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O2 Academy, Glasgow
Wednesday 25th November 2015

Johnny Main. Photos by Rob Fenn

johnny main


This had to be one of the most anticipated tours of the year - two of the "Big 4" of Thrash touring together - a dream line up for any fans of the heavier side of Metal.

The anticipation during the build up to the tour was huge with many of the half dozen venues selling out quickly - but with no dates added on, those who weren't quick enough certainly missed out on a landmark gig.

As I left the pub and headed up towards the Academy, the queue outside was still sizeable despite the opening act Kvelertak still being on stage. As we entered the main hall, the place was absolute madness already with huge queues at the bar and the merchandise stall.

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It didn't take long to settle in and as Anthrax came on, the lower section of the venue was literally packed as more and more people tried to jam in and the atmosphere was electric.

As the house lights went down, the roar from the expectant crowd was enormous and as the band took to the stage it just seemed to get louder and louder.

The band have a new album, 'For All Kings' scheduled for release on Nuclear Blast in February, and we were treated to one track from that - the band’s new single, 'Evil Twin'.

"This may be presumptuous" explained founding member and guitarist Scott Ian, "but it might make you shit your pants!" New it may be but enough people have heard it already that they were singing along and front man Joey Belladonna loved the fact that it seems to be a popular number already.

The band also included a couple of numbers from their 2011 album 'Worship Music' in the form of 'Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't' and the lesser known 'In the End' but the audience wanted to hear the old classics and they weren't disappointed.


'Got The Time' really set the pace before 'Madhouse' (predictably) has the Academy going absolutely crazy with two circle pits going at the same time. Belladonna encouraged the audience to sing up during the intro to 'Antisocial' and they didn't need asking twice getting louder and louder until the guitars from Ian and Jonathan Donais finally kicked in.

The band have been on tour for a while now and they're an incredibly tight group. Even though regular drummer Charlie Benante has had to sit out the tour after developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, his replacement, ex-Slayer and Testament sticks man Jon Dette was more than up for the task providing a solid beat throughout the band’s set.

A double blast of 'Indians' and 'Among The Living' brought the Anthrax show to an end, but what an end it was. The longer they played, the more wild the crowd seemed to get and as the band finally left the stage, I genuinely thought they'd get an encore due to the amount of noise from the audience but alas this didn't happen.

This set was a chance for the band to roll out some old favourites as well as showcasing some of their new tracks and it showed that the band are still very capable of giving lively entertaining performance so here's hoping they return soon for a headlining show of their own.

Anthrax Set List:
Caught in a Mosh
Got the Time
Evil Twin
Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't
March of the S.O.D.
In The End
Among the Living

Anthrax are:
Joey Belladonna – Lead Vocals
Jonathan Donais – Lead Guitar
Scott Ian – Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals
Frank Bello – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Jon Dette – Drums

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This night for me was always going to be about Slayer - with their first post-Hanneman album, 'Repentless' hitting shelves recently, they band were eager to promote it as much as possible.

Compared to the crush we'd endured throughout the Anthrax set, the Slayer set seemed a bit less busy - did a lot of people really leave after Anthrax? It certainly seemed like it.

Slayer kicked off their show in fine style with a curtain drop (something of a rarity in The Academy) after the build up from 'Delusions of Saviour' they blasted straight into the new album’s title track.


One thing I had noticed early on was the sheer volume of Slayer which was very much louder compared to Anthrax. The band treated us to another three tracks from their new album. 'When The Stillness' Comes' getting the loudest applause while 'Take Control' was, unusually for a new track, left towards the end of the set.

Throughout the set, guitarists Kerry King and Gary Holt swapped sides in between bouts of head banging with Holt's being particularly aggressive. Most fifty one year olds find it hard getting out of bad after a night on the lash so you have to wonder how Holt's neck was feeling the next day!

Front man Tom Araya didn't address the band until nearly half way through the set when he introduced 'War Ensemble' which is greeted with a huge ovation.


With large inverted crosses dangling from the ceiling, the band returned to the stage for the encore saving the best for last with a triple whammy of 'South of Heaven', 'Raining Blood' and the inevitable 'Angel of Death' bringing the curtain down on a solid paced and well performed set.

The new album may be average at best (much as it pains me to say that), but live the band still know how to pack a punch and deliver on all levels.

Slayer Set List:
Delusions of Saviour
Hate Worldwide
God Send Death
War Ensemble
When the Stillness Comes
Mandatory Suicide
Chemical Warfare
Die by the Sword
Black Magic
Seasons in the Abyss
Hell Awaits
Take Control
Dead Skin Mask
World Painted Blood
South of Heaven
Raining Blood
Angel of Death

Slayer are:
Tom Araya – Vocals/Bass Guitar
Kerry King – Guitar
Gary Holt – Guitar
Paul Bostaph – Drums

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Slayer photos ©Rob Fenn


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