It’s very rare that the death of someone I didn’t personally know affects me but this one has certainly rocked me to my core. As you may or may not know I am a member of the Slaytanic Wehrmact. I mean to the point where I honestly believe that Diabolus in Musica has a few decent songs on it. Yeah, one of those. I was certainly stunned and just sat in silence for a bit after hearing the news. There was a brief discussion about it on a New York Rangers message board I frequent where I discovered one of the other members had also been in the Roseland Ballroom in NYC in 1995 when Biohazard, Machine Head and Slayer played. This was a significant night to me as it was the first time that saw Slayer, but far from the last. When I got his response clarifying that we were indeed at the same show I teared up. Sort of wonder if he’s the dude who grabbed me by the collar and swung me around as we screamed the lyrics to South of Heaven in each other’s faces the whole time.
That’s one my main memories of Slayer, some random dude coming up and swinging me around and screaming in my face while I screamed in his only to never see him again. Also there were the countless times I saw them with good friends and more often than not my older brother who introduced me to the dark arts of metal. All the times Tom Araya didn’t bother with the second verse of War Ensemble, all the times he sped up the ending speech of Mandatory Suicide, all the times I said “Fucking Dead Skin Mask again?” warts and all I was never disappointed. I saw them a grand total of 15 times and even on the worst of nights I still had a blast. I know that he wasn’t coming back to the band anytime soon but it was nice to have some vague hope that one day I might see them again fully intact and I suppose that’s what hurts the most right now. The fact that I will never get to see a whole Slayer again. I’ll still get to scream, curse, drink, mosh and maybe even fight at plenty of shows, but Slayer were always my favorite soundtrack for it and I’ll never have that chance again.