Live Intrusion (American)


War at the Warfield (American)


Still Reigning (American)

Found boxed, but sold separately, a decade of thunder thrash leading up to Slayer's comebacks – 2006's Christ Illusion and 2009's World Painted Blood – opens in Mesa, Ariz., 1995, with a busy edit of the last U.S. show for Divine Intervention. "Raining Blood" and then-new classic "Killing Fields" engulf amid cut-in footage that includes a fan having "Slayer" carved into his arm then lit on fire. Thrashing hailstorms (Divine's "Dittohead") and cannibalistic romance ("213") go hoarse by "South of Heaven," but "Angel of Death" and "Hell Awaits" blister. Venom's "Witching Hour" guests Machine Head. War at the Warfield, S.F. 2001, again with Paul Bostaph bombing the kit, purports God Hates Us All as Tom Araya spits a mouthful of "New Faith" but doesn't fare as well on "God Send Death." ("That album was a miserable album for me," admitted Araya this summer.) Even a downcycle can't suppress Show No Mercy's "Die by the Sword," though a 45-minute tour doc ends up more memorable than the performance. Original quartet-closer Dave Lombardo's back to the drum riser for Still Reigning, Augusta, Maine, 2004. Epileptic strobes, color to black-and-white-shot sushi, and the same Cousin It head bang from Jeff Hanneman: cinematic innovation nil, distraction at a maximum. Literal "Raining Blood" climaxes the 31-minute album cycle, buttressed by six additional furies, including Slayer's "love ballad about older women" ("Necrophiliac"). I'll spare you its oral sex intro.

(Live Intrusion, Still Reigning) ***

(War at the Warfield) **.5

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