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Slayer/ Suicidal Tendencies/ Exodus

Date: 11/29/14
Venue: Wellmont Theater, Montclair, New Jersey
Report By: Rich Catino

With only thirty minutes, Steve Souza back behind the mic, and a new album out “Blood In Blood Out”, Exodus came for blood. Steve back singing feels right again, this is Exodus. Nothing against Dukes, who sang on three albums, but his tone and live delivery are better suited for a hardcore band. Steve’s voice has more personality, less yelling or barking. Two from the new album, ‘Black 13’ and the title track of the album opened their set, with Holt and Lee Altus razor sharp riffs, Jack Gibson’s bass and Hunting’s pounding drums generating maximum aggression to ignite mosh pit after mosh pit. ‘Blacklist’ slows down the tempo, but no less heavy on the hammer. ‘Toxic Waltz’ is a fun classic, and the one-two punch of “Bonded By Blood” title track and ‘Strike of the Beast’ left the crowd salivating, and bleeding, for more. Looking forward to Exodus returning to do a full headline set soon.

Suicidal Tendencies haven’t been the most active within the past twenty years, on again off again since the late 90s, back touring since 2005, releasing a new album “13” in 2013. Suicidal the breakthrough crossover band from the 80s, a merging of skater hardcore with thrash, depending on the album, and/or song. Their set seemed pretty consistent for this tour supporting Slayer, with one or two rotating. The focus mostly on their first four albums and the teenage angst fueled skater tunes; the self titled (‘I Saw Your Mommy’, ‘Subliminal’), “Join The Army” (‘War Inside My Head’, ‘Possessed to Skate’), ‘Pledge You Allegiance’ off “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow”, and ‘You Can't Bring Me Down’ representing “Lights...Camera...Revolution!”. ‘Cyco Vision’ and ‘Freedumb’ from the late 90s album of the latter’s same name. A good set geared to the pit but a bit one dimensional. A little less banter in between songs from singer Mike Muir, and could have used maybe two different ones for variety, like the funky bass driven ‘Send Me Your Money’, or ‘Nobody Hears” from what I think is their best more ambitious album “The Art of Rebellion”. Ton of energy from the band, Muir kept up with the tempo of every song and did not stop moving, one of the hardest people to photograph. He makes Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) look like he’s standing still.

Slayer did a similar, but different set from last year in NYC. A few of the 80s classics have been swapped for four from the latest album “World Painted Blood”, really? The title track too reminiscent of the dribble on “Diabolus in Musica”, and ‘Psychopathy Red’ and ‘Snuff’ especially are so redundant. One or two from “Christ Illusion”, or “Divine Intervention” are better choices. Elsewhere, as the stage was mostly bathed with blood reds, ‘Die by the Sword’, ‘Chemical Warfare’, ‘War Ensemble’, ‘Mandatory Suicide’, ‘Necrophiliac’, and ‘Spill the Blood’, provide nice variety in riffing and tempo. Speaking of, too bad Slayer don’t write anymore more like ‘At Dawn They Sleep’ and a couple others from “Hell Awaits”, or “Haunting the Chapel”. If so, songs could be more creative, less predictable in arrangement and delivery. Tom Araya still rockin the grey beard, as with Gary Holt who continues to be the replacement for the late Jeff Hanneman, trading off on the trademark evil riffs and leads with Kerry King, with Paul Bostaph back behind the kit, again. After hearing the new song ‘Implode’ (talk about lacking creativity), my interest in hearing the new album is very low, about as low to the ground as the muddy guitar tone and mix. It the album is anything like this I’m passing on the next tour.

Black 13
Blood In, Blood Out
The Toxic Waltz
Bonded by Blood
Strike of the Beast

Suicidal Tendencies:
You Can't Bring Me Down
War Inside My Head
Possessed to Skate
I Saw Your Mommy
Cyco Vision
Pledge Your Allegiance

Slayer setlist:
World Painted Blood
Hate Worldwide
Die by the Sword
Chemical Warfare
War Ensemble
Mandatory Suicide
Spill the Blood
Hell Awaits
At Dawn They Sleep
Altar of Sacrifice
Jesus Saves
Seasons in the Abyss
Dead Skin Mask
Raining Blood
Psychopathy Red
South of Heaven
Angel of Death

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