The band announced the wind-up tour on January 22 last year, and began it in San Diego, California, on May 10, followed by another 47 shows in North America and 25 in Europe by December 8. The tour will reopen on March 7 for eight gigs in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the Philippines before returning to North America in May for a further 16 dates.

Then from June 4 it is Europe’s turn again with another 20 shows including Budapest on June 11. According to the current schedule, Slayer will be no more after a gig in Canada on July 28, two in Germany on August 1 and 3, and then the grand finale in Rio de Janeiro on October 4.

As the band says: "We want to assure our fans that we’ll be on the road through 2019 and will get to as many places around the world as possible". Singer and bassist Tom Araya thanked those fans: "You really are loyal and dedicated fans and we appreciate that so much from you. We still have quite a few places to play, so keep your eyes and ears open so you can catch us live one last and final time. Again, thank you!"

Araya’s bandmates are guitarists Kerry King and Gary Holt, and drummer Paul Bostaph, with guitarist Phil Demmel added as a touring musician. The original members were Araya, King, Jeff Hanneman and Dave Lombardo. Hanneman left in 2011 and died in 2013. Lombardo rejoined the band in 2001 after a nine-year hiatus, before departing once again in 2013.

Slayer is thus 37 years into a career that began in Huntington Park, California, in 1981 playing a hybrid of punk and metal. They began by covering songs by bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest at parties and clubs in Southern California. Their early image relied heavily on satanic themes that featured pentagrams, make-up, spikes and inverted crosses. They deny having Nazi sympathies.

Along the way, the metal juggernaut has been nominated five times for Grammy Awards, winning for Best Metal Performance in 2007 and 2008. They have 12 albums to their name.

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