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Slayer tickets at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Aug
4
Fri

Slayer with special guest Lamb Of God

and Behemoth

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Slayer with special guest Lamb Of God

and Behemoth
The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
4455 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89169
(702) 693-5222
Fri, Aug 4, 2017 - 7:00PM
Doors Open: 6:00 PM
Onsale: Fri, Mar 3, 2017 - 10:00AM PDT

For Premium Seating options in The Joint, including VIP Tables and VIP Packages, please email jointvip@hrhvegas.com, or call 702-693-5220 for information.

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Bio: Slayer

Slayer, the long-reigning titans of thrash, returns with Repentless, the band’s 11th studio album and its first album for Nuclear Blast. Produced by Terry Date, Repentless was written and recorded by guitarist Kerry King and singer/bassist Tom Araya at Henson Studios in Los Angeles, along with returning drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Repentless is crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream.

Thirty-four years into its career, Slayer remains the preeminent punk-thrash band that helped establish the genre and that up-and-coming metal heads continue to revere and emulate. Slayer is a five-time nominated, two-time Grammy Award-winning metal juggernaut that writes songs which mirror the turmoil and aberrations of our society. Repentless, the band’s first new album in six years, continues the Slaytanic offensive with a twelve-song, blood-shaking sonic attack. Repentless is dark, fast, aggressive and without mercy. It was also the most challenging record Slayer has ever had to make.

In 2013 the world mourned the loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman who died from complications following a two-year illness. A co-founder of Slayer, losing Jeff was very difficult for the band. During Jeff’s illness, friend of the band, guitarist Holt stepped in to help out on tour with Jeff’s blessing and stayed on. Around that time, drummer Dave Lombardo exited the band for the third time and Paul Bostaph, (who played with the band from 1992 – 2001), returned to take over the throne. Slayer never skipped a beat and since Holt and Bostaph both played in Exodus, it was all-in-the-thrash-family.

But it didn’t come easily. As guitarist and Slayer co-founder Kerry King puts it, “I remember the day that Jeff died. It was the day of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards. We knew he’d been sick but nobody expected it to be so quick. I assumed I’d be able to go out there and see him after I got done with whatever business I had to do and that day never came.

“We went out and toured afterwards to see how we felt about it. That’s what you do as a musician: you either go out and tour or you stop working. Even though we’d been touring for two years without Jeff, thinking he was going to come back, now there was finality to it. And the thing with Gary was that we were all friends. Exodus was the first band we’d ever met that became our friends immediately and we stayed friends throughout the years. Gary is just a guitar dynamo and he was the guy.”

Tom Araya agrees. “Jeff would want us to continue. I’d think that if something were to happen to someone else in the band, whoever it was would feel the same way. Just get on with it. Gary’s a friend, a friend of Jeff’s, he knew what was going on and he wanted to help in any way he could, so Gary made Slayer a comfortable place to be. Having Paul back was also a comforting feeling. He’s a former member and that’s the best thing about it. It wasn’t some other guy. Having Paul and Gary made everything a little easier to handle. It’s about the band. Slayer was a big thing for Jeff, and so I’m looking at it in that sense. It was his baby, too. And we hope we’ve done Slayer and him justice.”

King said that Slayer still had to test the water. “Now we were out to see if it made sense to continue, to see if we liked it, to see if the band still enjoyed it. And the way I looked at it was: if it wasn’t this, it was going to be something that sounded exactly like this, so why not continue doing this? It’s super-potent. We’re really tight right now and we’re stoked that we’re still doing it. Once we had that under our belts we started thinking about a record and never looked back.” 

After two decades with American Recordings, Slayer found a new home with Nuclear Blast, the German independent label known for its metal roster. King is enthusiastic about the move, “I like it,” he declares, stressing the work like. “Having been with American for so long we wanted to give them first right of refusal because that’s how we are. I think continuity is far stronger than switching all the time. But at the end of the day, Nuclear Blast made us a great offer and so it was time to move on. At Nuclear Blast, people go to work, they do their job, get paid and they fuckin’ like it. All hands. So it was the right choice.”

When the time came, Slayer entered the studio with producer Terry Date. Date is the first producer the band has worked with since leaving American, where all their albums were produced or executive produced by Rick Rubin. On working with Date, Tom says, “He’d done all these great albums – Soundgarden, Pantera – and as a singer I need someone I respect who can tell me whether he likes it or not as opposed to telling me how to do something I’ve been doing for 30 years. He would guide me. That’s why I really liked working with him, because he was so cool. I regard him as a friend, for sure.”

Kerry adds, “It was as business as usual as it could be. The oddest thing for me was Jeff’s presence… not being there. When we were recording, in the past, whether he played or not, having him there and having his opinion and stuff like that: that was what I missed. Jeff’s not being there was the oddest thing.”

Gary Holt came on board to help out with tour commitments when Jeff first became ill. “My role in Slayer started out as a tour and happened to come when I was taking time off from Exodus and I spoke to Kerry who asked if I could help out. I went down to rehearsal and Jeff showed me some things. I’ve known Jeff forever but it wasn’t until his memorial that I learned how much of his blessing I really had. At the end of the day, we all wanted Jeff to come back and then tragedy struck; so here we are five years later and Repentless is coming out and I think Jeff would have loved it. I’m super-excited. It’s a good feeling and I know it’s got to be a great feeling for Tom and Kerry for all the work they’ve done- and Paul as well. Everybody's excited.

