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Slayer – Haunting The Chapel

This is the last item from my super-fast run-through of Sonic Boom with Brother Craig, the day after the Slayer concert. Fittingly, it’s…

Pronto Toronto Series Pt. 8: Slayer – Haunting The Chapel

I start this with a confession: did you know that I own every Slayer studio album except Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits? True story! I really need to rectify this oversiiiiight…

Fortunately, I found this EP, which falls in between those two albums (as does the live album, Live Undead). A cool story I read is that Dave Lombardo met Death (and tons of other bands) drummer Gene Hoglan at this time, and it was because of Hoglan that Lombardo added a double bass to his kit. The rest is metal drumming history.  

Folks seem to think this EP was a transitional release, moving Slayer from their earlier rock-based song structures to their soon-to-be signature thrash metal sound. As I do not own the album before this, I’ll leave that to the experts to argue and just talk about what I heard here. 

Chemical Warfare is still a tour staple to this day, we all know it well, and we’re all the better for hearing it every single time it spins. Never tire of it! What a great track! Captor Of Sin blasts out of the gates at full tilt, as Slayer must, and it’s another fantastic ripper of a tune. It relentlessly drives you into the ground, what a wall of noise… Haunting The Chapel, which was apparently inspired by Venom, and carries anti-Christian lyrics, is pure Slayer as we know them now, too. Head-on and full-speed, go go GO! Honestly, either of these songs could be in their setlists on their current tour and absolutely destroy next to the hits (including Chemical Warfare). Wow!   

BONUS! This edition I have here also contains a bonus track, Aggressive Perfector, which previously had only been available on a compilation called Metal Massacre Vol.3, and on some vinyl and cassette copies of Show No Mercy. This one takes a while to get going, but when it does, it’s Slayer’s metal thrash filtered through a great punk sound and energy (well, ok, except for the guitar solo sections – punks wouldn’t necessarily have those in there…). That Araya scream at the end, holy hell! Hardcore, hell yeah!

In Sum:

A superb, short blast of Slayer mayhem and madness. I loved it. I will say that the production is lacking compared to later stuff, but that’s to be expected, and it isn’t even a criticism. In fact, I’d say it adds that touch of a DIY old school feel to the affair, which has its own charm (for me, anyway). 

\m/  SLAYER!!!  \m/

 

Thanks so much for Reading this Pronto Toronto series. I only found a few gems to bring home, but I was pretty chuffed with everything I got. In fact, I have to say, given how little time there was to go through the bins in Sonic Boom that day, I think I did pretty damn well! 

So. I suppose, after this post, it’ll be back to regular ol’ postings! How weird will that be, just some random album from the collection I’ve heard lately, instead of recounting what I got in the big shitty… I mean, I’ve been immersed in series for so long… there were the 42 items from the I Wanna Taranna series, and now these from Pronto Toronto… and now it’s just normal ol’ crap posts? Cool! Though, I will advise, the On Spec will be returning, picking up where it left off. I have a pile of stuff here to get through, er, on spec… but I’ll just make a wee note of them as I go along, not make a fancy-pants series out of it or anything…

Anyway, here’s the list of my Pronto Toronto finds!

$2.99 DEALZ

1. Volbeat – Live From Beyond Hell/Above Heaven
2. Morcheeba – Who Can You Trust?
3. Cuff The Duke – Life Stories For Minimum Wage

PAID MORE BUT WHO CAREZ

4. Cynic – Re-Traced
5. Cynic – Carbon-Based Anatomy
6. Fugazi – Instrument
7. Jurassic 5 – J5 Deluxe Re-issue (2cd/1dvd)
8. Slayer – Haunting The Chapel

\m/  \m/

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2018-05-29 Slayer (with Testament, Behemoth, Anthrax and Lamb Of God)

May 29, 2018 Budweiser Stage, Toronto, ON
Testament, Behemoth, Anthrax, Lamb Of God, Slayer

***

We have been in the presence of giants…

Brother Craig and I got to Taranna in good time. Slick through security, found our seats and got ready to rock. We were at the back of the bowl of seats, last row before the general admission grass at the back. No problem. Five headliner bands, four of them sharing a bill to give Slayer the send-off they deserve as they conduct their final tour. The entire day had a feeling of greatness, a momentous and historic occasion that was definitely once in a lifetime. We truly were witnesses to giants walking the Earth.

