Slayer, Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament + Napalm Death Are an Epic Mix – Tour Review

2018-08-10

Review and photos by Anne Erickson

Review + photos: Slayer, Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament and Napalm Death serve up an epic night of metal

When Slayer announced their retirement and farewell world tour the beginning of this year, metal fans around the world jumped at the chance to see the heavy metal icons one final time. As if Slayer’s big farewell wasn’t enough, the tour also boasted an iconic lineup of bands, including Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament and Napalm Death, making it more of a touring metal festival than a regular tour.

The tour rolled through the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids on Tuesday (Aug. 7), bringing hours of thrashing to the venue. Approaching the venue, it was obvious excitement was high for this show, as thousands of black T-shirt-wearing metal fans poured into the roughly 13,000-seat venue ready to get their metal on.

Napalm Death began the night’s festivities at 5 p.m., with the arena already filling up at this early time. Frontman Barney Greenway and the crew served up a brutal set that proved why these guys are extreme-metal legends.

Following Napalm Death, Testament took the stage, armed with the veteran power of frontman Chuck Billy and the band members. The group’s set featured a mix of songs from their entire catalog, which spans more than 30 years.

New York thrash titans Anthrax took the stage next, with Joey Belladonna, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian and Jon Donais really getting the crowd pumped. The group thrashed along with many Anthrax classics, as well as one track off their latest album, “For All Kings.”

Lamb of God was next, setting off their set with “Omerta” off 2004’s “Ashes of the Wake.” Frontman Randy Blythe was in top forming, running and jumping across the stage and head-banging with his lengthy dreads as the set progressed. By the end of their set, the pit was filled with excited fans.

Around 9:20 p.m., the iconic Slayer took the stage to say farewell to their loyal West Michigan fans. The guys didn’t hold back at all on this tour, and that’s in regard to both their onstage performance and massive pyro-packed stage. As the curtain dropped, Slayer jetted on the stage performing the title track off their latest album, “Repentless.” Backed by a sea of bright flames and glowing backdrops that kept altering throughout the performance, there was always something enticing to find on every corner of the stage. Frontman Tom Araya sounded as strong and solid as ever, as did Kerry King, Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph. As song after song passed, from “Payback” to “War Ensemble,” the crowd got more and more amped. If Slayer is saying farewell for good, they’re absolutely doing it the right way and going out on top.

Slayer’s Tom Araya by Anne Erickson

Slayer’s Kerry King by Anne Erickson

Slayer’s Gary Holt by Anne Erickson

Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe by Anne Erickson

Lamb of God’s John Campbell by Anne Erickson

Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna by Anne Erickson

Anthrax’s Scott Ian by Anne Erickson

Anthrax’s Charlie Benante by Anne Erickson

Anthrax’s Frank Bello by Anne Erickson

Testament’s Chuck Billy by Anne Erickson

Testament’s Gene Hoglan by Anne Erickson

Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway Napalm Death’s Shane Embury

Napalm Death’s Shane Embury by Anne Erickson

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