Repentless marks the return of drummer Paul Bostaph, who was extremely enthusiastic.  “Before I was in the band I was a fan and just because I’m the drummer doesn’t mean I stop being a fan: it just means my tickets are cheaper. After I left in 2002 I never thought I’d be sitting on the drum throne with the band again. This particular style of music delivers something for me, musically and physically, that’s challenging and exciting. I feel better as a player and I’m more mature and the band is maturing and getting better, like fine wine. It feels natural to be back and it’s good to be back with Kerry and Tom. The San Francisco Bay-area metal scene is very tight knit: everybody knows everybody. I consider Slayer to be part of that even though they’re from Southern California. Gary I played together in Exodus and he’s amazing – one of the godfathers of thrash with Exodus – so it’s like coming home for me. And we’re having fun and I think if we weren’t having fun we wouldn’t be doing this.”

Repentless marks a number of transitions for the band but with their undisputed attitude, Slayer emerges triumphant, says Tom. “After 35 years, the thing that Kerry and I share is our dedication to the band, and Jeff’s included in that. It’s the same with Gary. He’s been doing this a long time and he’s had the same commitment. It’s a common bond we share with a lot of musicians out there. I’m really excited about the new album, we’ve put a lot of work into it, Kerry especially, and it was all for Slayer.”

Repentless is loaded with sensational songs, from the hyper-aggressive metallic blasts of the title track, “Take Control”, “Implode” and “Atrocity Vendor” to the ferocious thrash pounding of “Vices” “When The Stillness Comes” and “Pride In Prejudice” the album is Slayer through and through. For Paul Bostaph it’s simple: “The songs are awesome.”  Tom puts it bluntly, “This is definitely Slayer. No one will be disappointed with what we’ve done.” 

For Kerry King, the feeling is mutual. “Musically for me – it’s certainly not an “I told ya so” because Jeff’s not a part of it – but I do know that a lot of people assumed Slayer’s not going to be functional with Dave not being here and Jeff never being here again. But we did it and it fuckin’ sounds like Slayer – period.” 

Slayer's place in music history is secure as one of The Big Four (alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax): they helped define the thrash-metal genre. With Repentless Kerry, Tom, Paul and Gary affirm that Slayer is unstoppable. Slayer continues fearlessly, aggressively and without contrition; and most importantly, fucking Slayer still rules! 

Bio: Lamb Of God

For all its depth, diversity and cross-pollinated ambition, modern metal needs its figureheads, its heroes and its leaders. Lamb of God have been blazing mercilessly away at the forefront of heavy music for the last 15 years, upholding metal’s intrinsic values of honesty, intensity and creativity while also daring to push boundaries and think outside the heavy box. Exploding into view with 2000’s seminal debut New American Gospel, the Virginian quintet inadvertently kick-started the so-called New Wave Of American Metal at the dawn of the 21st century; and have notched up a succession of huge commercial hit albums and remorselessly toured the globe ever since. The combination of vocalist Randy Blythe’s excoriating growls and roars, guitarists Willie Adler and Mark Morton’s precision attack and the bowel-shattering rumble of rhythm section John Campbell (bass) and Chris Adler (drums) has both refined and redefined the notion of aggressive metal in the modern era.

From the raw savagery of 2003’s As The Palaces Burn and its immaculate follow-up Ashes Of The Wake in 2004 to the widescreen pomp and melodic intricacy of Sacrament in 2006, the band’s rise to glory was steady and unstoppable. By the time they released their #2 US Billboard-charting album Wrath in 2009, Lamb of God were simply one of the biggest metal bands on the planet, with a vast army of fans worldwide and a formidable reputation for delivering the goods on stage, with countless headlining tours and festival appearances contributing to their status as standard bearers for heavy music. 2012’s Resolution album marked a startling evolution in the band’s sound, displaying laudable levels of experimental fervor and sonic breadth. It built upon the successes of previous years by smashing into the US Billboard charts at #3 and looked to usher in a new era of acclaim and achievement.

Of course, what happened next is well documented. Vocalist Randy Blythe’s trials and tribulations in the Czech Republic - wherein he stood accused of causing intentional bodily harm to a fan at an LOG show in Prague in 2010 and faced a lengthy prison sentence - momentarily threatened both his freedom and the future of his band. Eventually acquitted on all charges, Randy has spoken at length on his experiences and while it would be inaccurate to state that the new Lamb of God album – VII: Sturm Und Drang – represents the story of those dark days, it undoubtedly had a huge impact on the lyrical direction that he took this time round.

