When: Feb. 19-20, 7:30 p.m. 2016
Last year’s Repentless (Nuclear Blast) is the first Slayer album since 2009’s World Painted Blood, and its mixed reception is tempered by gratitude that it exists at all. Founding members Kerry King and Tom Araya held the band’s fate in limbo after the terrible year of 2013, when drummer Dave Lombardo left (again) and guitarist Jeff Hanneman died of liver failure due to cirrhosis. (Hanneman had already been sidelined by necrotizing fasciitis, which was possibly caused by a spider bite, and which, frankly, I’m surprised has not already become a Slayer song title.) Repentless isn’t terrible by any stretch—it plays like a faithful grab bag of hallmark Slayer licks and tricks. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt fills in on second guitar, but King carries most of the weight here, and the album spends a lot of time in an effective but conservative (for them) zone. Though it rarely catches fire, it does still generate enough heat and light to fuel Slayer for now.
Price: sold out