Slayer Announces 1st Leg of Winter 2016 Tour w/Testament & Carcass

You’ll have to pardon my just getting to this announcement but I’ve been out all day exploring my great Metropolis and one truly cannot properly post while on the move. That said here we go with the early afternoon disclosure by the mighty Slayer who are returning to venues in North America in early 2016 with Testament and Carcass in tow. I’ve copied the main information from the press release and the poster and then will return to discuss my views on the whole thing.

Tour - Slayer - Winter 2016

The Press Release:

LOS ANGELES, CA – Thursday, December 3, 2015 – In support of Repentless, the band’s 12th studio album and its career-highest chart debut,SLAYER will launch 2016 by pillaging and marauding its way across North America, headlining some two-dozen dates over a five-week period. With Special Guests Testament and Carcass on all dates, the tour starts on February 19 in Chicago and wraps up in Las Vegas on March 26. Confirmed dates are below. SLAYER’s Fan Club pre-sale begins today at 12NOON local time, details are at Ticket presales begin tomorrow, Friday, December 4 at 10AM local time, and the public onsale commences Saturday, December 5 at 10AM local time.

For this tour, SLAYER is offering several different limited-availability VIP packages that will include premiums such as watching SLAYER’s entrance and first three songs from right onstage, access to the band’s normally off-limits soundcheck, autographed collectibles, and a variety of custom VIP swag. Log onto Slayer’s Facebook for all VIP packages and ticketing details.

Twenty-fifteen has proven to be a pretty darned good year for Slayer. Ignoring the odds and naysayers, the band – Kerry King/guitars, Tom Araya/bass, vocals, Paul Bostaph/drums, and touring guitarist Gary Holt – wrote, recorded and released its first album since the death of founding member, guitarist Jeff Hanneman, and first with producer Terry Date. SLAYER proved the doubters wrong with an album that SPIN called “as unrelenting as all of their previous,” Rolling Stone described as “…lean, quick, precise and brutal…” Loudwire deemed “…a potent release that is undeniably SLAYER…” and Guitar World simply declared “The Metal Album of the Year.” Repentless sounds like a SLAYER album…a sonic assault of brutal, ominous, lightening-fast and heavy-as-hell music, with lyrics that unmask what SLAYER knows best – the terror, the corruption and the societal turmoil that dominates our world. As a member of The Big Four, SLAYER didn’t just help define the thrash-metal genre, SLAYER defines an attitude.

For this upcoming tour, fans can expect to hear many of their favorite SLAYER songs selected from the band’s 30-plus year discography, as well as a few of the brand new ones. As the Austin Chronicle put it about one of SLAYER’s recent shows, “[It was] one hundred minutes of just plain pummel…the group delivered fast, hard, no-frills bludgeon.”

With more dates to be announced, the first leg of SLAYER’s 2016 North American tour is as follows:

Tour Dates:
2/19: Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL
2/22: War Memorial, Nashville, TN
2/24: The National, Richmond, VA
2/26: House of Blues, Myrtle Beach, SC
2/27: The Ritz, Raleigh, NC
2/29: The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC
3/2: Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY
3/3: The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA
3/5: The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
3/6: The House of Blues, Boston, MA
3/8: LC Pavilion, Columbus, OH
3/9: The Orpheum, Madison, WI
3/11: Myth, St. Paul, MN
3/12: Civic Auditorium, Fargo, ND
3/14: MacEwan Hall, Calgary, AB
3/15: Shaw Centre, Edmonton, AB
3/17: Revolution Event Center, Boise, ID
3/19: The Paramount, Seattle, WA
3/20: Roseland Ballroom, Portland, OR
3/22: Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
3/26: The Joint, Las Vegas, NV

These next few paragraphs are for those Metalheads who might just arriving to our wonderful planet and need some quick information about the bands on this package. Welcome visitors I so hope you have a good time during your stay 

For more than three decades, SLAYER’s onslaught has proven the band to be the supreme thrash-metal band on the planet, the band that other heavy acts are measured against and aspire to. The two-time Grammy-winners have also accumulated an abundance of certified Gold Albums along with “Best…” awards from media outlets all over the world, including Kerrang!, SPIN, Metal Hammer, Revolver, and Esquire. Throughout SLAYER’s history, the band has never faltered in unleashing its extreme and focused sonic assault, and, unlike many of its contemporaries who “commercialized” their sound, Slayer has remained crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream. SLAYER’s founding member, guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed in 2013, and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has been filling in for him since. Paul Bostaph, who was SLAYER’s drummer from ’94 – ’01, has rejoined bassist/vocalist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King, and is back behind the kit. On 9-11-15, SLAYER released Repentless, its first studio album without Hanneman. For the album’s first music video, the title track, SLAYER worked with cameraman/director BJ McDonnell (“Jack Reacher,” “Tomorrowland,” “The Interview”). McDonnell, who directed the video, and producer Felissa Rose texted some of their friends who just happened to be some of most recognizable horror actors working today, including Tyler Mane, Danny Trejo and Derek Mears. All big SLAYER fans, all showed up to play cameo rolls in the brutal prison-set clip. The video has received more than seven-million views on SLAYER’s social sites.

