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Slayer, Anthrax, Kvelertak @ Brixton Academy, London (UK)

SLAYER / Anthrax / Kvelertak
in Monday, 30 November 2015 at Brixton Academy
by Tomasz Wrobel

 
*Full gallery found at Tzw Photography

I believe that everything has been said and seen if it is about the BIG FOUR bands; I will therefore try to add my view about two bands I saw playing live in London Brixton Academy 30.11.15.

Luckily for me I got the chance to go there and take some photos of two of the BIG FOUR bands - SLAYER and Anthrax. Due to living in Southampton and having a full time job it was pretty impossible to get to London on time. A long drive through the M3 and then through Central London in the evening was a bit of a challenge to say the least.
That was my first time I was driving through Central London. After just over two hours I finally arrived at the Brixton Academy but trying to find a parking space over there was even a bigger challenge. But nothing is impossible so eventually found a parking spot.

After getting close to the venue I could feel it in the air that something big is happening in the area. Several metal heads wearing ANTHRAX and SLAYER t-shirts were obviously not in the minority of people in Brixton area. It was time to get in the venue and start doing my job.

Again for the first time I was in Brixton Academy and I completely didn’t know how to get in having a press pass. As a good boy I decided to join a que at the end but… To exclaim “OH MY GOD” out loud would probably be taken by bystanders as an act of desperation, that I realised how long that queue was.

Thousands of people queuing one after one like little children at school. Going half way through the back wall of the venue I have noticed a little light at the end of the tunnel. Alas, lucky me squeezed in on a photo pass. After a quick check-in I was inside right at back of the stage. Few steps down the corridor and here I am - inside the Brixton Academy. Of course it was my first time in there. Must say it was quite impressive size of the venue. Proper sized stage and awesome light rig. I knew that the show could only be a good one.
 
 
Arriving so late to the show unfortunately I missed most of the KVELERTAK show. But from what I was able to see and hear I can assure you that the boys were not there by accident. The last three songs of their set were so energetic that whoever was inside the venue really enjoyed the warm up band. It was the time to have a look around and trying to find the merch stand. I must admit it was another impressive view; Everyone was queuing nicely (what a shock). There were load designs of t-shirt, long-sleeved and hoodies to choose from.

The only downside was a price of a simple t-shirt. £25 seems to be a bit excessive but I decided to get my First ever Slayer t-shirt. After lamenting spending that much dosh on a t-shirt it was a time to do my job: photographing ANTHRAX for the first time.
 


 
I must admit I am not a big fan of Thrash Metal and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. First I had to focus of getting at least few good snaps as we were allowed to shoot only first three songs. To be honest it was not that difficult as lighting guy did a great job for us photographers; proper light found the stage to illuminate all of the band members.
Being totally honest I did quite enjoy the show. Very energetic performance by whom I thought were a bunch of old, slow and completely out of day musicians; I was so wrong. The guys on stage really knew how to do it even after being active for such a long time. They just proved that once a metal head always a metal head.
 


 
Solid sound, superb lighting and of course fantastic interaction with fans. It really made me to want time to stop so I could experience Anthrax for a bit longer. It was my first time I have seen ANTHRAX live and must admit I really enjoyed their show. Long live Thrash Metal.
 


 
After a few guitar picks and drum sticks thrown from the stage into the audience it was time a quick break to prepare the stage for main dish of the evening. Slayer. I decided to have a pint of beer. For the first time (and hopefully last) in my life I have paid that much for a pint. £5.50 was a rip off but it didn’t stop people from buying litres of God’s Nectar. Waiting for SLAYER the whole stage was isolated by an enormous white backdrop.

Soon we all found out it was planned not to cover the stage but to show respect to everyone who lost their life’s in Paris attacks. That big white backdrop has changed its colours to a French flag. I think it was really a very nice gesture. Many American bands were calling off their shows in Europe after Paris attacks but not them. SLAYER is SLAYER and they don’t give up quite easily.
 


 
After a few minutes the French Flag had changed to typical SLAYER crucifixes which started spinning slowly and ending up reversed. When the backdrop changed to a SLAYER logo everyone went absolutely mental. A few thousand fans started chanting the name. You could feel as if everyone was about to see SLAYER for the first time. Actually it was my first time with SLAYER. I have had an opportunity to watch Slayer live at Bloodstock but DYING FETUS was headlining the Sophie Stage, so being a death metal fan, I had to be there.
 
 
First song was a title track from their newest album Relentless. What a song!!! What energy!!! Absolutely a masterpiece. Kerry King shredding his guitar, Paul Bostaph absolutely ripping apart his drums, Gary Holt (RIP Jeff) showing why he is there stepping into Jeff’s shoes and of course mighty Tom Araya and his bass guitar, looking like a King Kong. The King of Kings.
 
 
Taking a few snaps wasn’t that easy this time. Lots of red light. It was looking good for someone who wasn’t there to take photos. Camera and red light don’t really go together but you can always turn red light into black and white photography. And as photographers say: if it is black and white it must be Art. SLAYER was obviously touring Europe promoting their newest album but as always they gave us some old songs. The madness has begun. Crowd surfing started, mosh pit started and thousands horns were held up high going through “Black Magic”, “Chemical Warfare”, “Angel of Death” and of course “Raining Blood”.
 
 
SLAYER really showed everyone that even after such a long time in this industry, and good old Thrash Metal is actually never going to get old. It is just too many maniacs still willing to listen to it; a thousand maniacs cannot be wrong. However, despite SLAYER being SLAYER my experience of the legends was just ok. I didn’t expect anything more or anything less. It was a perfect show. It was so perfect that it looked to me like they came in to work. Clocked in, played on the stage - job done, and clocked out and went home. But SLAYER is a band to be witnessed for  the sake of it and seeing them for the first time really gave me impressions I just took part in the show of the year.

By the way. It was my VERY FIRST REVIEW of a live show, so please be gentle!
 
 

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