, the Truth About Seafood, and was replaced by ex-Testament drummer Jon Dette for Undisputed Attitude, an album consisting mostly of punk and hardcore covers. Bostaph rejoined Slayer in time to record 1998’s Diabolus in Musica. The band reunited with Def Jam for 2001’s God Hates Us All and in 2002, Lombardo rejoined the band once more. In 2004, they unleashed the four-disc anthology Soundtrack to the Apocalypse, followed by an album of all-new material, Christ Illusion, in 2006. After a relentless tour and festival schedule in 2007 and 2008, Slayer emerged from the studio with World Painted Blood in 2009. In 2010, Slayer appeared with Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax on Big 4: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria. On May 2, 2013, Slayer guitarist and co-founder Jeff Hanneman died of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital; he was 49 years old.

King and Araya refused to let their friend’s death deter them from carrying on with Slayer, and set to work writing a new album. Lombardo was kicked out of the band for the third time; Bostaph came back on board, and Exodus’ Gary Holt, who had filled in for Hanneman when he was seriously ill with necrotizing fasciitis in 2011, joined as his permanent replacement. The album was eventually finished in 2015 and titled Repentless. Three tracks, “When the Stillness Comes,” “Implode,” and the title cut — which King dubbed a “HannemAnthem” in tribute — were released as digital singles throughout the spring and summer. Repentless appeared on September 11 through Nuclear Blast. (Source)

Lamb of God

Lamb of GodOriginally known by the less-than-subtle moniker Burn the Priest, Richmond, Virginia-based Lamb of God decided to change their name shortly after the release of a self-titled debut in 1998. Featuring vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Will Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler, the newly rechristened Lamb of God were launched in the year 2000 with their acclaimed New American Gospel album. The group then embarked on a lengthy touring spree, spending much of the next two years preaching their “pure American death metal” at major heavy metal festivals and small clubs alike.

Work on a follow-up effort with producer and Strapping Young Lad mastermind Devin Townsend took place in between many road jaunts, so that Lamb of God’s sophomore LP, As the Palaces Burn, was released in summer 2003. Ashes of the Wake quickly followed it in 2004. Produced by Machine, it featured the most fully realized material of the band’s career. Ashes was both a chart and critical hit and set up a year’s worth of successful touring for Lamb of God. (Epic also reissued Burn the Priest, the 1998 debut from the original band.) The Killadelphia DVD appeared in 2005, documenting a particularly fierce stretch of shows in Philly, and the same program’s audio edition dropped toward the end of the same year. Sacrament was released in 2006, followed by Wrath in 2009.

A massive three-disc retrospective entitled Hourglass: The Anthology was issued by Epic in 2010, covering their independent releases as well as their major-label years, and including a third disc of rarities. The set was released in two configurations: it was available for purchase in either three single-disc volumes or as a full box set. The band spent 2010 touring before eventually settling down in 2011 to record new material with producer Josh Wilbur. The result was their chart-topping seventh album, 2012’s Resolution. That same year, Blythe was arrested in Czechoslovakia for charges stemming from an incident at a 2010 show in Prague that saw a young fan climb on-stage and hit his head after being pushed by the lead singer. The 19-year-old died of complications from the injury, and Blythe spent over a month in jail before being found not criminally liable for the incident and released on bail. Blythe would go to pen a memoir, with an emphasis on his arrest, trial, and acquittal, called Dark Days. In 2015, after a period of inactivity that resulted from the psychological and financial woes that accrued during the period of Blythe’s incarceration, the band issued its long-awaited eighth studio long-player, VII: Sturm und Drang. The following year saw the band issue a new EP, Duke, which was comprised of three live cuts and two new studio tracks. The title cut was inspired by Lamb of God superfan Wayne Ford, who had lost his five-year battle with leukemia. (Source)

