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. The Album Reign in Blood is considered to be the foundation and inspiration of death metal.
Slayer's musical traits involve fast tremolo picking, double bass drumming, and shouted (or chanted) vocals. Hanneman, King, and bassist/lead 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 (Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, Seasons in the Abyss, and Divine Intervention in 1986, 1988, 1990, and 1994 respectively) 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. As of November 2011, Slayer has begun writing their next album.
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