When the band Slayer announced their retirement in January 2018 after 37 years playing punk/death metal together, they signed off with a cheeky farewell post on Instagram: "Slayer, one of the greatest thrash/metal/punk bands of this or any age, is coming to an end."
Originally formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and the late Jeff Hanneman along with drummer Dave Lombardo in Huntington Park, California, the band initially performed a lot of cover songs by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Vocalist and bassist Tom Araya joined soon thereafter, and the four played at local clubs and parties. By 1983, they had a record contract with Metal Blade Records and in the more than 35 years since the band has gone on to release 12 albums, with over 20 million albums sold. They are arguably one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history - and they clearly know it. But as of 2018, the group announced that they will be doing a farewell tour and that they do not plan on recording any additional albums.
The life of Slayer is macabre, salacious, irreverent, and full of spicy stories from a group that wasn't afraid to make statements. Continue reading to learn more Slayer band facts and why MTV says that "Slayer's music was directly responsible for the rise in death metal."