Anthrax

AnthraxNearly as much as Metallica or Megadeth, Anthrax were responsible for the emergence of speed and thrash metal. Combining the speed and fury of hardcore punk with the prominent guitars and vocals of heavy metal, they helped create a new subgenre of heavy metal on their early albums. Original guitarists Scott Ian and Dan Spitz were a formidable pair, spitting out lightning-fast riffs and solos that never seemed masturbatory. Unlike Metallica or Megadeth, they had the good sense to temper their often serious music with a healthy dose of humor and realism. After their first album, Fistful of Metal, singer Joey Belladonna and bassist Frank Bello joined the lineup. Belladonna helped take the band farther away from conventional metal clichés, and over the next five albums (with the exception of 1988’s State of Euphoria, where the band sounded like it was in a creative straitjacket), Anthrax arguably became the leaders of speed metal. As the ’80s became the ’90s, they also began to increase their experiments with hip-hop, culminating in a tour with Public Enemy in 1991 and a joint re-recording of PE’s classic “Bring the Noise.”

After their peak period of the late ’80s, Anthrax kicked Belladonna out of the band in 1992 and replaced him with ex-Armored Saint vocalist John Bush — a singer who was gruffer and deeper, fitting most metal conventions perfectly. Subsequently, their sound became less unique and their audience shrank slightly as a consequence, and after signing to Elektra for 1993’s Sound of White Noise, the group left the label after just one more album, 1995’s Stomp 442. At that point, Anthrax — now a four-piece consisting of Ian, Bush, Bello, and drummer Charlie Benante — built their own studio in Yonkers, New York, and after a three-year hiatus returned with their Ignition label debut, Volume 8: The Threat Is Real. Anthrax’s very first “hits” collection was released in 1999; titled Return of the Killer A’s: The Best Of, it was also their first release for the Beyond label. The album included a cover of “Ball of Confusion,” which featured a duet between current frontman Bush and former vocalist Belladonna. A proposed tour that was to include both vocalists was announced, but on the eve of its launch, Belladonna pulled out, reportedly for monetary reasons. The tour carried on, as Anthrax signed on to participate in a package tour during the summer of 2000 with Mötley Crüe and Megadeth, but left the tour after only playing a handful of dates.

In 2007, Dan Nelson, formerly of the group Devilsize, took over vocal duties. The band announced the return of vocalist John Bush in 2009, though the stint was never deemed permanent. The vocal pendulum shifted again the following year with an announcement that Belladonna was returning to the fold for future shows, as well as the beginning of work on a new Anthrax album. The resulting Worship Music, the band’s tenth studio album, and the first to feature original material since 2003’s We’ve Come for You All, was released on September 13, 2011. Worship Music was a strong comeback that earned the group a Grammy nomination, and Anthrax followed it up with some dumb fun, in the form of an 2013 EP of ’70s classic rock covers, titled Anthems. Shortly before the EP was released, Caggiano left the group, and he was replaced by Shadows Fall guitarist Jonathan Donais during live dates. In August, he officially became Anthrax’s lead guitarist.

The group began working on a new studio album in late 2013. A live DVD titled Chile on Hell appeared in 2014. The following year, they toured with Volbeat, whom Caggiano had joined after leaving Anthrax. The group’s 11th studio album, For All Kings, was released in February of 2016. Anthrax then toured with Iron Maiden, opening up for the metal legends during the Latin American leg of their Book of Souls World Tour. (Source)

Behemoth

BehemothConsidered to be one of the leading death metal bands to emerge from Poland in the 1990s, Behemoth have endured quite a few lineup shifts in the course of their career (especially in the bass department), with founding singer/guitarist Nergal (Adam Darski) being the only constant member. Behemoth were formed in 1991 (originally as a trio), and began issuing several demos shortly thereafter, the most circulated one being 1993’s From the Pagan Vastlands. The same year, the band issued their debut release And the Forests Dream Eternally via the Italian independent label Entropy. Two years later, the group released its first full-length recording, Sventevith, which received favorable reviews by the metal underground press. For 1996’s Grom, Behemoth widened their musical vision by experimenting with acoustic guitars, synthesizers, and female vocalists, but all the while retained their brutal, extreme metal sound, leading to the group’s inaugural full-on tour of Europe. Released in 1997, the three-track stopgap EP Bewitching the Pomerania proved to be the first recording to feature drummer Inferno (Zbigniew Robert Promiński), who soon became a driving force (and permanent fixture) in the band.

