Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE)

SLAYER / ANTHRAX / THE HAUNTED

Date: 05th December, 2015
Venue: Lisebergshallen
Tickets: 560SEK (€57/$63)
Promoter: Live Nation
Photos: Erika Wallberg


After seeing both the MOTÖRHEAD and JUDAS PRIEST billings the night before, I was wondering if I would be able to boost myself and get the energy needed to appreciate yet another massive concert in just a few days.

It didn't take long to get over that, as THE HAUNTED took on the stage with full force. I've seen them countless times and they've always been super. I think they are a live band first and foremost even if I like the records very much as well. I love the riffing, rock solid and damn catchy. For me, it's absolutely no downside that Marco Aro was brought back in for the second time when Peter Dolving left for the second time. Also guitarist Ola Englund seemed to have breathed new energy into the band as he replaced Anders Björler a couple of years ago. I don't think I've ever seen THE HAUNTED as outgoing as this time. For sure, Marco is in everyone's face all the time and Patrik Jensen poses on his side of the stage. But in general the atmosphere in the band felt on top that night. And what isn't this to like; the set opener was a true smack in the face with "No Compromise" from the amazing "rEVOLVEr" followed by "99" from the same album. That was what it took to forget about being tired and worn out after a hard week. The riff in "99" is a killer; tight, precise and groovy and it was also fun that the crowd supported the local boys. The place was packed from first song. And that is not all that common for a show, that the opening act gets the same support as the headliners. THE HAUNTED have been around for a long time of course and should be familiar to all SLAYER fans so it's no wonder really. I was glad to see one of my absolute THE HAUNTED favorites in the set in "D.O.A". This is a rather common feature so it wasn't really a surprise in that way but still very nice to get to hear favorites live.

“Eye Of The Storm” got a longer introduction, being presented as the first thing recorded with this old/new line-up. Again a solid song and a perfect performance by THE HAUNTED. I really enjoy that kind of attitude, which was signed by Marco most of the time. He looks and appears very intimidating most of the time but on occasion he just cracks up and appears to be the most cheerful and lovable person in the world. And that's one of the things that gets him connected with the crowd. He's the reason for much of the response given. For sure, some in the front do everything he asks out of fear but most just follow because it's a good show.

Another real highlight of the set was the last part, not because it was the last of course. But to get two really fast and heavy tracks in the end sure made it all. “Bury Your Dead” was followed by “Hate Song” and then THE HAUNTED left the stage. They actually played a rather extensive set, which isn't all that common. At least not for the first band out. It didn't feel long at all though. It was an amazing warm-up by THE HAUNTED and with this they should absolutely be counted as the elite, the big ones in the Thrash Metal genre.

THE HAUNTED setlist:

01. “No Compromise”
02. “99”
03. “The Flood”
04. “Trend Killer”
05. “Trespass”
06. “Time (Will Not Heal)”
07. “D.O.A”
08 “Undead”
09. “My Enemy”
11. “Eye Of The Storm”
12. “Dark Intentions”
13. “Bury Your Dead”
14. “Hate Song”

THE HAUNTED

The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Haunted @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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I had no doubt that ANTHRAX would deliver. And it's a bit crazy how much energy they managed to stir up, both on stage and in the crowd from the first second. “Caught In A Mosh” followed by “Got The Time” almost made me lose my breath while in the photo-pit trying to keep up with what was happening on stage. Frank Bello was all over the place, jumping high in the air just to crawl over the monitors the next second. And it sure didn't slow down as the set continued with “Madhouse” and “Anti Social”. I can't say that the old TRUST song is my all time favorite but it works very good live. It's also really amazing how Joey Belladonna sings these days. Ok, the tour had taken some away as he sounded a little tired on a few occasions. The ring and tone in his voice weren't the same this night as it has been on the last couple of shows I've seen him do, both with ANTHRAX and the odd Christmas spectacle in Kristianstad last year.