***

Some small notes before beginning…

It was $16.50 for a tallboy of Bud Light. Haha that’s expensive water, more like.

A kid at work wanted me to get him a Behemoth t-shirt, said probably $25 or so. All t-shirts were $50, for all bands across the board. Haha I think not.

Some 6’7″ motherfucker came and sat right in front of me, of course (every damn time!), so until the pot smoke wore him and his lady down to sitting more than standing, I had a great view of the back of his head.

Speaking of pot smoke, there was SO much of it. We didn’t need any ourselves, we got a bit high just being there.

Several times through the night there would be confusion over seating, people animatedly discussing their tickets and pointing determinedly at the plastic seats. How hard is it when it’s section 407, 407A, 407B…? Apparently difficult. Le sigh.

The washroom situation was appalling. Oh, they were clean enough, given the circumstances, but the line-ups for the men’s were ridiculous. Yes, this show was mainly a sausage fest… but there were ladies there too, and they were laughing as they waltzed right into their loo with no lines. Craig finally had to pee in the woods in between Lamb Of God and Slayer’s sets because the lines were just too damn long. Seriously, Budweiser Stage, you need more bathrooms for the amount of seating you offer in your venue!

***

NB: I took shite photies (and they truly are shite). My iPhone on full zoom struggled for clarity, especially after the sun went down. Still, better than nothing! You can click them to make them bigger…

***

Testament

What a set. Testament fuckin’ rocked. Alex Skolnick was on absolute fire, as was the whole band, honestly, and every song was pure gold. Their half hour set should have been an hour longer, at minimum. Tremendous band to open the gig, simpy great! Craig said he’d have Testament in the Big Four not Anthrax, especially because of their first three albums. Maybe it ought be the Big Five! Whatever the case, Testament was fucking fantastic. The Pale King was brilliant, and the crowd went nuts for Into The Pit, but they were all superb.

Testament Setlist: Rise Up / Practice What You Preach / The Pale King / Into the Pit / The New Order / Disciples of the Watch

NB: I had my camera on Square setting instead of just Photo, so all my shite photies of Testament came out in squares instead of regular shots. I corrected the issue halfway through Behemoth, sorry Testament!

***

Behemoth

There’s a kid at work who was jealous I was getting to see these guys play. After their set, I can guess why. Their sound was huge and heavy, and they played with an unrelenting intensity and skill. Their presence and massive tunes held the crowd enthralled throughout. To me their stage outfits made them look exactly like Uruk-hai from the Lord Of The Rings. Craig said he’d love to see Behemoth in a smaller, indoor venue, and he’s right, that’d be awesome. 

When it seemed they were leaving, Behemoth said “You people of Toronto hold a special place in our hearts. Thank you for coming out. We are Behemoth. We will return! Until then, stay strong. HAIL SATAN!” Haha wow. They then left, and returned for an encore as the crowd roared for more. They wore black devil masks with long horns on them for the last song. Cool for an opening act to do.

Behemoth Setlist: Ov Fire and the Void / Demigod / Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer / Wolves ov Siberia / Chant for Eschaton 2000 / O Father O Satan O Sun!

***

Anthrax

Anthrax hit the stage and worked the crowd like total professionals. Their songs were tight, punky metal and every single one was a goddamn great time. They even got us to sing O Canada at the end while they stood there and listened. I removed my cap, but was sad to see many of our fellow concert-goers did not.