Their fifth release overall, Pandemonic Incantations, was issued a year later in 1998, as Behemoth continued to average at least one lineup change per release. Their last release as a trio (and first for new label Avantgarde), 1999’s Satanica, continued to expand the group’s following among the black metal masses, as Behemoth secured supporting slots on two separate tours with leading bands of the genre: Deicide and Satyricon. Behemoth’s first release of the 21st century, 2000’s Thelema.6, saw the group’s lineup expand to four members for the first time, as newcomers Novy (bass) and Havoc (guitar) signed on with stalwarts Nergal and Inferno. The album was the first of the group’s career to receive worldwide distribution — it was issued in the U.S. a year after its initial release — and also featured Nergal collaborating lyrically with outsider Krzysztof Azarewicz.

Behemoth embarked on their most substantial tour yet, playing shows alongside the likes of Morbid Angel and Nile, and even launched a few headlining tours on their own. In 2002, a home video/DVD was issued (recorded in their homeland of Poland), The Art of Rebellion: Live. Zos Kia Cultus followed a year later and was supported by a world tour including, for the first time, the United States.

Demigod landed at the beginning of 2004, a signal album that marked their first with bassist Orion (Tomasz Wróblewski). Behemoth’s eighth full-length, The Apostasy, arrived in 2007. Ezkaton was an EP released in 2008, and featured a handful of studio cuts along with some live tracks. It was followed in 2009 by the full-length Evangelion, which earned positive reviews and chart success across Europe and America. The band’s momentum paused briefly in 2010, when Nergal received a diagnosis of leukemia in the spring and spent almost a year recovering. A stopgap 2011 compilation, Abyssus Abyssum Invocat, combined two EPs from the band, 2004’s Conjuration and 2006’s Slaves Shall Serve.

Behemoth returned to action in 2014 with The Satanist, which received nearly universally positive reviews and became their first album to debut in the Top 40 of the American album charts. (Source)

Testament

Testament at the Chicago Cubs Game, 2017
© Gene Ambo

Testament were the biggest thrash metal band never to reach the platinum plateau. In fact, the San Francisco quintet seemed on the verge of challenging Metallica (their most obvious influence) in the melodic thrash sweepstakes, but their run toward the top was eventually derailed by inconsistency, bad business decisions, and the genre’s dwindling appeal. Unable to change with the times like Metallica, Testament quickly faded from sight in the early ’90s, but have remained active and very popular within the metal underground.

Influenced by the then-emerging Bay Area thrash metal scene, vocalist Steve Souza, guitarists Eric Peterson and Derrick Ramirez, bassist Greg Christian, and drummer Louie Clemente came together as Legacy in late 1983. But it wasn’t until the arrival of lead guitarist Alex Skolnick and a name change to Testament two years later that the band’s Metallica-inspired thrash metal began distinguishing it from less-refined peers such as Forbidden and Vio-Lence. By 1986, the group was attracting record company attention, but was handed a severe blow when Souza abruptly quit to join original Bay Area scene legends Exodus. Ironically, however, his departure would prove a godsend, as the band soon drafted a significantly more versatile (and downright intimidating) replacement in Chuck Billy. His greater melodic talents and inimitable, bowl-shaking growl would better complement the band’s increasing diversity and mastery of melodic crunch.

Signed by thrash metal mecca Megaforce Records, the group lent its original name to the following year’s remarkable debut, The Legacy. Hailed as an instant classic within thrash metal circles, the album’s coupling of furious riffs and harmonic sensibility stood second only to Metallica in controlled power, technical delivery, and sheer confidence. It also benefited from Megaforce’s recently obtained distribution deal with Atlantic Records, and Testament lived up to their promise while touring America and Europe in support of Anthrax — then experiencing their peak with the Among the Living album. Recorded on that tour, the Live at Eindhoven EP cemented Testament’s standing as champions of thrash’s second wave, and despite lacking the consistency of their debut, 1988’s sophomore The New Order maintained their forward momentum and led to yet another lengthy world tour that took the band as far as South America.

