Megadeth, Slayer Rip Through Vintage Albums Live

Metal mainstays kick off tour in New Jersey

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At last night's American Carnage gig at New Jersey's Izod Center, thrash-metal mainstays Slayer and Megadeth tore through complete versions of some of their most beloved albums: Seasons in the Abyss and Rust in Peace, respectively. Unlike the flash and pyrotechnics associated with most arena metal bands, the two kept the focus on the music with virtuousic, pummeling sets.

Slayer has always been one of the most deft bands in metal, and so they remain. After opening with two tunes from last year's World Painted Blood, guitarist Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King launched into the Seasons opener "War Ensemble," then dug into "Hallowed Point," a frenetic track that stands out on an album well known for its sludgy tempos. But the highlight of the set came with the closing numbers “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death,” as Hanneman and King fluidly swapped solos. Frontman and bassist Tom Araya, recently recovered from back surgery, belted out the gruesome lyrics with a smile, then retreated to the drum riser to sip hot tea between songs.

Once Megadeth were up, they dove head-first into the classics, starting with “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due.” Frontman Dave Mustaine ripped through the entire album without addressing the audience -- although he later apologized for his manners. Mustaine’s voice has lost a bit of its power over the years, becoming more of a yelp than a snarl on tracks like “Rust in Peace…Polaris.” Returning bassist and founding member Dave Ellefson made up for Mustaine’s shortcomings, though, eliciting huge applause as he laid down solid foundations for “Trust” and “Dawn Patrol.” Still, the biggest shouts of the night came for set closer “Peace Sells." As Megadeth tore through the track, the audience shouted out the chorus like the song was a fresh hit, not twenty years old.

Slayer's setlist:
"World Painted Blood"
"Hate Worldwide"
"War Ensemble"
"Blood Red"
"Spirit in Black"
"Expendable Youth"
"Dead Skin Mask"
"Hallowed Point"
"Skeletons of Society"
"Temptation"
"Born of Fire"
"Seasons in the Abyss"
"South of Heaven"
"Raining Blood"
"Angel of Death"

Megadeth's set list:
"Holy Wars…the Punishment Due"
"Hangar 18"
"Take No Prisoners"
"Five Magics"
"Poison Was the Cure"
"Lucretia"
"Tornado of Souls"
"Dawn Patrol"
"Rust in Peace…Polaris"
"Trust"
"Headcrusher"
"A Tout Le Monde"
"Symphony of Destruction"
"Peace Sells"/"Holy Wars" reprise

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