Slayer, Lamb of God, and Behemoth packed The Forum to capacity this past weekend, selling out every seat in the arena and filling the streets of Inglewood with black-clad, Satan-worshipping metalheads. A pair of scolding church protesters greeted fans arriving in the parking lots, but they could do nothing to spoil a lazy, sunny Saturday afternoon tailgate for the thousands pre-gaming with beers, booze, and weed by their cars.
Inside the darkened arena, things were very different. Behemoth and Lamb of God played brutal, ear-wrecking sets to the rapidly-filling seats and floor, metal beat blasts punctuated by blinding strobe lights and the ripsaw roars of the guitars. Behemoth ripped through a short but intense show, opening with “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” and using torches and incense to create a deathly atmosphere. Lamb Of God drove the arena into a moshing frenzy, starting with fan favorites “Laid To Rest” and “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For” and finishing with a skull-snapping “Redneck.” SkullNBones was unable to cover Slayer‘s set due to a massive, multi-camera DVD shoot occupying working spaces, but their 20-song setlist faithfully covered almost all eras of the band and the sellout crowd proved that their 35-year-old formula is still one of the strongest and heaviest in the heavy metal world.