Gig Review and Photography by Lee Allen

Slayer

I think it says something about the appeal of tonight’s bands that at 5:30 on a wet Friday night, hundreds of bedraggled metal fans are queuing in the rain to get inside the Academy. Despite the delay for some people getting in due to the understandable increase in security, openers Kvelertak are still met with a loud cheer and a sizeable crowd. The Norwegians hammer through a set of their trademark gruff rock n roll tinged metal and are warmly received, but the sound man must have nipped out for a crafty fag as they sound bloody awful. One song sadly bleeds into another and even though the band bang their head like their lives depend on it, their set dragged for me.

Kvelertak

Kvelertak

Kvelertak

Kvelertak

In stark contrast, thrash legends Anthrax hit the stage running and never really stop for a breath. Scott Ian and bassist Frankie Bello whirl around the stage like a couple of dancing panzer tanks, while at 55 Joey Belladonna has still got a massive pair of lungs on him. Ripping through a set that covered all eras of the band’s career (We wont mention Sound of White Noise!!) including a little nod to S.O.D with a “cover” of  “March of the S.O.D.” I would have loved to hear to “I am the law” and “Bring the Noise”, but other than that the set was damn near perfect. It’s really lovely to see a band that have been playing so long having so much fun. Hopefully next year will see a headline tour.

Anthrax

Anthrax

Anthrax

Anthrax

Anthrax

Headliners Slayer need no introduction – they have been at the top of the thrash tree since 1981 and have courted controversy at every step of the way. Tonight they played a greatest hits set covering all 34 years. Whilst they sound amazing and Kerry King prowls the stage seemingly trying to out stare everyone in the building I can’t help be a little bored. After the fun blast of Anthrax, Slayer feel a tad samey and one song bleeds into another. Having said that – there is a lovely moment when frontman Tom Araya surveys the carnage he is causing and can’t help but break out a wry smile. For me Anthrax take tonight’s honours but Slayer will be back in the new year to headline Bloodstock Festival and will no doubt destroy Catton Park like they did the Academy.

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

See the full photoset here.

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