More focused and driven than ever, Testament took painstaking care in constructing their follow-up, 1989’s Practice What You Preach — a massive achievement that saw them expanding their melodic reach while losing none of their power and aggression. A yearlong tour, including a long stint headlining over Savatage and Wrathchild America across the U.S.A., ensued, and even MTV gave their videos a respectable amount of exposure. Testament truly seemed to be poised on the verge of greatness when everything started to unravel. Offered the chance to support Judas Priest on their career-revitalizing Painkiller tour (also featuring Megadeth), Testament rushed straight from the back of their tour bus and into the studio to record 1990’s Souls of Black. A hodgepodge collection of rehashed demos and unfinished ideas, the album stalled on record store shelves and the seeds of frustration and discontent were sown. Not even a coveted slot on the European leg of the Clash of the Titans tour, alongside Slayer, Megadeth, and Suicidal Tendencies, could stall the inevitable, and the band started tearing apart at the seams.

By the time they regrouped with 1992’s somewhat improved The Ritual, grunge had arrived, musical tastes had changed drastically, and Testament were only one of countless casualties whose once highly anticipated albums fell on deaf ears. Ace guitarist Skolnick, who had long complained of the creative limitations imposed by the band’s style, was the first casualty, leaving to join Savatage. He was replaced by Glen Alvelais (ex-Forbidden) for the subsequent tour, which also saw the firing of drummer Clemente midway through, replaced by another Forbidden alum, Paul Bostaph. Following the rather pointless Return to the Apocalyptic City EP, 1994’s brutally negative Low — featuring journeyman James Murphy (Death, Obituary, Cancer, etc.) on guitar and Exodus’ John Tempesta on drums — would be their last with Atlantic. Tempesta was soon off to join White Zombie and new drummer Jon Dette (ex-Evil Dead) only lasted long enough to perform on their next tour before also leaving to join Slayer.

Amazingly, Testament persisted, launching their own Burnt Offerings label to release 1995’s Live at the Fillmore and another studio effort, 1997’s Demonic. The latter renewed their violent commitment to going back to basics, and featured legendary drummer Gene Hoglan (ex-Dark Angel, Death) and returning founding member Derrick Ramirez, now replacing departed bassist Christian. While their former home Atlantic was busy releasing the Signs of Chaos greatest-hits collection, Testament were moving forward with yet another independent release, 1999’s The Gathering, which saw usual suspects Billy and Peterson supported by bassist Steve DiGiorgio, returning guitarist James Murphy, and the awesome talents of original Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo.

A major snag was right around the corner, however, when popular frontman Chuck Billy was diagnosed with cancer, prompting a slew of benefit concerts throughout the Bay Area to raise funds for his treatment. Thankfully, he recovered in due time, and Testament chose to celebrate by welcoming back former members Steve Souza and Alex Skolnick (now involved with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but predominantly acting as a jazz player fronting his own New York-based trio) to participate in a personally sanctioned collection of their best-loved songs, released in 2001 as First Strike Still Deadly. Eric Peterson was also active with a black metal side project named Dragonlord around this time, and little was heard of Testament in the next few years.

Another retrospective collection (Days of Darkness, featuring one disc of highlights from the group’s late-’90s releases and a second simply recycling First Strike Still Deadly) was released in 2004, and in 2005 Testament’s classic lineup of Billy, Skolnick, Peterson, Christian, and Clemente reunited for a tour including several major European festival engagements, bringing along occasional drummer John Tempesta to spell their long inactive original drummer on some of their more challenging material. In 2008, Testament released their first studio album in nine years, The Formation of Damnation, followed by a steady stream of live performances, including a stint as the supporting act for Judas Priest, Motörhead, and Heaven & Hell on the Metal Masters tour. The band’s tenth studio album, Dark Roots of Earth, arrived in 2012 on Nuclear Blast, followed in 2013 by the live double album/DVD Dark Roots of Thrash. The bandmembers promised to start releasing music more frequently, and made good on their word with another new studio album in 2016, Brotherhood of the Snake. Named for an ancient secret society, it saw them return to their thrash roots with some of their fastest material in ages, and featured the return to the fold of bassist Steve DiGiorgio for the first time in 15 years. (Source)

Venue

Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
19100 S. Ridgeland Ave.
Tinley Park, IL 60477 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
(708) 614-1616
Website:
https://www.livenation.com/venues/14482/hollywood-casino-amphitheatre-chicago-il