Thrash metal legends TESTAMENT were one of the first bands of the genre to emerge from the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1980’s. Originally formed as ‘Legacy’ in 1983, TESTAMENT would go on to create several seminal records including their gold certified release,Practice What You Preach. After the Ritual in 1992, original guitarist Alex Skolnick and drummer Louie Clemente would depart the band, while core members guitarist Eric Peterson and vocalist Chuck Billy, would stick it out throughout the anti-metal climate of the 90’s. During this time, TESTAMENT would release such phenomenal records as Low, Demonic, and The Gathering. In March 2001, Billy was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called ‘germ cell seminoma’, forcing the band to go into a touring hiatus. Despite his illness and grueling cancer treatments, Billy offered his ground shaking vocals to the re-recording of TESTAMENT classics on First Strike Still Deadly with a reunion of sorts, bringing back Alex Skolnick and John Tempesta to record on the disc. After fully recovering from his illness, TESTAMENT returned triumphant with much of their original lineup intact and released the highly praised The Formation Of Damnation (2008). The band’s latest album Dark Roots Of Earth debuted at #12 on the U.S. Billboard Chart upon its release in 2012, making it one the group’s most successful years to date!

CARCASS’ latest album, Surgical Steel, debuted at #41 on the US Billboard Top 200 Chart upon it’s release, just narrowly avoiding the dreaded “top 40 band” moniker. Even with their impressive back catalogue, Surgical Steel has given the band their highest charting and possibly most critically acclaimed record to date. Surgical Steel was produced by Colin Richardson (Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower, Gorefest, Cannibal Corpse, Sinister, Rodrigo Y Gabriela) and mixed/mastered by Andy Sneap (Megadth, Accept, Exodus, Testament). Joining guitarist Bill Steer and bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker in the band’s current incarnation are new drummer Dan Wilding (Aborted, Trigger The Bloodshed) and guitarist Ben Ash (Pig Iron, Desolation, Liquefied Skeleton). Original sticksman Ken Owen contributed guest vocals as well. CARCASS has released several classic albums over the years, including Decibel magazine “Hall of Fame” inductees Heartwork and Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious, and their influence has changed the face of extreme metal with every consecutive release. Whether it was inventing gore-grind (i.e. Reek of Putrefaction, Symphonies of Sickness) or creating the template for melodic death metal (i.e. Heartwork), CARCASS has always made records by which bars were set and rules were broken. Upon the band’s dismantling in 1996, fans mourned the loss of the seminal act and longed that the group would return again one day. In 2007, the metal world got its wish as CARCASS reformed to play several sold-out reunion shows around the globe. Once again re-motivated to administer a shot of cynicism and infectious riffs into the arm of a sickly metal scene, founding members Bill Steer and Jeff Walker began writing what would become the latest output of their highly influential career, Surgical Steel. Only the choicest of cuts were made, and blood sweat and tears were shed to bring us a record worthy of the CARCASS legacy. In short, Surgical Steel is just what the doctor ordered.

PiercingMetal Thoughts: Alright. So you were excited about the trailers for the “Captain America: Civil War” and “Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice” films and they each left you with a high that was hard to come down from (if this sort of stuff floats your boat like it does for our Metal Media Mind) and then you heard the news about the new Slayer tour and the lineup they were bringing along on the run and approached critical mass. When you didn’t see your exact spot on the map in the announcement you were left with severe ennui. Let’s take a deep breath and relax because this is the first leg of the tour and there is sure to be a second and third run if I know how Slayer operates. I’m sad that they are bypassing NYC of course because who doesn’t want to see how Testament and Carcass rip the Big Metal Apple to its core. I’ll remain hopeful that they will make their way around here but am unsure where they could possibly play with the Roseland Ballroom gone now. Perhaps Terminal 5 or Hammerstein Ballroom. I’m glad both are on the tour though and hope each support act gets a proper set length and this is not 30 mins of Carcass or Testament. I’m also pretty stoked that this is a 100% Nuclear Blast Records tour since that means a lot of cool schwag from that company should be on hand along with some great band merchandise. What do you readers think of this tour? Let’s discuss in the comments.

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