It’s only been a year since thrash metal pioneers Slayer last played Nashville, but, after a more than 15 year gap before that, we certainly won’t say no to a return visit so soon. Set to hit Nashville Municipal Auditorium tonight, July 30 with Lamb of God and Behemoth, after a turn last time at War Memorial, Slayer are the latest “Big Four” metal act to hit Music City in recent years, and part of a great wave of national metal making their way more often to Nashville (of the titans of the scene, only Metallica have been skipping us for the better part of the last decade).
Still out in support of brutal 2015 12th album Repentless, the thrash legends are said to be working on new material, but, of course, are best known for their hugely influential career, which began in 1981, and catapulted them to national attention with 1986 third LP Reign in Blood. Still anchored by vocalist/bassist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King, the band’s combination of speed metal, thrash, and hardcore punk helped inspire an entire generation of new bands and influence subgenres in the labyrinthian metal scene, and their intense sound and dark thematic exploration has helped them maintain legendary status as an enduring institution of American heavy music.
Providing direct support, Richmond, VA’s Lamb of God are something of modern metal legends in their own right, having the distinction of having supported all of the Big Four in concert. Perhaps one of the most highly critically and commercially regarded groups of the new wave of American metal, which kicked off in the ’90s and really hit peak saturation in the ’00s, the group morphed from an early affinity for thrash and death metal into something more like groove metal, with influences from speed metal, hardcore, and and punk. Over 15 years and seven albums (eight, if you count their debut under their former name), the group have not only managed top 40 success, but also garnered numerous Grammy nominations, able to maintain legitimate, no-filler metal cred while finding broader appeal from the rock community.
Rounding out the bill, Behemoth formed more than 25 years ago in Poland, and played a seminal role in helping shape their country’s extreme metal underground. Currently working on a followup to their 2014 tenth album The Satanist, the band’s complex death and black metal stylings coupled with their boundary pushing focus on the occult and dark imagery has made them both a popular and controversial fixture in the European metal scene. All three of these acts are more than seasoned to bring the extreme, loud, head-banging goods, so grab your tickets here and be sure to show up early!
Slayer, Lamb of God, and Behemoth will perform tonight, July 30 at Nashville Municipal Auditorium. The show is all ages, begins at 7 p.m., and tickets are available to purchase for $32-56.50.