But somewhere around there, ANTHRAX lost the flow. The pace had been crazy up until now and I actually started to wonder if SLAYER could top ANTHRAX performance. SLAYER always crushes everything but the frenzy and crazy bouncing going on on the stage when ANTHRAX played, that doesn't happen in SLAYER today, or ever actually. But in the second half of the set, the pauses between the songs got longer and even if ANTHRAX still sounded amazing while playing, I started to lose focus on what was happening on stage every now and then. It's always great to get to hear “Indians” live, I've listened to “Among The Living” countless times and hearing these songs brings back a lot of memories from a past age. Before “In The End” there was another pause and the Pentatrax side-drops was changed to a picture of Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrel. A very nice tribute but the break was too long and the whole effect was kind of lost. The song itself is great and here is a place where Joey's vocal abilities really show. In general, the ANTHRAX show was really good as well but when they started out as hard as they did it will take a lot to keep that momentum up and I don't think they managed that as well as they normally do. But everything sounded great.

ANTHRAX setlist:

01. Intro - “Earth On Hell”
02. “Caught In A Mosh”
03. “Got The Time”
04. “Madhouse”
05. “Anti Social”
06. “Evil Twin”
07. “Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't”
08. “Indians”
09. “March Of The S.O.D.”
10. “In The End”
11. “Among The Living”

ANTHRAX

Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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So, SLAYER had some really big shoes to fill that night after the amazing performances by THE HAUNTED and ANTHRAX. Could they do it? As soon as the curtain fell and the first few notes of “Repentless” blasted out, my hesitation was gone. Sometimes the magic just happens; the band can deliver the songs without doing very much more and it is still pure magic. I've tried to pinpoint elements that these bands have but I really can't put my finger on what it is, it just happens. And when a band has songs like “Postmortem” and decides to play them live, that really can't fail. The screaming in between songs was massive and that's always great to see. And Tom Araya doesn't have to do more than just breathe into the microphone to set people of. That particular gimmick sends shivers down my spine every time.

The idea of having back-drops on three sides of the stage created a very cool effect also. The way the lights reflected on the upside down crosses and the face from the artwork of “Repentless” really looked amazing. Massive red and yellow lights made the stage look as it was on fire just to change into icy blue a few seconds later. The whole atmosphere built with props and lights of course enhanced the whole experience but it doesn't take away that the music was still what the main focus here.

SLAYER's set featured a few new ones as “When The Stillness Comes” and “Take Control” to mention a few, both worked excellent live and it was clear that the crowd had done its homework and listened to the brilliant new SLAYER album. And I always want to see a band playing new songs and not only rely on the classics. But the set SLAYER delivered was phenomenal, song after song after song just pushing everything to the limit. Who could imagine that “Mandatory Suicide”, “Chemical Warfare”, “Die By The Sword” and “Black Magic” were just the beginning? It was really much fun to hear “Black Magic” live again. I really like “Show No Mercy” but it's not all that many songs from that one featured in the set these days.

But more was to come, after new song “Vices” it was time again. Tom announced that he had problems with his voice, sore throat or something and sounded a bit raspy while talking. Nothing that could be heard in the songs though. But of course, a thing like that might end a show early but not this time. After “Seasons In The Abyss” came “Hell Awaits”, after the song Tom said something about people in the front trying to keep up. The verse is extremely fast and hold a lot of text. Apparently he thought it was hilarious when people failed to sing-a-long. And it must look quite funny as well and then felt good that he who has passed 50 a few years ago can do it while the youngsters in the front were failing. “Dead Skin Mask” and “South Of Heaven” are two other favorites but I don't think they should be after each other in the set, the riffs are a bit similar and since both songs are a little slower it kind of took the whole thing down a notch. But luckily that was to be changed as “Raining Blood” followed by “Angel Of Death" closed the set and this amazing night.

So no, no matter how hard THE HAUNTED or ANTHRAX worked, they didn't manage to reach SLAYER's level. It was pure magic and I’m amazed that they can deliver show after show, tour after tour, with such force and drive. Amazing really, and no, after the first few THE HAUNTED songs, the energy was back for me and stayed throughout the evening.

SLAYER setlist:

01. Intro - “Delusions Of Saviour”
02. “Repentless”
03. “Postmortem”
04. “Hate Worldwide”
05. “Disciple”
06. “God Send Death”
07. “War Ensemble”
08. “When The Stillness Comes”
09. “Take Control”
10. “Mandatory Suicide”
11. “Chemical Warfare”
12. “Die By The Sword”
13. “Black Magic”
14. “Vices”
15. “Seasons In The Abyss”
16. “Hell Awaits”
17. “Dead Skin Mask”
18. “World Painted Blood”
19. “South Of Heaven”
20. “Raining Blood”
21. “Angel Of Death”

SLAYER

Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Slayer @ Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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