Slayer Destroys Youngstown On Their Farewell Tour
May 21st, 2019
On a chilly Monday in May, the almighty purveyors of evil, Slayer,visited Youngstown's Covelli Centre for what appears to be their only Ohio appearance on this leg of their massive multi-year spanning Farewell Tour. Bringing several other outfits to help them say goodbye, it was a virtual feast for the ears, at least those of us who were prescient enough to bring along some decent hearing protection. To say the least, it was a loud evening of thrash metal.
Starting off the night's festivities were Cannibal Corpse, led by frontman George Corpsegrinder. The singer, who looks more like a wrestler from The WWE than a vocalist, led the band as they pummeled through a six-song set that warmed up the crowd with tracks like "Scourge of Irons" and "Stripped, Raped and Strangled" with the finesse of a chainsaw cutting through bone and flesh. Their, um, lively set ended with a killer version of "Hammer Smashed Face."
Next up were the Swedish Viking metal band Amon Amarth. They were well-received by the crowd, as it seems their popularity grows with each new album release and subsequent tour. The audience was treated to back-to-back songs off their newly released Berserker drop, "Crack the Skye" and "Mjolner, Hammer of Thor." Throughout the set, Johan Hegg looked as if he was enjoying himself as much as (if not more than) the crowd. Their set ended with "Guardians of Asgaard," as if preparing the crowd for battle.
Playing right before Slayer is no easy task, but Richmond Virginia's Lamb of God were up to the task. Front man Randy Blythe led an energetic set racing through the outfit's brand of American metal. LOG ripped through killer tracks "Walk With Me In Hell" and "Now You've Got Something to Die For," then wrapping things up with their classic "Redneck." LOG more than held their own getting the fans ready for the headliners.
If you've ever been to a Slayer show, you know what you're in for. Rabid fans of all ages screaming "SLAYER!!" at the top of their lungs until the curtain drops and, subsequently, your organs are rattled for over an hour and a half of brutal thrash metal.
Opening with "Repentless," the band looked and sounded refreshed since their other area appearance last summer at Blossom Music Center. Changing the setlist up a bit since then, the band broke out "Gemini," a rarity in years past. With each song Tom Araya gazed out over the crowd, like a predator seeking out his next victim, while Kerry King and Gary Holt traded off lead after lead with the precision that few shredders can match.
Finishing the night off with "Angel of Death," there was a sincere feeling of melancholy as the collective gathered there realized this is the end of Slayers's career as a band.
Araya and company set the standard for thrash metal with virtually no commercial support. As often said but never truly meant, in this case it's true: There will never be another band like them.
All hail Slayer and R.I.P. Jeff.
Photos and Review by John Faddis