Slayer was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. Tom Araya, who had played with King in a previous band, was recruited as bassist/lead vocalist. Fate intervened when Dave Lombardo delivered a pizza to King and was recruited almost immediately.
Discovered by Brian Slagel at the Woodstock in Los Angeles. Signed to Metal Blade Records and recorded Aggressive Perfector which attracted massive underground attention.
Show No Mercy released in November 1983. This album was self financed and sold 40,000 copies worldwide. First national club tour started and continued to gain underground popularity.
Haunting the Chapel, a three song EP released in August 1984 and Slayer opens for UFO at the Heavy Sounds Festival.
Kerry King leaves Slayer to join Megadeth. King returned to Slayer after only 5 shows. This fueled a long standing feud between the two bands.
Home video of Combat Tour: The Ultimate Revenge released in 1985. Also hired veteran producer Ron Fair.
Hell Awaits released in September 1985.
Def Jam Records offers contract citing the success of Hell Awaits. This leads to an overhaul of the band’s song structure. Reign in blood released later that year and is released by Geffen Records after being refused by Columbia. Issues with the cover art were cited.
South of Heaven released and received mixed reviews from fans and critics even though the album was successful commercially. Slower tempos are featured.
The fifth studio album, Seasons in the Abyss, is released in 1990 and returns to the pounding speed of Reign in Blood. Also the first release on Rick Rubin’s new Def American label.
Slayer co-headlines Clash of the Titans European tour. Tour extended to the US in 1991 and coincides with the release of a double live album, Decade of Aggression celebrating ten years.
Lombardo leaves the band and is replaced by Paul Bostaph.
Divine Intervention is released in 1994 and charts higher than any previous album.
Slayer scheduled a world tour in 1995 with Machine Head and Biohazard. Also appeared with the Monsters of Rock tour with Metallica as headliner.
Undisputed Attitude is release in 1996 and Bostaph leaves Slayer shortly after. He is replaced by former Testament drummer Jon Dette. Slayer headlines the 1996 Ozzfest but Dette is fired after a year. Bostaph returned to finish the tour.
Diabolus in Musica released in 1998 and received mixed criticism. The album features drop tunings for 1st time. Slayer appeared at the UK Ozzfest 1998 in support of the new album.
God Hates us All released in September 2001 and wins Slayer their first Grammy nomination for the track Disciple. The release unintentionally coincided with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Bostaph leaves Slayer again at Christmas 2001due to an elbow injury that hindered his playing. Original drummer Lombardo returns as a permanent member.
The tour was haunted by date cancellations resulting from flight restrictions.
Slayer toured throughout 2003 playing Reign in Blood in it’s entirety.
In 2004, a DVD Still Reigning was released as well as War at the Warfield, a box set and Soundtrack to the Apocalypse.
Christ Illusion released in August 2006 and was the first recorded release with Lombardo since Seasons of the Abyss in the 90’s. Three weeks later, Slayer is inducted into the Kerrang! Hall of fame for their contribution to heavy metal.
The album’s first single Eyes of the Insane was featured on the Saw III soundtrack and won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance.
A special edition of Christ Illusion is released and receives a Grammy Nomination in 2007.
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