The odd bit of sludge, doom and stoner metal aside, I have not been listening to metal so much lately, but I'm glad that for awhile, while I was catching up with the metal I ignored in the 1990's, I got to appreciate the intensity of Slayer. Reign in Blood truly is a magnificent piece of thrash, surely one of the most essential albums in metal history. I even got to see them live a couple of years ago at Rogers Arena; alas, Jeff Hanneman - who died today of liver failure - was absent from the band even then, sidelined with flesh eating disease. They sounded great, but, with Tom Araya being prevented from headbanging (or even moving around much) due to a recent surgery, Dave Lombardo pretty much out of sight behind his drumkit, and a replacement guitarist filling in for Hanneman, it was really down to Kerry King to make the energy of the band manifest - though he delivered in spades. And the show sounded great, even if the low-frequency assault from the amps actually made me kind of queasy...
Anyhow, RIP Jeff Hanneman! 49 is way too young to go. Out of respect for Slayer, here are a few (slightly tidied) text messages I sent myself during the show, as notes for a piece I never ended up writing, along with some bad cellphone photos!
(Yeah, well - I wouldn't have used the phrase "the forbidden recesses of the Dionysian" in the final piece; these WERE notes meant only for myself, after all, that I just stumbled across now, looking for these photos. Plus, um, I'd probably had a little to smoke that night...).
My respects again to Jeff Hanneman!