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TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
*Click images below to view larger versions.
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Slayer - Tom Araya
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Slayer - Tom Araya
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Slayer - Kerry King
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Slayer - Kerry King
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Slayer - Dave Lombardo
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Slayer - Jeff Hanneman
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Megadeth - Dave Mustaine
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Megadeth - Dave Mustaine
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Megadeth - Dave Ellefson
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Megadeth - Chris Broderick
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Megadeth - Shawn Drover
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Testament - Chuck Billy
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Testament - Eric Peterson
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Testament - Greg Christian
TESTAMENT / MEGADETH / SLAYER
Testament - Alex Skolnick
Susquehanna Bank Center
Camden, N.J.  • August 15th, 2010

         It was the perfect storm of thrash metal as the long-awaited "American Carnage Tour" tore through the SBCenter, taking everybody in attendance a couple decades back in metal time. The tour was to commemorate the 20th anniversaries of Megadeth's "Rust In Peace" and Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss" albums.
        As openers for this leg of the tour, Testament got the crowd stirred up with "For The Glory Of," "More Than Meets the Eye" and "Dog Faced Gods" with singer Chuck Billy running about the multi-level stage howling like a mad man. It was as if he was possessed, playing air-guitar on his microphone stand while guitarists Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson were shredding while walking back and forth across the stage.  The band ran through a ferocious set with "The New Order," "Sins Of Omission," "Into The Pit," "D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)," "3 Days in Darkness," and finally ending their set with "The Formation Of Damnation."
        The mighty Megadeth were up next with a stage set to mimic the album art of 1990's defining "Rust In Peace" record. The musicians filed out one at a time with newly returned bassist David Ellefson receiving large cheers, but frontman and thrash metal icon Dave Mustaine got the night’s loudest applause as he sauntered into view. Without even a word to the crowd, Mustaine and his band ripped into the distinctive opening riff of "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due", kicking off a performance of the entire "Rust In Peace" album from start to finish. Many of the album’s songs are standard live Megadeth fare anyhow and the crowd roared with appreciation as Mustaine and fellow guitarist, Chris Broderick, shredded their way through the complex solos on "Holy Wars" and "Hanger 18" before closing their first set with Rust's final track, "Rust In Peace...Polaris." The band never stopped playing from the first note of the album to the last, in an impressive display of stamina as well as musicianship and showmanship. After 50 minutes of pure thrash metal, the band rounded out the night with some of their more recent hits including "Trust," "Headcrusher," power ballad "A Tout Le Monde" and fan favorite, "Symphony of Destruction," before ending their night with "Peace Sells."
    Now, chants and roars of "Slayer!" echo throughout the venue as a giant white sheet covering the entire stage drops and the audience explodes as Slayer takes the stage launching right into new song "World Painted Blood." Frontman Tom Araya recently had back surgery and now has to refrain from headbanging while playing. Guitarist Kerry King was a fearsome sight as well, chains swinging from his belt as the band played a second new song, "Hate Worldwide."  Like Megadeth, Slayer chose to perform an entire album on this tour and they opened with "War Ensemble," the first song on 1990's "Seasons in the Abyss" and played it from start to finish. The arena staging was a wall of black amplifiers, a Slayer trademark, stacked three-high on both sides of drummer Dave Lombardo who drove each song with genre-defining double bass blast beats that barely let up the entire show. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman took turns swapping solos with King, both musicians ripping through frenetic notes that were just as chaotic as the song's rhythm sections. The "Seasons in the Abyss" performance concluded with the album’s lengthy title track to end their first set of the night. After a short break the band returned to deliver four final songs for their rabid fans. The haunting intro to "South of Heaven" re-energized exhausted fans and the mosh pit hit its highest velocity yet during classic song "Raining Blood." The band didn't bother to leave the stage and return for another encore, choosing instead to simply conclude with a vicious "Aggressive Perfector" and "Angel of Death" leaving fans sweaty, beaten, and some bloodied, but all smiling and satisfied.
        As the American Carnage Tour continues across the country, including a visit to Baltimore's 1st Mariners Arena on Wednesday, Oct. 6th, with Anthrax replacing Testament as the opening act, fans should jump at this opportunity to witness two of metal's finest acts doing what they do best and both bands being on top of their game right now.
– Gary Crouthamel, concert photo journalist 
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