Anthrax Setlist: Caught in a Mosh / Got the Time (Joe Jackson cover) / I Am the Law / Madhouse / Evil Twin / Antisocial (Trust cover) / Indians

***

Lamb Of God

I knew Lamb Of God was gonna be loud, and holy hell, I was right on that score! That band was so fucking intense, and the crowd went right crazy for every song. Security had to pull people back from the fence at the edge of the grass area because it was in danger of collapsing. The crowd singalong on Now You’ve Got Something To Die For was fun, they dedicated 512 to Slayer, and the combo punch of Laid To Rest and Redneck was positively punishing.

Lamb Of God Setlist: Omerta / Ruin / Walk With Me In Hell / Now You’ve Got Something to Die For / 512 / Engage the Fear Machine / Blacken the Cursed Sun / Laid to Rest / Redneck

***

Slayer

OMFG.

I have been to metal shows before, but I haven’t even been in the presence of such power before this. This set was absolutely crushing, and they went all out on the lighting, fireballs, and walls of more fire. Every so often the backdrop would change to reflect an era or album and every one was perfect.

They (seemingly) effortlessly controlled the chaos with a primal violence. There was a huge pit, as with all the bands, but it was definitely wilder for Lamb Of God than it was for Slayer. It seemed as though, even though there was all the usual chaos down front, there was a sense of occasion to it all, and people were trying to take it all in, burn it all into their memories as this is (supposedly) the last time we’ll get to see Slayer and so goodbye.

They had us in their mighty fist for the whole gig, but when they blasted into Angel Of Death as their final tune and the backdrop became a memorial to Jeff Hanneman, their sealed themselves into our hearts and minds forever. It was a great reveal, a beautifully done and perfectly-timed moment.

Tom spoke to the crowd a couple of times throughout, and at the end of the show, standing alone in the lights, he simply said Thank You, and “I’m gonna miss you guys.” We’re gonna miss you guys too.

Slayer Setlist: Delusions of Saviour (intro) / Repentless / Blood Red / Disciple / Mandatory Suicide / Hate Worldwide / War Ensemble / Jihad / When the Stillness Comes / Postmortem / Black Magic / Payback / Seasons in the Abyss / Dittohead / Dead Skin Mask / Hell Awaits / South of Heaven / Raining Blood / Chemical Warfare / Angel of Death

 

This is the show of the summer, folks. If this tour comes anywhere near your town, GO.

\m/  SLAYER!!!!!!  \m/

\m/ SLAYER!! \m/

If you’ll pardon a brief pause in this regularly scheduled blog, I am traveling today to partake of a show tonight. I will report here, if I am coherent enough to do so, when I manage crawl back from the battlefield. Give ‘er! \m/  \m/

Here’s what’ll be pummelling us:

 

Where In The World Is KMA Aaron?

More specifically, where in the world will KMA Aaron be on May 29, 2018?

Brother Craig got us tickets for Toronto.

RIGHTEOUS.

\m/  \m/

Re-Review: Slayer – Reign In Blood #0wordchallenge

I hereby accept Mike‘s #0wordchallenge.

Slayer – Decade Of Aggression

SLAYER!!

What do you want to know about this 1991 double live album that you can’t already guess for yourself? It’s fucking SLAYER! playing a lot of their biggest songs at top volume, with full aggression and power, at 100mph, and playing them flawlessly.

It’s nuts, I mean, Araya has to ask the crowd to watch out for each other, and they’re only two tracks into the gig. There’s one woman who screams joyfully whenever a song is announced, and her voice cuts through everything. The whole thing is so in your face, so friggin’ LOUD… whoa.

King and Hanneman’s solos are insane, and Lombardo is a monster on his kit. Araya delivers, as always. Was there ever a doubt? Hahaha no.

In Sum:

SLAYER!!!!  \m/  \m/

 

Notes For The Info Junkies Among Us:

These recordings represent three different dates on their Clash Of The Titans tour (see indicators, below), but Wiki says Rick Rubin made it sound like all one show. The CD1 is all from one show, and CD 2 collects tracks from two other gigs.

