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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Intense Slayer at Shrine Hall

You know Slayer even if you’ve never heard of them--the favorite band of patricidal teen-agers, the speed-metal band whose music--or a facsimile thereof--has replaced spooky organ in four out of five new horror movies. Slayer is kind of a cult band, but its newest album broke into the Top 10.

Sunday, through a two-block security gantlet, frisked with a metal detector and then patted down, past a dozen Winchells’ worth of scowling motorcycle cops, there you were, a sold-out night with Slayer at Shrine Exposition Hall, a yawning venue that can lend even a mediocre hard-rock band an air of Leni Riefenstahl, but pushes Slayer way over into Gustave Dore’s line illustrations of hell.

Even with a minimal stage show--a dozen or so throbbing spotlights and an orangey effect that looks like electric-stove elements flashing on and off--a Slayer concert is among the most intense spectacles in rock ‘n’ roll, and even when the band is a bit flat, as it was Sunday, you can almost taste the hatred in the air.

With one ultra-speed song flowing into another, a Slayer set used to resemble something like a single, hourlong A-minor chord. This time there were spaces between songs, clean, quick gothic-minor guitar solos, articulated bass riffs, whinnies, modal arpeggios that arched through the close, fetid air.

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