Gig Reviews

Slayer: Reign In Blood – Big Top, Luna Park, 15/10/09

It is unfortunate that this tour will be remembered for the wrong reasons in some parts of Australia. Frontman Tom Arayas lost his voice for the Melbourne show resulting in several ‘guest’ vocalists being pulled from the audience – but you shouldn’t hold this against the band. This was simply an example of how devoted Slayer are to their fans – most acts would simply cancel. Slayer did cancel Adelaide of course, because Tom Araya was advised by doctors not to perform. Thankfully he was well enough to sing in Perth, and when the final show of the tour rolled around – the special Reign In Blood Sydney performance – he was clearly in much better health.

Sydneys first Slayer show with Megadeth the previous week was simply astounding – and the general feeling was they could not match this (and the Big Top is sometimes not the best venue sound-wise). We could not have been any more wrong. Bloody hell, Slayer slayed Sydney yet again in a mind-boggling blitzkrieg of thrash metal! While Tom Araya held back the lyrics on a few songs, the crowd were more than capable of singing along, and in no way did it detract from the band’s performance. Guitar masters Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, and of course metal’s finest, Dave Lombardo, were in freakish form – obviously they had no health troubles! Timing was flawless, playing was tight, and the sound was spot-on.

Slayer served up an almightily massive performance, the best of the tour. At almost two hours, it was indeed stunning stuff. We were treated to new songs World Painted Blood and Hate Worldwide, alongside live staples Dead Skin Mask, Chemical Warfare and the violent speed of Hell Awaits. A special treat was the classic berserker rage of At Dawn They Sleep. But this was Slayer’s special Reign In Blood performance, so following the machine gun riffage of Hell Awaits, and the anthemic South Of Heaven – it was time brothers and sisters. Slayer simply went thru the Reign In Blood from start to finish, no gimmicks. From the neck snapping epic opener Angel Of Death, to the sonic onslaught of closer Rain In Blood, it was a fine way for Slayer to finish their Australian tour.

Slayer had some troubles on their other dates around Australia, but in Sydney there were no such hassles. Lucky bastards that we are, we got the best performances. Just another reason for the rest of the country to be jealous of our beautiful city and lifestyle. Ah, you gotta love this town – Slayer certainly do!


World Painted Blood • War Ensemble • Jihad • Born Of Fire • At Dawn They Sleep • Mandatory Suicide • Chemical Warfare • Ghosts Of War • Hate Worldwide • Spirit In Black • Dead Skin Mask • Disciple • Hell Awaits • South Of Heaven • Angel Of Death • Piece By Piece • Necrophobic • Altar Of Sacrifice • Jesus Saves • Criminally Insane • Reborn • Epidemic • Postmortem • Raining Blood

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