SLAYER is expected to announce the very last U.S. leg of its final tour later this month. The trek will take place in the fall and will put a cap on the band's nearly four-decade career.
A teaser for the final tour announcement was released earlier today in the form of an ominous video featuring a silhouetted man digging dirt with a shovel and staking a large cross into the ground to mark the spot. An audio track consisting of a man speaking in a deep, measured voice accompanies the clip. He states: "To every story, there is a tragedy. Life is a book filled with chapters. Some tell stories of a good time, some tell stories of the dark. To every monster, there's a hero. To every nightmare, we all wake up. To every story, there's a final chapter. Some monsters can become human. Other monsters reap for revenge. This is the end of the monsters."
Although there has been no confirmation from an official source, rumors suggest that PRIMUS and MINISTRY will provide support for SLAYER on the upcoming run of shows.
PRIMUS bassist/vocalist Les Claypool broke the news of his band's pairing with SLAYER during an appearance this past March on "Bill Burr's Thursday Afternoon Monday Morning Podcast".
He said: "There's another thing too that's kind of a secret, but maybe I can tell you now… So it looks like we're confirmed — we're gonna play the last, the very last run supporting SLAYER's very last tour; PRIMUS is… It's starting at Madison Square Garden [in New York City] and ending at The Forum [in Los Angeles]. That's the rumor."
In January 2018, SLAYER announced that it would do one last concert tour around the globe to thank their fans for all of their support over the years, for making the last four decades so packed with good times and unforgettable experiences, and then move on.
SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya talked about his possible retirement in a 2016 interview with Loudwire. He said: "At 35 years, it's time to collect my pension. [Laughs] This is a career move." He continued: "I'm grateful that we've been around for 35 years; that's a really long time. So, yeah, to me, it is. Because when we started off, everything was great, because you're young and invincible. And then there came a time where I became a family man, and I had a tough time flying back and forth. And now, at this stage, at the level we're at now, I can do that; I can fly home when I want to, on days off, and spend some time with my family, which is something I wasn't able to do when [my kids] were growing up. Now they're both older and mature. So now I take advantage of that." Araya added: "Yeah, it just gets harder and harder to come back out on the road. 35 years is a long time."
Tom also revealed another reason for his diminished enjoyment of the touring life. He said: "There's things that have gone on in my life that have made me change how I play as a bass player. I had neck surgery, so I can't headbang anymore. And that was a big part of what I enjoyed doing what I do — singing and headbanging. I liked knowing that I was one of the fucking badass headbangers. That played a big part. Now I just groove with the music, which is cool, because I'm grooving with the music and the feel of the songs, so that's changed a little for me."
SLAYER has been touring in support of its latest album, "Repentless", which was released in September 2015 via Nuclear Blast. That effort marked the band's first release since the death of SLAYER's co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman.
Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, in January 2011 from a spider bite in his backyard. The infection ravaged the flesh and tissues of Hanneman's arm, leading to numerous surgeries, skin grafts and intense periods of rehab that forced him into semi-retirement and left him near death at several points.
Hanneman eventually died in May 2013 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. He is credited for writing many of SLAYER's classic songs, including "Angel Of Death" and "South Of Heaven".
Original SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo was effectively fired from the band after sitting out the group's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other members of SLAYER. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band.