“There’s no way around it, my trip to the gated community in Europe was the starting point for writing this record,” he states. “I wrote the opening track, Still Echoes, almost in its entirety. You’re familiar with the Misfits song London Dungeon, which is about when they got arrested? Well, I’m a huge Misfits fan so I thought I might as well write my own London Dungeon, except for it’s not in London. I also wrote parts of the song 512 while I was there, so I had those two things. But writing in there was an act of preservation for my morale, I suppose. Being creative, whenever I’m going through something rough and I don’t have anything else to turn to, I pick up the pen…”

With such a dramatic entry point for the writing process for Lamb of God’s seventh album, this was never going to be an upbeat affair. Inspired by those initial lyrical ideas, Randy Blythe and guitarist Mark Morton have conjured a collection of dark and menacing but ultimately inspirational lyrics for VII: Sturm Und Drang, an album that deals with extreme real life circumstances and mankind’s ability to weather the most brutal storms in the ongoing quest for peace and happiness.

“It’s a record about how people handle extreme situations,” says Randy. “The literal translation is ‘Storm And Stress’ – it sums up everything on the record, it really does, perfectly. Obviously it started with me being in prison, but this isn’t my prison album. The song 512 is asking ‘How am I handling this?’ Anyone who’s been locked up will probably understand what I’m trying to say. It’s about the brutal psychic shift you undergo when you become incarcerated, because it’s not a normal situation at all. People in prison think and act 100% differently from people on the outside. It’s a different world.”

Reflecting this overall theme, VII: Sturm Und Drang features several songs that arose from Randy’s fascination with digging deeper into the horrors of history, the strength of humanity and our never-ending battle against oppressive, dishonest regimes. Closing track Torches was inspired by the story of Jan Palach, a Czech man that set himself alight in Wenceslas Square in protest against the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia. The furious Engage The Fear Machine deals with the manipulation of mass media to control the masses, using scare tactics and outright lies to spread fear and paranoia, as with the recent worldwide Ebola scare and its exploitation by unscrupulous broadcasters. Meanwhile, the hair-raising brutality of Anthropoid was inspired by the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the ‘Butcher Of Prague’ and architect of the Nazis’ final solution, in 1942. His assassins were “ratted out” and found themselves holed up in a local church crypt, with 800 Nazi stormtroopers out for their blood.

“They held the Nazis off for eight hours,” Randy explains. “These guys fought ‘em until they ran out of bullets and then they killed themselves so they wouldn’t be taken prisoner. So you can go into that crypt in Prague, and I did, and you can see where these guys were trying to dig through the wall into the sewer. It’s extremely heavy. These were superior men. That’s about as high level as you can get, in terms of character and doing the right thing. Situations don’t get much more extreme than that.”

To match the jarring intensity of the lyrics, the music on Lamb of God’s seventh album had to be both powerful and emotionally shrewd. In keeping with their previous works, VII: Sturm und Drang contains all the cherished LOG trademarks, but as with its predecessor Resolution, this is not a record that sits comfortably within a cozy formula. Instead, from the flailing muscularity of Erase This to the startling melodic vocals and surging crescendos of Overlord, from the skull-rattling grooves of Still Echoes to Embers’ heart-rending mixture of fragility and grandeur, this is both a consolidation of the values that Lamb of God have long upheld /and/ a bold leap into fresh territory that once again heralds the expansion of this band’s unique vision. With guest appearances from Deftones’ frontman Chino Moreno (on Embers) and Greg Puciato from The Dillinger Escape Plan (on monumental album closer Torches), VII: Sturm und Drang is a cohesive, focused and emotionally devastating piece of work.

“The last few years were definitely a unique period for us and one that doesn’t compare to anything we’ve gone through before,” states Mark Morton. “But for me, the writing process hasn’t changed. I just play the guitar and when something cool comes up and it’s relevant and appropriate to Lamb of God, I’ll document it and get it catalogued for future use. The difference this time was that me and Willie (Adler, LOG guitarist) collaborated a lot more than ever before. It grew from bits and pieces that me and Willie both brought in and we melded them into songs, with great results.”

“We set out to try and make a 10-song record,” Randy notes. “The concept of the album is getting lost nowadays, and one reason I think is that every fucking record is 18 songs long now. Albums used to really just be moments in time and they defined where the band was at that moment. Now I think there’s a lot of overwriting… this concept of more is better, and I think that’s nonsense. So we decided on ten songs, that’s it. Josh really encouraged Mark and Willie, those two write the tunes, instead of bringing in complete compositions on their own – and we’ve done that a lot in the past on records – and he got them to work together more. That happened quite a bit with this album and I think it made it much more cohesive and a stronger record as a result.”

Having lived through times that would have stopped most bands in their tracks, Lamb of God are back in 2015 with a renewed sense of purpose and a fresh perspective. They will embark on a full European Festival tour in the Summer of 2015, and then the Summer’s Last Stand Tour across North America, as direct support for Slipknot, and also featuring Bullet For My Valentine, and Motionless In White. Lamb of God are ready to roll.

 

"It’ll be cool to get out and tour the world and play this new stuff for the fans”, says Randy.  "As always, I’ll try to see things I haven’t seen before, get out and do some photography and writing as well." 

 

“I’m really lucky to still be doing this with these guys and tour around the world,” Mark concludes. “That’s an honor and it’s one I don’t take for granted. It’s great to be part of something that’s as cool as Lamb Of God.”

Dom Lawson, June 2015

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