CD1^: Hell Awaits / The Anti-Christ / War Ensemble / South Of Heaven / Raining Blood / Altar Of Sacrifice / Jesus Saves / Dead Skin Mask / Seasons In The Abyss / Mandatory Suicide / Angel Of Death

CD2: Hallowed Point~ / Blood Red~ / Die By The Sword* / Black Magic* / Captors Of Sin* / Born Of Fire* / Post Mortem~ / Spirit In Black* / Expendable Youth* / Chemical Warfare*

^ all of CD1 was recorded 1991-07-13 at Lakeland Coliseum in Lakeland, Florida.
~ recorded 1990-10-14 at Wembley Arena, London, England.
* recorded 1991-03-08 at Orange Pavilion, San Bernardino, California.

Slayer – God Hates Us All

Yesterday I gave the excellent Diabolus In Musica a spin. Today, God Hates Us All.

Typical of Slayer, this album title was sure to create a bit of controversy. Kerry King even got the words of the title tattooed (in big letters) all the way down his arm. The album’s cover was also controversial. My used copy came with the white cover, but when I pulled the booklet out, the white cover was just a single page slip-in to mask the original cover. Apparently this was done to please retail outlets. Go figure.

No matter. This album is incredibly heavy. Of course it is, it’s Slayer. It’s the last (so far) made with Paul Bostaph on the drums and, once again, I had absolutely no problem with his contributions to this heaving monster of a record.

Darkness Of Christ is a swirling, quasi-musical talking thing, a disappointing waste of 1.5 minutes of intro time. Fortunately, Disciple steps up and blasts you right in the solar plexus, and we’re off to the races from there. The rest of the album chugs along with great anger and menace, with a lot of mid-tempo sections that I actually found more impressive than their typical ultra-fast parts.

Of course, with an album title like that (which is the chorus of Disciple), religion is one of the big tickets here. With song titles like God Send Death, New Faith, and Cast Down, you’re assured of some interesting lyrics. But there’s lots more, with serial killers and murder and hate and revenge and… well, you get the picture.

It’s fucking intense. Seriously. I listened to this top to bottom and I came away completely drained. Which is, I think, the point of every Slayer record. Slayer does nothing by halves, and this record is absolutely no exception.

Interesting Trivia: The band certainly had no possible way of knowing what else would happen on that day, and make of this album’s contents with what we now know as you will, but this album’s release date was September 11, 2001.

In Sum:

God Hates Us All is a brutal, relentless and superb Slayer record. I just loved it, even while it was kicking my ass. Especially while it kicked my ass.

A KMA 2-Fer!

Today’s a bit of a dual post, but it all goes together, as you shall see…

Parte The First:

Today was our son’s first day returning for another school year. As you may recall from previous posts in these pages, my way of writing while he was in school last year was to show up early for picking him up at the end of the day. My daughter and I then rocked an album in the car, and I write about it in a notebook. I called this my Office, and it worked great all school year. Well, today’s review is the first from my return to the Office for a new school year.

Greetings from the Office!

IMAG0737

Parte The Second:

Slayer’s 1998 album, Diabolus In Musica, is a monster of an album. The sound is very big, and clear. Can we credit Rubin with this? I seem to recall Kerry King saying somewhere that he was a bit of a hands-off producer… Whatever. It’s pure Slayer – you know that sound: the howled, menacing vocals, and lyrics covering typical Slayer territory. Present are the great riffs and blistering solos, the heavy bottom end and pummeling drums. It’s all here. And speaking of the drums, this is the second album they made with Paul Bostaph on the kit, after Dave Lombardo left. I have zero problem with Bostaph’s playing on this album.

Some detractors said they thought this album was weak, not up to snuff for Slayer’s discography of evil and mayhem. Too nu-metal, some complained, saying Slayer were trying too hard to add new elements to the already-established Slayer sound. Others said it all sounded too same-y. These may be legitimate concerns to some, but I wonder if you probed a bit deeper you’d simply find that some of these complainers are just upset that the band isn’t re-making Reign In Blood over and over again.

