by Anthony V. Fraccalvieri
photo by Martin Jausller
Winding down their final lap of the world as the leading name in thrash, Slayer have four decades at the forefront of metal to look back on. Their genre-defining breakthrough Reign In Blood has sold more than five million copies worldwide, and was named “heaviest album of all time” by Kerrang! Twelve studio albums, two live LPs, a box set, and countless performances in every corner of the planet have solidified the band’s place in the “big four” alongside contemporaries Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Such a prolific run always has its twists and turns, though, and Slayer have certainly endured their share over the years — from the tragic loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 2013 to the departure of founding drummer Dave Lombardo to lawsuits blaming their content for violent actions. All the while, the punishing Slayer machine rolls on with Paul Bostaph and Exodus’ Gary Holt on drums and guitar, respectively.