Slayer reunite and announce first live shows in five years

Slayer are getting back together for their first live appearances in half a decade.

The thrash metal legends announced their retirement in 2019 and marked the end of their near-four decade career with a lengthy farewell world tour.

Until now, a Slayer reunion had been looking rather unlikely, especially since Kerry King had announced a solo album, ‘From Hell I Rise’, just weeks ago. He had previously described his new endeavour as “an extension of Slayer”.


Hopes of a reunion were also dashed when King told Rolling Stone that he said he could “pretty much say a hundred per cent no” to the chances of it happening. He also mentioned that he had not spoken to co-founder Tom Araya since Slayer’s final show, whereas he had been in contact with the band’s other members.

Now, in a surprise turn of events, Slayer will be headlining two festivals this September, namely Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky, and Riot Fest in Chicago.

The line-up will be the same as it was when the band ended, featuring co-founders King and Tom Araya, guitarist Gary Holt (also of Exodus) and drummer Paul Bostaph.

“Nothing compares to the 90 minutes when we’re on stage playing live, sharing that intense energy with our fans,” Araya said in a statement [via Revolver]. “And to be honest, we have missed that.”

King added: “Have I missed playing live? Absolutely. Slayer means a lot to our fans; they mean a lot to us. It will be five years since we have seen them.”


King previously expressed regret over the end of Slayer, admitting in 2021 that he thinks they “quit too early” and he hated not playing music.

He echoed that sentiment in another interview last year, telling Metal Hammer that the split was “premature”.

“The reason I say ‘premature’ is because my heroes from my childhood are still playing! I can still play, I still want to play, but that livelihood got taken away from me,” he said.

More recently, however, he hit out at former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, saying that the drummer is “dead to me”. He also revealed that he hadn’t spoken to Lombardo since Slayer fired him in 2013.

“He went on that tirade when we were on a flight to Australia, and he knew we couldn’t retort for 14 hours, and he threw me under the bus,” said King. “I was the only one keeping him in the band. Tom [Araya] wanted him out before that, and [the late] Jeff [Hanneman] had just gotten the spider bite, so he wasn’t playing with us much. I said, ‘We need [Dave]. The fans won’t get it if we replace him right now.’ And then the Australia thing came up. He threw me under the bus, and I’m like, ‘I’m the guy that kept you here.’ So I thought, ‘Fuck that guy.’”