For myself, I have no such complaints. I can play this album top to bottom, as I have done again today (for the umpteenth time since I bought it), and I think it’s great. Actually, the first 5 tracks are some of the strongest songs available at that time. Bitter Peace teases with an intro and then just blasts you. They don’t let up through Death’s Head, Stain Of Mind (which I first heard on a CMJ compilation at the time), Overt Enemy and Perversions Of Pain. If that were an EP, it would be a sure-fire metal classic. The rest of the album continues in that vein, all the way through to Point, which is a hulking giant of a tune. Crazy stuff. I like this record a lot.

I did notice one thing: In the song Love To Hate, the song just cuts off at 2:06, right in the middle of the guitar solo. It pops back on after a second or two, but it’s weird. Is this just a problem with my copy, or does everyone’s copy do the same thing? It’s possible that that break is supposed to be there and I’m just not hip enough to recognize its significance.

No matter. This album kicks. SLAYER!!

Finally! Some new shit!

Yes, it’s been a pathetically long time since my last appearance here. But remember, it’s like John Lennon said, “life is what happens when you’re busy making plans,” and man, I have been busy making plans to post here for WAY too long. So here’s some of the shit I’ve been listening to. More to come, ‘cos I’ve filled my iPod with all kinds of stuffs. Wahoo!

Terrible Hostess, Volume 2

Hooray for our friends at Mint Records! As you all know, Carolyn Mark and NQ Arbuckle have just released a tasty new disc of excellent music called Let’s Just Stay Here. Talk about making our year! So, in honour of this release, our great friends at Mint sent us some really sweet swag… buttons and stickers (love the airline ‘Fragile’ stickers with Air Carolyn on them!), a Carolyn and NQ luggage tag, and a blood red dish towel to go with a beautiful copy of Carolyn’s Terrible Hostess: Recipes For Disaster, Volume 2 cookbook! Some of the recipes look downright tasty and I can’t wait to try them (with recommended music playing and recommended drink in hand).

Slayer – World Painted Blood

Business-as-usual chaos as only Slayer can muster it. Play this as loud as your player can go. SLAYER!

Slipknot – Slipknot 10th Anniversary Edition

The CD’s the real draw in this set, with all the brutal honesty and aggression intact… and bonus tracks! Sweet.

Hawksley Workman – We’ll Make Time (Even When There Ain’t No Time)

New Hawksley is coming! Get ready! James found this radio broadcast world premiere. It’s a one-idea slow build with enough lyrics to make anyone run out of breath, crashing full-on into rock-out bliss. Ah, Hawksley.

Guided By Sloan

Just noticed that in the liner notes for Sloan’s Navy Blues, Guided By Voices is listed as having shared the stage. Imagine THAT show! I think I’d pass out with bliss…

Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love

Spent the whole time listening to this recognizing all of the influences that have given them their sound (U2, Oasis, Coldplay and tiresomely beyond). Shame they haven’t found their own sound out of the list.

Cage The Elephant – Cage The Elephant

This would sound great live. Kind of reminds me of the Trews although, if they meant what they said in the first track, they don’t give a shit what comparisons I can make. Just a great, fun rawk record.

Wild Beasts – Limbo, Panto

Oddly compelling, with weird party music and falsetto vocals. Could almost be the soundtrack to a 60’s stage show musical. Are we sure this isn’t a Darkness side project?

Yim Yames – A Tribute To

My Morning Jacket dude’s tribute to George Harrison. Stripped-down renditions show the strength of the originals and let the covers shine too.

Miranda Lambert – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

New country meets the moxy of the classic country ladies of days gone by, with a few dud tracks thrown in. This lady can sing, that’s for sure. One foot in a bold new direction, the other stuck in the same old schtick.

Iggy Pop – Preliminaires

Man, Iggy rules. Only this particular wild man could foist such a collection of jazzy. bluesy, rock-ish and Parisian-sounding stuff on our ears and get away with it. And without ridicule, too. Strangely compulsive, and not just because it’s Iggy (and therefore we must love it). A welcome diversion, so long as it’s not an admission that he’s finally slowing down for good.

