When the “Big Four,” Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, shared a stage together on June 22nd, 2010, in Sofia, Bulgaria, it was the moment their fans had waited decades for. That monumental show was beamed live into over 1000 theatres worldwide via satellite in a special HD cinematic event.On November 2nd, 2010, this legendary concert will be available on DVD through Warner Bros. Records. “The Big Four Live From Sofia” includes full shows from all four bands on a two-disc set as well as behind the scenes and interview footage.In addition to the two DVD set and the corresponding Blu-Ray, there will be a limited edition “Super Deluxe” Box Set including the 2 DVD set, five CD’s with ALL 5 HOURS of music, a 24 page booklet, a two-sided poster, photos of each band, and a collectable Big 4 guitar pick.These four acts broke out of the underground thrash movement in the 1980’s to dominate the metal world, selling millions of records and packing arenas across the globe. Despite huge demand, these musical giants had never shared the same stage. The legendary June 22nd, 2010, concert from the tour’s stop of the Sonisphere Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria aired the same day in 79 movie theaters in the U.K, over 450 theaters in over 140 markets in the U.S., as well as being beamed into theaters in Europe, Canada, Latin America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.In December 2009, the bands announced that they would be joining forces to take part in the traveling Sonisphere Festival for only 7 shows across Europe. This one-time only event, from the Sofia show, made it possible for fans far and wide to participate in what otherwise was a very limited run of dates.Lars Ulrich of Metallica says of this historic show, “Who would have thought that more than 25 years after its inception, thrash metal’s Big Four would not only still be around, be more popular than ever, playing shows together at stadiums all over Europe, and on top of that, coming to a movie theater near you in High Definition (for better or worse??!!). Bring it on!”Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian says, “Damn, as if this Big 4 tour wasn’t exciting enough now we get to be on the big screen worldwide! Metal at the movies, two big horns up! It is unbelievably gratifying that this means so much to the metal community around the globe. Get your tix, grab some popcorn and get ready to bang your head!”Declares Slayer’s Kerry King, “I can’t believe someone didn’t make this happen 15 years ago! The fans finally get what they want. I think it’s awesome!”Says Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, “The magnitude of this event hasn’t really sunk in yet, and I am thrilled to know that people around the planet will be able to walk into a movie theatre and experience the greatest line up of Heavy Metal in the history of the world!”
The last time you went shopping for DVDs, you might have noticed an unmistakable empty space where Slayer titles should have been. The reason is simple – all of Slayer’s DVDs have been out of print. But rest easy Slayer fanatics, the wait will soon be over. On August 17, 2010, 2003’s “War at the Warfield” and 2004’s “Still Reigning” will be reissued, and, for the first time ever, 1995’s “Live Intrusion,” having been digitally remastered, will also be available on DVD. All three will be sold separately at retail and online ($13.98 each), and the Limited Edition “Slayer Live DVD 3-Pak” ($29.98), will be available exclusively on Slayer’s website, www.slayer.net
“I remember around ‘God Hates Us All,'” , said Slayer’s Kerry King, “asking when we were going to make a DVD of ‘Live Intrusion.’ So, here we are, ten years later, and it’s about time.”
Every one of the Slayer live-in-concert DVDs represents a different era of the band: “Live Intrusion” was recorded on March 12, 1995 at the Mesa Amphitheatre in Mesa, AZ, and features guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, bassist/vocalist Tom Araya, and drummer Paul Bostaph. The disc, which is certified Gold, includes some of the most classic Slayer songs such as “Raining Blood” and “War Ensemble,” but also some early special tracks like “At Dawn They Sleep” and “Captor of Sin.” As a bonus, Machine Head’s Robb Flynn and Chris Kontos join the band on-stage for a cover of Venom’s “Witching Hour.” The opening of “Live Intrusion” features a look at some of the band’s very unique fans, in particular, with special emphasis placed upon the fan from the mid-90s who had “Slayer” carved onto his forearm. In addition, the quality of “Live Intrusion” is high-end, as the original VHS master was located and used to create the DVD.
“War at the Warfield” was filmed at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, CA on December 7, 2001, and like “Live Intrusion,” features drummer Paul Bostaph, marking his last release with Slayer before original drummer, Dave Lombardo, rejoined the band. “Seasons in the Abyss,” “Mandatory Suicide,” and “Disciple” are some of the jewels on this live collection that debuted at #3 on Billboard’s DVD chart, and has since been certified Gold.
Filmed at the Civic Center in Augusta, ME on July 11, 2004, “Still Reigning” – also Gold certified and voted Best Live DVD by the readers of Revolver magazine – was directed by Dean Karr and recreates Slayer’s thrash/punk, 28-minute classic 1986 album “Reign In Blood” performed in its entirety. The end of the video features the “Wall of Blood,” with the band, their instruments, and the stage completely drenched by a downpour of 150 liters of “blood.”
“There was no dress rehearsal for the blood trick,” explained King. “It was either going to work or it wasn’t going to work, and we know it did work. It was so hard to play, I thought I was going to have to go back and overdub all of ‘Reigning Blood,’ but I listened to it and it was all there, it was just a lot more slippery with all the blood goo.”
The “Still Reigning” DVD offers bonus material including live performances of Slayer staples such as “Hell Awaits,” “Hallowed Point,” Necrophiliac,” “Spill the Blood,” and “South of Heaven.” The DVD also marked the return of drummer Dave Lombardo. “Even before the idea of ‘Still Reigning’ became a reality, I really wanted to do a video with Dave in it,” said King, “and I knew the fans wanted that as well.”
The Chicago Tribune’s long-time pop music critic Greg Kot wrote that Slayer “is one of the great American rock bands of the last 30 years, forget about genre.” Over the past near three-decades, Slayer has created some of thrash/metal’s most enduring and influential recordings – 1986’s “Reign In Blood,” 1990’s “Seasons in the Abyss,” up to the band’s latest, 2009’s “World Painted Blood.” Long-time fans will attest that nothing comes close to experiencing a Slayer show live and in the flesh; but there’s no denying how the band’s intensity and heaviness translates to these three killer DVDs.