Montreal’s winter concert schedule has gotten a little softer as metal icons Slayer have cancelled their Carnage Tour, which was set to stop in to the Bell Centre on February 20th. According to a note on the band’s MySpace, Slayer was forced to cancel the tour based on bassist and vocalist Tom Araya’s back problems, which have culminated in him needing surgery at the end of this January.
Slayer’s manager Rick Sales is quoted in the note saying “Tom gave various medical treatments more than a fair shot, but they just haven’t handled the problem, so he’s biting the bullet... Tom’s health is the number one priority, and this has to happen.”
Araya’s back problems allegedly began while on tour last October, following which he was diagnosed with a cervical radiculopathy, “a dysfunction of a nerve root of the cervical spine,” which has caused him severe pain, numbness and muscle spasms. Since lateral bending is listed as a cause of the disorder, it appears that Araya’s years of guitar playing, hair swinging and head banging may be responsible for his back problems.
The same problem resulted in a few cancelled Canadian concert dates earlier on in 2009, but nothing to the extent of the 49 cancelled dates of this tour. The concerts are not a small loss for Slayer fans considering the band won two Grammies for best metal performance, both in 2007 and 2008.
The Carnage Tour, which also featured metal giants Megadeth and Testament, was to travel throughout North America and Europe starting January 18th. According to Slayer's MySpace, management for the bands are attempting to reschedule dates, and tickets that have been purchased will be honoured at these new shows.
Truly one of the defining thrash metal bands, Slayer has released 11 albums since their debut in 1983, including two live albums. The most recent release, World Painted Blood, came out in November of 2009.