Harry Connick, Jr. – Blue Light, Red Light

This takes me back to high school .Yes, I was THAT guy back then. Still am now, I’ll have you know. Great swing, astounding arrangements in the best of this style’s traditions. Could be the soundtrack to a grainy-colour 60’s musical, and that’s a very, very good thing.

Flight Of The Conchords – I Told You I Was Freaky

We all love these guys by now, with their quirky humour that’s laugh-out-loud funny. Even if you set aside the images from the TV show in your mind, this is still an hilariously danceable record. These guys are really onto something.

Slayer – Reign In Blood

Ah, Slayer.

Sorry… SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!

What can I say about this record by now, 23 years after its crushing arrival? How long have I even owned a copy of this record? A long time.

This is completely essential listening. It is intricate, immediate, stunningly conceived, and completely aggressive. Other, weaker metal bands everywhere suddenly forget their silly posturing and scurry to hide under furniture when this record appears on the horizon.

It is a short, sharp shock to your pathetic complacency. It is hardcore at its finest. It is the only thing that can scratch that itch. It will eat you for lunch and spit your bloody bones into the street.

You must own Reign In Blood, and pay it tribute regularly. You are incomplete without it.

Track Listing:
01 Angel Of Death
02 Piece By Piece
03 Necrophobic
04 Altar Of Sacrifice
05 Jesus Saves
06 Criminally Insane
07 Reborn
08 Epidemic
09 Postmortem
10 Raining Blood

At some point, my original copy grew legs and went off somewhere to wreak havoc in new places, so for the past while I’ve owned the Expanded Edition, which has two splendid bonus tracks on it:

11 Aggressive Perfector
12 Criminally Insane (remix)

Slayer – Undisputed Attitude

Whatever you think of Slayer, I’ll bet it’s a strong opinion.

Me? I love ‘em. 

And man, I love this CD of (mostly) cover tunes. Slayer can’t ever sit still, and every track comes through at a level of punishing aggression that makes the listener want to break many, many things. Better yet, their song choices here are excellent.

But I am clearly not in the majority with this opinion. Many so-called Slayer purists dislike this record, even going so far as to call it unworthy of the band’s discography. You know, those holier-than-thou metal heads really get on my nuts. OK, yes, Reign In Blood is great, blah blah blah. We all know this. Just shut the fuck up and turn it up, already. Go wank pretentiously on your own time. Undisputed Attitude rocks and it sucks to be you if you can’t get to it.

I remember the first time I heard these tracks. I was in a record shop in Montreal, with our buddy Geordie. This CD was playing on the in-store sound system, and Geordie immediately recognized Richard Hung Himself. He bought it right from their player. I heard the whole thing later on and loved it.

I’ve gone back to this record many times over the years, and find it hard to believe that it was released 12 years ago already. Man. That would make me think that I was getting old if this record didn’t make me feel younger and full of energy every time I hear it.

Completely recommended (despite what those idiot wankers tell you).
 

Track Listing: (original artist)
01 Disintegration / Free Money (Verbal Abuse)
02 Verbal Abuse / Leeches (Verbal Abuse)
03 Abolish Government / Superficial Love (T.S.O.L.)
04 Can’t Stand You (Pap Smear)
05 Ddamm (Pap Smear)
06 Guilty Of Being White (Minor Threat)
07 I Hate You (Verbal Abuse)
08 Filler / I Don’t Want To Hear It (Minor Threat)
09 Spiritual Law (D.I.)
10 Mr. Freeze (Dr. Know)
11 Violent Pacification (D.R.I.)
12 Richard Hung Himself (D.I.)
13 I’m Gonna Be Your God (Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog)
14 Gemini (Slayer)

P.S. Turns out Europe and Japan got bonus tracks, which I’d love to hear someday:

Europe: Sick Boy (G.B.H.)
Japan: Sick Boy (G.B.H.) and Memories Of Tomorrow (Suicidal Tendencies)

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