Tonight Slayer kicked off the first date of their 7 date UK tour with a show at Newport, Centre a venue which is a leisure centre and swimming pool by day and a music venue by night a handful of times throughout the year however tonight I felt that the venue wasn’t prepared fully for the show as Slayer brought Anthrax and Kvelertak out to support them tonight which happened to be one of the hardest hitting triple threat metal bills the UK has seen in some time and the Newport Centre thought it would be a good idea to keep all the seats in the venue and have minimal standing floor space which catered for a maximum of 500 people within the 2000 capacity venue and anyone that has seen Slayer before knows how crazy the pit is throughout a Slayer show.
Norwegian punk rockers Kvelertak opened proceedings up tonight and they got off to a get start with frontman Erlend Hjelvik taking to the stage with a massive owl hat on his head and stood in front of his microphone without making a movement for a solid couple of minutes as the rest of the band went all out with a massive instrumental jamming sessions with Erlend Hjelvik walking towards the drum kit to remove his owl hat before unleashing his hectic ways storming the stage, screaming his bollocks off and staring into the crowd in a menacing way.
Kvelertak had 30minutes to make their mark and they wasted no time at all as the band heavily jammed out as Erlend Hjelvik laid down his harsh sounding vocals with guitarist Maciek Ofstad laying down the more clean cut vocals as the band worked together to unleash their Cancer Bats influenced punk-metal-rock sounds with various Norwegian lyrics smashing out of the speakers.
It has been a little while since Kvelertak have played live in the UK and it was great to see them get some massive exposure through the likes of supporting Slayer and Anthrax across the UK and during days off from the tour they have also managed to slot in their own headline shows at towns and cities across the country which the Slayer tour does not hit so if you get the chance check them out as they were on top from during their short set tonight and I am sure more mayhem will be unleashed throughout their own headline shows.
After a short ten minute change around the lights dimmed and thrash rock legends Anthrax took to the stage and played a solid set which myself and many fans did not want to come to an end as like always Anthrax were on top form tonight with Scott Ian and Jonathon Donais going all out with their fast paced riffs and frontman Joey Belladonna being the final member of the band to take to the stage who preceded to run back and forth unleashing pure energy for the whole hour of the bands set which was truly impressive for a 55 year old rocker.
Anthrax had the whole venue going crazy with the people on the floor jumping up and down chanting along whilst the rest of the venue stood highly out of their seats and filling the stairs in the venue which I’m sure went against all the health and safety rules the venues holds but then again if you are going to leave the seats in at a Slayer and Anthrax gig then this has to be expected.
Anthrax managed to blast their way through 11 tracks throughout their sets which featured the likes of ‘Caught In A Mosh’, ‘Got The Time’, ‘Madhouse’, ’Evil Twin’, ‘Fight Em Til You Can’t’, ‘March Of The S.O.D’, ‘In The End’, ‘Among The Living’ but it was the punk sounding ‘Antisocial’ which went down the best tonight and also their touching tribute to fallen rock stars Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell with massive images of both being featured on stage for a short period of time which was met with massive applause.
After a 20minute wait the stage was set up for the mighty Slayer and a white certain was hanging in front of the stage waiting for Slayer’s grand entrance and moments later the lights dimmed as ‘Delusions Of Saviour’ played out on the speakers and upside down crosses and the Slayer logo started to get projected onto the curtain spinning around and moments later the curtain dropped and Slayer smashed straight into the title track from their latest album ‘Repentless’ and for the next hour and a half Slayer unleashed the metal as they solidly treated the sold out venue to 20 songs which spanned through their whole back catalogue.
As mentioned above tonight was the opening date of the UK leg of the ‘Repentless’ world tour a tour and album which happens to be so important to Slayer with ‘Repentless’ being the first album Slayer have released without founding member Jeff Hanneman who sadly passed away in 2013 and the tour seeing Exodus guitarist Gary Holt becoming a permanent fixture in Slayer and fitting in so well within the band and going down just as well with the fans.
The energy that Slayer produced tonight was insane and for me eyes were on Kerry King for the majority of the show as I was truly mesmerised with his immense guitar playing which was ever so fast and technical throughout yet Kerry King made it look so simple which I can ensure you it’s not.
Half way through the show Tom Araya did a little speech about the tragedy which happened in Paris a few weeks ago and got everyone to pay their respects to all the victims and at the same time he praised the security for working their butts off and keeping everyone safe tonight especially considering there was a couple of crowd surfers nearly every minute.
Through their well thought out set Slayer played many fan favourites such as ‘Postmortem’, ‘Hate Worldwide’, ‘Disciple’, ‘God send Death’, ‘War Ensemble’, ‘When The Stillness Comes’, ‘Vices’, ‘Mandatory Suicide’, ‘Chemical Warfare’, ‘Die By The Sword’, ‘Black Magic’, ‘Implode’, ‘Seasons In The Abyss’, ‘Hell Awaits’, ‘World Painted Blood’, ‘Raining Blood’ and set closer ‘Angel Of Death’.
The great thing about a Slayer gig is that they come out and unleash heavy songs back to back for the duration of their set and don’t waste time with encores and instead their music comes to an abrupt end and then they spend a good 5minutes thanking their fans, throwing drums sticks and plectrums and wishing their fans a safe journey home which was a perfect end to such a solid gig.
Kvelertak warmed the crowd up nicely, Anthrax sped things up with their thrashy punk style and Slayer came and delivered with a lengthy raw and rifftastic set and if any of these return to the UK in the near future I will be at the show in a flash.
Review By Trigger