By Samuel Stevens
Slayer with Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament
May 22nd 2018
Bell MTS Place
Although this show may have begun earlier than most shows tend to, the early start time didn’t prevent fans from filling the venue as the thrash metal band Testament hit the stage. Testament recently stated in an interview that this Slayer farewell tour is going to act as the band’s last run to support their 2016 released album, Brotherhood of the Snake, before starting work on their next full length album. Having a discography spanning 35 years, the band performed songs from throughout their catalogue including, “Brotherhood of the Snake“, “Practice What You Preach“, “Into The Pit“, and a few more.
Second to the stage was Behemoth, the blackened death metal band hailing out of Gdańsk, Poland. At first, it did not seem that vocalist and guitarist, Nergal, was very impressed by the energy given off the Winnipeg audience. But, as the show went on, the crowd became more and more energetic with each song. Behemoth started their set off strong with their songs, “Ov Fire and the Void”, “Demigod”, and “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer”, and ending their performance with, “O Father O Satan O Sun!”.
Following Behemoth was Slayer’s “Big Four” brethren, Anthrax. On the heels of the bands newly released two-hour live DVD, Kings Among Scotland, which was released last month on April 27th, Anthrax came to have another great time with the famously known Winnipeg crowd. Anthrax was just in Winnipeg this past February at the Burton Cummings Theatre with Killswitch Engage and Havok on the Killthrax Tour (which can be read about here).
Anthrax performed all their gems, starting off huge with “Caught in a Mosh“, which got the Winnipeg crowd riled up right off the bat. Some other songs performed were, “I Am The Law“, “Indians“, and the Joe Jackson cover, “Got the Time“. Before the band made their way off stage, they continued to get the Winnipeg audience to sing the Canadian national anthem, “O Canada“, just as they did the last time they were here in Winnipeg.
Second last to the stage was the heavy metal/metalcore band, Lamb of God. This is the band’s second time back to Winnipeg since the very unfortunate event in 2010 -resulting in the arrest and jail time of vocalist, Randy Blythe in Prague, Czech Republic in June 2012 which led to the band’s North American tour to be cancelled- It’s been two years since their performance at the Burton Cummings Theatre with Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity in June 2016. Lamb of God just released their brand new cover album, Legion: XX, just last Friday, May 18th. Legion: XX was released under their old moniker, “Burn The Priest” to mark the band’s twentieth anniversary. The band performed a variety of music from their catalogue with such songs as, “Omerta“, “Ruin“, “Walk With Me in Hell“, “512“, “Laid to Rest“, “Redneck“ and more. It’s no secret Lamb of God vocalist, Randy Blythe, is friends with Winnipeg’s own Chris Jericho. So a shout out from the band before, “Walk With Me in Hell“ made crystal clear sense occurring sometime during the band’s time on stage.
The final band of the night is definitely the one everyone came to see one final time in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. As a band for three years shy of four decades, being part of the thrash metal, “Big Four” along side Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax, and touring the globe countless times over the years, the band have come to terms to retire with one giant final world tour. “Slaaaaayer!” rang throughout Bell MTS Place as “Delusions of Savior” was played over tape. As soon as the curtain dropped, Slayer went right into the songs, “Repentless“, “Blood Red“, and “Disciple“. Performing a hefty nineteen song farewell set spanning their entire 37 year career, the fans were in for quite the treat. Slayer sure wanted to go out with a bang, assembling a powerful line up of bands for their final world tour and a hell of a set list to tie it all together. The band performed all the fan favourites including, “Hate Worldwide“, “War Ensemble“, “Black Magic“, “Seasons in the Abyss“, and ending the set incredibly strong with songs, “South of Heaven“, “Raining Blood“, “Chemical Warfare“, and the appropriately titled, “Angel of Death“.