The last time you went shopping for DVDs, you might have noticed an unmistakable empty space where Slayer titles should have been. The reason is simple – all of Slayer’s DVDs have been out of print. But rest easy Slayer fanatics, the wait will soon be over. On August 17, 2010, 2003’s “War at the Warfield” and 2004’s “Still Reigning” will be reissued, and, for the first time ever, 1995’s “Live Intrusion,” having been digitally remastered, will also be available on DVD. All three will be sold separately at retail and online ($13.98 each), and the Limited Edition “Slayer Live DVD 3-Pak” ($29.98), will be available exclusively on Slayer’s website, www.slayer.net
“I remember around ‘God Hates Us All,'” , said Slayer’s Kerry King, “asking when we were going to make a DVD of ‘Live Intrusion.’ So, here we are, ten years later, and it’s about time.”
Every one of the Slayer live-in-concert DVDs represents a different era of the band: “Live Intrusion” was recorded on March 12, 1995 at the Mesa Amphitheatre in Mesa, AZ, and features guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, bassist/vocalist Tom Araya, and drummer Paul Bostaph. The disc, which is certified Gold, includes some of the most classic Slayer songs such as “Raining Blood” and “War Ensemble,” but also some early special tracks like “At Dawn They Sleep” and “Captor of Sin.” As a bonus, Machine Head’s Robb Flynn and Chris Kontos join the band on-stage for a cover of Venom’s “Witching Hour.” The opening of “Live Intrusion” features a look at some of the band’s very unique fans, in particular, with special emphasis placed upon the fan from the mid-90s who had “Slayer” carved onto his forearm. In addition, the quality of “Live Intrusion” is high-end, as the original VHS master was located and used to create the DVD.
“War at the Warfield” was filmed at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, CA on December 7, 2001, and like “Live Intrusion,” features drummer Paul Bostaph, marking his last release with Slayer before original drummer, Dave Lombardo, rejoined the band. “Seasons in the Abyss,” “Mandatory Suicide,” and “Disciple” are some of the jewels on this live collection that debuted at #3 on Billboard’s DVD chart, and has since been certified Gold.
Filmed at the Civic Center in Augusta, ME on July 11, 2004, “Still Reigning” – also Gold certified and voted Best Live DVD by the readers of Revolver magazine – was directed by Dean Karr and recreates Slayer’s thrash/punk, 28-minute classic 1986 album “Reign In Blood” performed in its entirety. The end of the video features the “Wall of Blood,” with the band, their instruments, and the stage completely drenched by a downpour of 150 liters of “blood.”
“There was no dress rehearsal for the blood trick,” explained King. “It was either going to work or it wasn’t going to work, and we know it did work. It was so hard to play, I thought I was going to have to go back and overdub all of ‘Reigning Blood,’ but I listened to it and it was all there, it was just a lot more slippery with all the blood goo.”
The “Still Reigning” DVD offers bonus material including live performances of Slayer staples such as “Hell Awaits,” “Hallowed Point,” Necrophiliac,” “Spill the Blood,” and “South of Heaven.” The DVD also marked the return of drummer Dave Lombardo. “Even before the idea of ‘Still Reigning’ became a reality, I really wanted to do a video with Dave in it,” said King, “and I knew the fans wanted that as well.”
The Chicago Tribune’s long-time pop music critic Greg Kot wrote that Slayer “is one of the great American rock bands of the last 30 years, forget about genre.” Over the past near three-decades, Slayer has created some of thrash/metal’s most enduring and influential recordings – 1986’s “Reign In Blood,” 1990’s “Seasons in the Abyss,” up to the band’s latest, 2009’s “World Painted Blood.” Long-time fans will attest that nothing comes close to experiencing a Slayer show live and in the flesh; but there’s no denying how the band’s intensity and heaviness translates to these three killer DVDs.