Slayer Loto Quebec Stage, Montebello QC, June 20

Slayer Loto Quebec Stage, Montebello QC, June 20
Photo: Rick Clifford
Much of the recent discourse surrounding Slayer involves how they're not really Slayer anymore. The passing of guitarist Jeff Hanneman is absolutely tragic, but let's look at the facts: Tom Araya and Kerry King are still in the band, and current drummer Paul Bostaph has pretty well split the time with ex-drummer Dave Lombardo. Besides, at least the band replaced Hanneman with a member of the other best thrash metal band of all time: Exodus's Gary Holt.
Slayer is still Slayer enough to silence the naysayers. At Amnesia Rock Fest, problems didn't really have anything to do with the members or lack thereof. A thin mix rendered their opening song a write-off; fortunately, it was just "World Painted Blood."
By the time the sinister Slayer got their sound sorted and busted out the classics — "Mandatory Suicide," "Seasons in the Abyss," "War Ensemble," "God Hates Us All," "Dead Skin Mask," "Raining Blood" and "Angel of Death" were some of the choice cuts — it was a standard Slayer set, with all the good and bad that brings. Heads were banged, solos were shredded and drums were beaten into oblivion.
Unremarkable as it may have been — the band's full production and stage setup might have helped — it was still pretty cool seeing the thrash legends do their thing.