Vote thrash metal.
A storied band from that genre’s old school is wrapping its career with an extended final tour. Slayer stops in Salem on Tuesday, also known in the commonwealth as Election Day.
The band announced in July what it calls “The Final Campaign,” a sweep that begins Saturday, in Asheville, North Carolina. Salem Civic Center will be the third stop on a run that ends Nov. 30, at The Forum, in Los Angeles. The tour, which began in May 2018, has included such openers as Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse. This, the sixth leg, features Primus, Ministry and Pantera lead singer Phil Anselmo covering that band’s songs with his own act, The Illegals.
The California-based band, through a publicist, declined an interview request. There would be a lot to ask a band member, not just about Slayer’s 38-year history, but about some recent news tidbits. For example:
n Slayer was to join forces with Rick Ware Racing to sponsor the No. 54 Chevrolet, with NASCAR racer J.J. Yeley driving in its premiere cup series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. A car design image that Yeley tweeted looked pretty metal, for sure. But before the August race happened, the deal was off. Slayer wrote in a statement to Billboard magazine that “reportedly due to reactionary concerns from other long-time participating sponsors, Slayer has been pulled as the primary sponsor, and all Slayer signage has been removed from the car ...”
Yeley, driving a car christened with the PODS Moving and Storage logo, finished 28th.
n Pollstar.com reported last month that the band had sold more than $10 million in merchandise during its farewell tour.
“You’re not supposed to see Slayer shirts on Kardashians, or basketball players rocking Slayer T-shirts as they walk into the arena on TV. That wasn’t supposed to happen,” Ernie Gonzalez, a member of the band’s management team, told Pollstar. “If you said that 30 years ago, nobody could have fathomed that. The awesome thing is they never had to sacrifice any artistic integrity, never tried to tone themselves down to conform or meet the standards of what the music business feels is the best path to success.”
n The day after the Salem concert, the band will premiere “Slayer: The Relentless Killology,” as a one-night theatrical release at 1,500 theaters worldwide. The combination short narrative film and full concert footage won’t be playing in the valley. The closest showing will be in Greensboro, North Carolina, according to a location search at slayer.film. The short film is based on a trilogy of videos — “You Against You,” “Repentless” and “Pride in Prejudice” — shot for Slayer’s final studio album, the 2015 release “Repentless.”
After the one-off theater showing, the project will drop digitally and on Blu-ray, with the concert soundtrack released on both vinyl and CD, according to the band’s website. Go to this story at roanoke.com/entertainment/music to see a live concert video of “Repentless” and a trailer for the ultraviolent film.
While the bands’ crews are setting up, and even through Anselmo’s opening set, residents in the Conehurst, East Salem, Hidden Valley, North Salem 1 and South Salem 1 precincts will be voting at Salem Civic Center from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters use the civic center’s Community Room, and the venue has reserved a parking lot for them on that side of the building, with employees posted to give directions, according to civic center director Wendy Delano.
People coming to the concert must enter through the venue’s front doors, per the tour’s request, Delano wrote in an email exchange.
“We don’t expect there to be any problems, but even with best laid plans there will probably still be hiccups or someone who doesn’t agree with how things are set up,” she wrote.