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Slayer is a thrash metal band formed in Huntington Park, California, USA, in 1981 by Kerry King (guitar), Jeff Hanneman (guitar), Dave Lombardo (drums) and Tom Araya (vocals and bass). They are considered one of the "Big 4" of thrash metal, along with Metallica , Anthrax , and Megadeth . Slayer's music is characterized by intense tremelo-picked guitars and high-speed drumming. The lyrics often deal with topics like Satanism (early in their career) and anti-religion (later on), war, murder, Nazism, and violence. Despite acknowledging early on that the Satanism they sang about was a gimmick (main songwriters King and Hanneman are both professed atheists and Araya is a practicing Catholic) and the fact the both Araya and Lombardo are of hispanic origin, the band has often been accused of being Satanists and racists and have been a frequent target of parents and religious watchdog groups.
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