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Press Coverage of National Day of Slayer

May 5, 2009

Looks like our attempts to make the world recognize Slayer, metal and the importance of having a metal holiday got some results. Thanks to all!

In response to the US National Day of Prayer, the heavy metal band Slayer have announced a National Day of Slayer, printing 666 limited edition T-shirts to mark the occasion.

A small but determined group showed up to the Santa Cruz Bikes warehouse this past 6/6/06 for the first National Day Of SLAYER ride. On first glance, an uninformed bystander might believe there was far too much metal in the air for these true believers to handle, but on further inspection, one would take notice of the evil grins, and the devil horned hands locked upon handle bars of every style. Upon dirt worthy steeds, towing trailers full of budweiser and boom boxes blaring Slayers 'Devine Intervention' we were truly a sight to behold. Through the town, and onto the local trails we rolled untill or arrival to the site of the final homage of all that is sinister. A beautiful little ribbon of quiet single track, snaking through the woods was about to be filled with the laughter of the dammed. The starting guns shot rang out, and the race to the finish was underway. It was upon crossing the line, that the warriors of all things dark had to drop, do pushups, and begin the race again in the opposite direction. There was nudity, there was drinking, and of the small handful of participants, there was an unusual amount of blood. Half of the devils atheletes were bloodied due to spectacular crashes, or in one case, just standing there, doing nothing at all. Spouts of crimson appeared for no reason whatsoever. Its was as if the dark lord had reached up from below and scratched the unsuspecting celebrants legs himself. As the sun set with an eery red glow, and we began our trek back to the land of the living, we could have sworn we heard an evil growl of laughter through the dark woods, inviting to do this again next week.

KNAC.COM: So 666 (referring to June 6, 2006) is the release of the Eternal Pyre album -- and that's an EP, right?


KNAC.COM: That also marks the day of the National Day of Slayer as opposed to the National Day of Prayer?

HANNEMAN: (laughs) Yeah ...that's funny as hell.

KNAC.COM: It is! Should I just call my boss and tell him to fuck off that day?

HANNEMAN: (laughs) I'd like to get up that day and just turn on the news, like, "Everybody's walking out of work" (laughs).

A group of hardcore Slayer fans (called "Hessians," for some reason) mounted a National Day of Slayer on June 6, 2006 (or 06/06/06), and urged their peers to spend the day listening to Slayer at full blast while at home, in the car or in public. One of the band's guitarists, Kerry King, even got into the spirit to mark the occasion.

"I went to New York City and got a tattoo," guitarist Kerry King says over the phone while on a tour stop in Cleveland. "Me, my wife, my friend, and his girlfriend ... we all got 666 tattooed on us."

Unfortunately, some nogoodniks took it too far and spray painted "Reign of Blood" (the title of a 1986 Slayer album) and other creepy imagery all over a seminary in New York, and while King probably doesn't condone such acts, he still doesn't shy away from talking openly about his disdain for religion.

"To me, I think that organized religion is just a giant farce," he says, kind of casually. "I think it's a crutch for people who don't have a strong will of their own."

But with such a huge and dedicated (if not out-and-out obsessed) cult following, isn't Slayer kind of its own religion?

"I've heard that people think Slayer is their religion; on our War at the Warfield DVD, someone asked this guy if he was going to church or something and the guy said, 'I just came from church. I saw Slayer!'" King chuckles. "I never thought of it that way, but I guess it kind of is for some people. That's pretty cool."

Workers who showed up at the historic Catholic seminary about 7 a.m. were stunned to see the crosses spray-painted in black on two columns in front of the main entrance. When they moved closer, they saw 6s on each of three steps leading up to the landing, where the words "REIGN IN BLOOD" were painted in thick, black lines. "Reign in Blood" is the name of the 1986 album by the band Slayer, whose "National Day of Slayer" was Tuesday.

And right in front of the doors, at just about the spot where Pope John Paul II stood and waved to adoring crowds on Oct. 6, 1995, was painted a large pentagram, often associated in pop culture with the devil.

The perpetrator, in fact, left a literate message on the inside of the two columns for seminary faculty members to see when they exited the main doors. On the left column, the graffiti said, "BETTER TO REIGN IN HELL." And on the right, "THAN TO SERVE IN HEAVEN."

The famous line comes from Book I of John Milton's epic poem, "Paradise Lost," in which Satan plots the fall of man.

What better way to celebrate 6/6/06 than to erect a Web site dedicated solely to praising Slayer? We love our metal around here, but we're slightly concerned about the fact that so many news outlets actually believed it was necessary to report on the (Inter)National Day of Slayer and fears among fundamentalist losers that the day could hasten Armageddon. The Sacramento Bee came up with this compelling headline: "06/06/06 stirring up Revelations fear." Guess it's all a matter of perception. We would have preferred the headline "6/6/06 a total letdown without beer and metal."

There are still a few hours left to celebrate National Day of Slayer.

Listen to Slayer. Now.

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