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Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax

Abandon all hope for being able to hear anything at work the morning, or the next two days, after Sunday's show. Along with the absent Metallica, these three bands helped make up the Big Four of '80s thrash-metal; all four spawned a multitude of strains of the rough stuff. Since Slayer's debut LP, 1983's Show No Mercy, this year's Jägermeister Music Tour's headliner has been scaring, scarring and titillating more freshly minted metalheads with each passing year. Their magnum opus, 1986's Reign in Blood, is easily thrash's Led Zeppelin IV. Meanwhile, Megadeth has likewise melted faces, but with a more introspective lyrical bent with Dave Mustaine at the helm. Songs like "In My Darkest Hour" dealt with suicide and abuse in a frank manner not previously employed in metal. Anthrax is the dark horse on this bill; although the group's myriad lineup changes have muddled the New Yorkers' influence, they are still just as ferocious as they were 30 years ago.

 
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