Gig Review

Photo Of Trivium © Copyright Scott ColeThe Unholy Alliance Tour
Slayer, Trivium
Cardiff, CIA
2nd November 2008

Slayer                     Trivium
The Unholy Alliance (Chapter III) tour has been winging it's way around Britain for the last week, and now it's Wales' chance to thrash to the kings

Anyway, after a late start (access woes) we arrive 'mid Mastodon', and I'm greeted with what looks like a giant horror stags head on stage (don't worry, no animals were harmed during the show). Welcome to the world of thrash metal!

The crowd seemed fairly subdued for Mastodon, but judging by the number of Slayer tee's about I guess the crowd were just paying them their dues. There didn't even seem to be the inner circle of hard core 'I'll bang my head to anything loud and scary' brigade but a real mix of oldies and youngsters alike.

Photo Of Trivium © Copyright Scott ColeNext up were Trivium (cue the second scary horror animal backdrop!) Now I'll put my hand up and say in all honesty I'm not a big fan of metal, but I went in with an open minded reviewers head on. And Trivium literally blew me away! Oh yes I was so nearly tempted over to the dark side. Their entrance was pretty spectacular... a blood red stage with blinding white strobe lighting embracing Travis' elevated drum kit. Then the rest of the band literally bounded on stage in a huge ball of energy!

The first thing that really stuck in my mind was the quality of the drumming. It quite literally reverberated to your core. My heart was beating of it's own accord anymore, but was totally in synch with the drummers foot pedals. Matt Heafy is a true performer too. Bearing in mind the lukewarm reaction Mastodon got, it was good to see the Slayer faithful warming to these guys. He's got an amazing stage presence, and his vocal range is pretty wide, able to switch from a scream to a melodic whisper in the blink of an eye. And I'm giving Trivium 4 stars for the quote of the night... "If you're not moving, you're not fucking metal". Classic!

Photo Of Slayer © Copyright Scott ColeBut the lure of a life wearing tight jeans and cut down gore tee's is brutally whisked away from me by over zealous security who are sticking rigidly to the 'three songs and out' rule. Trivium, if you ever decide you want to perform a human sacrifice I've got a bunch of people I can put you in touch with. So we waited patiently in the foyer (I know, it's not very rock and roll is it) until Trivium had screamed the death throes of their set and we were allowed back in to catch Slayer.

My first surprise was the distinct lack of beasts as a backdrop. Their set was more understated (apart from two giant upside down crosses cleverly put together with Marshall's!). Before the band came on there was a huge white curtain at the front of stage which kind of built up the tension and I'm sure increased the number of 'Slayer' chants. The crowd were like kids at Christmas, being held back from opening the big big present in the corner. I'm sure a couple of them were foaming at the mouth!

Photo Of Slayer © Copyright Scott ColeLights down... I'm happy to report there was another smattering of teen horror effects, this time with twirling Stars of David along the curtain! Then it dropped to reveal Slayer in their full 'kings of metal' glory. What struck me most about Slayer is just how slick as an act they are. No gimmicks, no severed heads, no goats on sticks... just a wall of sound which they seem to slice through effortlessly. This is plain and simple metal, and they well deserve their place at the top.

Kerry King is a mesmerising presence on stage. Watching him play was truly stunning. But if you ever find yourself up against him in a Guitar Hero dual just admit defeat... you're not going to beat him. make no mistake, this guy's the real deal.

But again we were cut short, this time not even making it to three songs. I think the lovely boys and girls running security at the CIA didn't realise that stands for Cardiff International Arena, not Central Intelligence Agency. Not only could they not count, they were overzealous, and at sometimes downright brutal... it's not normally necessary to escort crowd surfers out of the pit in a headlock is it?

So, a short and simple review. Trivium rock, and Slayer are Slayer.

Slayer 4/5
Trivium 4/5

Review By Allie Brock
Photos By Scott Cole


Tom Araya (Bass, Vocals)
Jeff Hanneman (Guitar)
Kerry King (Guitar)
Dave Lombardo (Drums)


Matt Heafy (vocals, guitar)
Travis Smith (drums, percussion)
Corey Beaulieu (guitar, backing vocals)
Paolo Gregoletto (bass, backing vocals)

 Band Related Links
Slayer Myspace
Trivium Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?