The first leg of Slayer’s North American tour is now in the history books. While we wait for the second leg of the tour to kick off on July 26 (followed by a slew of exciting shows in the UK and Europe starting in November), we thought we’d ask members of the four supporting acts on that first round of shows to recount the first time they ever saw Slayer perform.
This week we've heard from metal writer Chris Krovatin, Lamb Of God's Randy Blythe and Anthrax's Scott Ian. In today’s instalment, we hear from Behemoth frontman Nergal.
I think the first time I saw Slayer was when they were in Poland with System Of A Down. It was the late ‘90s, and they were supporting Diabolus in Musica.
When we were kids, a friend of mine was always ahead of me when it came to metal. He really liked thrash, and my barrier wasn’t pushed that far yet. And I remember he’d play me Raining Blood, and I was like, “Oh, man, that’s too much. I can’t take it, it’s just too extreme. It’s not even music, it’s chaos!” I must’ve been 8 or 9?
But then I got into Destruction, Kreator, and obviously Slayer. And I became a disciple. My first Slayer experience was with Show No Mercy or Live Undead (when they pretty much played Show No Mercy). Evil Has No Boundaries was one of the songs that got me hooked on Slayer. Everyone goes for Reign in Blood -- but for me it’s always Show No Mercy. That’s how Slayer deflowered me; the album that they used to rape that naive little kid.
Show No Mercy was uncompromising, it was crazy, it was fast. I remember I read this article in which someone compared Slayer to jazz, and back then Show No Mercy seemed very technical to me. In fact, it’s not a very technical record -- it’s pretty punk-y. It’s a very punk-y, hardcore thrash metal record.
But I also was very much attracted by the aesthetics of Slayer which has been all about occult and Satanic topics. That was something that made them also stand out. It was evil, it was captivating, it was very tempting in many ways. And I was raised Catholic and was still Catholic when I became a Slayer fan. I remember I managed to buy a Live Undead poster -- you know, with like, the zombie in the cemetery, fuckin’ like, gravedigging. It was fucking scary as shit! And I would put it right next to my face above my bed. And then I would pray to baby Jesus and reject that [evil] ideology, but at the same time I was drawn to it somehow.