Tom Araya (vocals/bass), Gary Holt (guitar), Kerry King (guitar), Paul Bostaph (drums)
Past: Jeff Hanneman (January 31, 1964 - May 2, 2013, age 49) (guitar), Dave Lombardo (drums)
Slayer is an American thrash metal band formed in Huntington Park, California in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. Slayer rose to fame with their 1986 release, Reign in Blood, and is credited as one of the "Big Four" thrash metal acts, along with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax.
Slayer's musical traits involve fast tremolo picking, double bass drumming, and shouted vocals. Hanneman, King, and bassist/vocalist Tom Araya, contribute to the band's lyrics. King and Hanneman create and arrange the music with additional arrangement from drummer Dave Lombardo and sometimes Araya. The band's lyrics and album art, which cover topics such as serial killers, Satanism, religion and warfare, have generated album bans, delays, lawsuits and strong criticism from religious groups and the public.
Since their debut album in 1983, the band has released two live albums, one box set, six videos, two extended plays, and eleven studio albums, four of which have received gold certification in the United States. The band has received five Grammy nominations, winning two of them; one in 2007 for the song "Eyes of the Insane", and one in 2008 for the song "Final Six" (both from 2006's Christ Illusion). Slayer has played music festivals worldwide, including Unholy Alliance, Download, and Ozzfest.
In the beginning, when there were no blueprints, no set paths, no boundaries or steps to follow, SLAYER assaulted the world with its new hybrid of metal and punk. Heavier, faster and darker than the rest, Slayer--guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, vocalist/bassist Tom Araya, and drummer Dave Lombardo--set the new standard that all others continue to follow. And that has continued through to 2010. Revolver, SPIN and Metal Hammer have all named Slayer "Best Live Band." Esquire presented them with an Esky Award. They've got two Grammys, a Kerrang! Hall of Fame Award, and multiple Revolver Readers' Poll Awards. And Slayer continues to be a groundbreaker as they become the first major artist to have a music-themed Apple app--"Slayer: Pinball Rocks." Slayer's most recent album, World Painted Blood (released 11/09), offers a Slayer-ized point of view of our world--God's terrifying global genocide, the chaos of our broken political system, the way-too-close proximity of world horrors that technology has brought us, and a chilling hypothesis of how the rest of the world might view America. As one major daily wrote, "If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he undoubtedly would be listening to Slayer." For "American Carnage," Slayer's Tom Araya promises, "no ballads, no acoustic numbers, no slow tempos."