Fresh off Trump stunt, metal legends Slayer will begin U.S. tour in Bemidji

Slayer rocking in 2013 [Photo: AP/Felipe Dana]

Slayer rocking in 2013 [Photo: AP/Felipe Dana]

Thrash-metal legends Slayer have drummed two batches of headlines in 2017. 

The second, and by far most agreeable, came Wednesday. The deafening California four-piece announced plans for their 24-date "Apocalypse Summer Tour," and Bemidji, Minnesota, gets first dibs. Lamb of God and Behemoth will open the July 12 show at Sanford Center. Tickets -- $38-$54 -- go on sale 10 a.m. Friday via Ticketmaster. 

"As metal tours go, this is the one that your fellow metal heads will be bragging about if you miss it!" Slayer guitarist Kerry King says in a hard-selling press release. "Not very often I get to go on tour where we are all friends to start. That being said, the potential for greatness at these events is mind blowing."

Speaking of greatness, Slayer's other big news event this year came by associating with the man claiming to be making America great again. In January, Slayer posted a photoshopped image that showed President Donald Trump throwing up rock signs alongside the band.

It didn't go over well. 

"I never would have guessed that there where [sic] so many snowflakes commenting their distaste for the new president," frontman Tom Araya wrote on Instagram. "Like him or not he is the president."

Later, in the same Instagram comment thread, Araya wrote that Vice President Mike Pence is “turning fruits into vegetables," a remark some considered homophobic. 

Araya concluded the saga by writing, "Thanks [...] to everybody that has commented thanks for insight... this is how fake news gets started, not once did I say that I supported trump... and assuming I speak for the band you are mistaking .. the picture did exactly what I thought it would do... piss some of you off.”

Slayer have been accused of promoting Nazi messaging in the past. Last year, when Pantera's Phil Anselmo performed a Nazi salute and said "white power" during a show, King later disavowed the incident, saying, "There’s a line I think he crossed a little bit; yeah, he may not come back from that. It was massive." 

Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, and Metallica make up American thrash metal's "Big Four." Reign in Blood, Slayer's magnum opus, turned 30 last year.